E-2 Visa is a long-term, non-immigrant work visa that is available to foreign investors who live in countries that have signed an investment treaty with the United States. Countries which have signed investment treaty with the United States include Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, South Korea, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand. This investor visa can be renewed for as long as the U.S. sponsoring business employs several full-time workers and continues to be profitable.
|1. As a treaty investor, you must be coming to the United States to invest in a new or existing enterprise.|
USCIS defines an E-2 investment as the investor’s placing of capital, including funds and other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit. Your investment may be for the purpose of establishing a new business venture, or purchasing a pre-existing business. In either scenario, you must demonstrate that the capital you are investing is substantial.
|2. Your investment must be in a bona fide enterprise and may not be marginal.|
A bona fide enterprise is one that is a real, active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. The enterprise cannot be an idle investment held for potential appreciation in value, such as undeveloped land or stocks held by an investor who has no intent to direct the enterprise.
A marginal enterprise is one that will not generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for you and your family or to make a significant economic contribution.
|3. You must be in possession of the funds you will invest and the funds must be committed to your business.|
You must demonstrate that the capital you invest is irrevocably committed to the enterprise and subject to partial or total loss in the event that the entity fails. The funds you invest must also be your own. Additionally, the invested funds must be substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or creating the type of enterprise you are considering.
|4. You must be able to provide the source of your funding.|
You must show a clear and legitimate path regarding the source of the capital you will be investing. You must also demonstrate that the funds you are investing have not been obtained through criminal means.
|5. You must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise.|
You must show that you will develop and direct the investment enterprise by demonstrating ownership of at least 50 percent of the enterprise, or by possessing operational control through a managerial position or other corporate devices.
- Investors from over 75 countries (who have signed an investment treaty with the United States) are allowed to establish, advance and operate a business within the United States.
- There is no minimum investment amount that is required – as long as the investment is enough to establish, develop and operate a profitable business that meets the criteria above.
- Spouse of E-2 Investor will be issued an E-2 dependent visa which can allow the spouse to apply for work authorization based on their E-2 dependent visa.
- Children under 21 of the E-2 Investor will also be issued an E-2 dependent visa and are be able to attend school of their choice (in many states, children can qualify for in-state tuition at State Universities up until they reach the age of 21). Children of E-2 Investor do not qualify for a work visa.
- The E-2 visa holder has the choice of living outside of the United States for unsettled amount of time and can re-enter the country for as long as their visa is valid.