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E2 Treaty Visas

This visa is for foreign nationals who want to enter the United States solely to invest, direct and develop a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide U.S. established or new business. The foreign national is also known as a “treaty investor.” The U.S. established this visa to promote business investments with other countries that have commercial and navigation treaties with the U.S. Foreign nationals lawfully in the U.S. or outside of the U.S. who qualify under the list may request this visa.

Further, the treaty investor must own at least 50 percent of the enterprise or possession of operational control through corporate devices (e.g., managerial position). Also, there is no set minimum limit of investment. However, the treaty investor must demonstrate a capital investment in a commercial sense. In other words, the investment bears risks, costs and benefits with the objective of making a profit. Also, the investment must be a substantial amount in relation to the cost of either establishing or creating a business; sufficient to ensure the commitment of a successful business; and to the extent that will likely lead the treaty investor to direct and develop the company.

A treaty investor’s employees may also apply for an E2 visa if they meet certain requirements. The employee must be employed in an executory or managerial character or at least have some special qualifications. In addition, the employee must be of the same nationality as the principle treaty investor, or if there is no individual treaty investor, the company’s ownership must be at least 50 percent owned by individuals of the treaty country. Moreover, the spouse and children (unmarried and under 21) of a treaty investor or employee may apply for E2 nonimmigrant status. The spouse of a treaty investor may apply for a work visa.

Once approved, the treaty investor or employee will be granted E2 nonimmigrant status up to two years with an unlimited amount of up to two-year extensions. Each extension, however, must be approved by USCIS. However, the applicant must throughout their stay have the intent to depart the U.S. once the visa has expired. In addition, there cannot be a substantial change in the activity for which the treaty investor or employee was approved.

Cynthia Waisman, attorney focuses her practice in the area of Immigration Law. For more information, call 813-279-6180. We are here to help immigrants obtain the benefits they deserve.