What are the Top 5 Reasons the E-2 Visa May be Right for You?

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the top five reasons you should apply for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa in 2021 and how the E-2 visa can benefit you.

Want to know more? Just keep on watching.


What is the E-2 visa all about and what are the main benefits of this visa?

The E-2 treaty investor visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa type reserved for foreign entrepreneurs from countries that have a Treaty of Trade and Commerce with the United States. It is a visa type generally suitable for certain foreign nationals who want to become business owners in the United States. The amount of money that must be invested into a U.S. business entity in the United States must be “substantial,” and largely depends on the type of business that is involved.

In general, to qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:

  • Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
  • Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States; and
  • Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.

In order to qualify as a valid investment, the applicant must place a substantial amount of capital, including funds and/or assets at risk with the objective of generating a profit. In order to be considered at risk, capital must be subject to partial or total loss if the investment fails.

What are the Top 5 Reasons the E-2 Visa May be Right for You?

#1 Legal Right to Work in your Business

With the E-2 visa, you are allowed to legally work in your start-up business, or in a business that you purchased in the United States, for as long as you operate that business without the requirement of third-party sponsorship. Eligible applicants must show that they will be developing and directing the business by at least controlling 50% of the business. In addition, the investment you make in your business cannot be marginal. You must operate a real and viable business.

#2 There is No Minimum Amount of Investment

The government does not specify a minimum nor a maximum amount of investment for the E-2 visa. However, the investment must be substantial enough for the business you are trying to operate, meaning that the capital investment must be proportionate to the type of business that you operate. In addition, applicants may not withdraw the amount of money they have invested into their E-2 business. Any investment made into the U.S. business must be irrevocable.

The more substantial your investment is, the greater the possibility of receiving an approval.

#3 Your Dependents May Accompany You to the USA

Another major advantage of the E-2 visa is that your family members can accompany and live with you in the United States. Once approved, spouses of E-2 visa investors can also apply to work in the United States by filing Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. There is no restriction as to where an E-2 spouse may work. Unmarried children under the age of 21 can also accompany the principal investor and study in the United States.

#4 Freedom to Travel

E-2 visa holders with an E-2 visa inside of their passport can travel freely inside and outside of the United States. In order to gain this benefit, the E-2 visa holder must apply for their E-2 visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad. Some investors already in the U.S. in another lawful non-immigrant visa status (such as a student or tourist, etc.) may elect to change their status to the E-2 nonimmigrant visa classification, without having to apply at the Consulate, however such investors will not be able to re-enter the U.S. from abroad until they have a U.S. visa in their passport.

Added Flexibility

Another advantage of having an E-2 visa in your passport is that investors are not required to remain in the United States for any specified period of time. The rules of E-2 do not limit the investor as to how much time they must spend inside of the U.S. However, if investors decide to travel abroad to the United States or take care of other affairs, they must still be able to demonstrate that they possess operational control and are actively directing their business.

#5 Unlimited Extensions

Finally, one of the biggest advantages of the E-2 investor visa is that investors may remain in E-2 status indefinitely.

What does this mean?

Investors may be granted a maximum initial stay of two years; however, investors retain the option of extending their E-2 visa status in increments of up to two years with no limit on the number of extensions they may be granted.  The only requirement is that the investor must (1) continue to operate and grow the business and (2) maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires.

Ready to get started? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.

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