The E-2 Investment visa is available to foreign investors that are citizens of a treaty country. These specified countries contain a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. The E-2 Investment visa allows individuals to enter and work in the United States under the provisions that the investor or partnership/corporation invests in a bona fide enterprise. The visa is also applicable to specific employees that are part of the enterprise.
Who can be qualified for an Investment visa?
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides 3 general qualifications for the E-2 Investment Visa:
- 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
- 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 devices.
Filing for a Change of Status to E-2 Classification
- If the treaty investor is residing in the U.S. in a lawful nonimmigrant status, the applicant may file Form I-129 to request a change of status to E-2 classification. If the employee is residing in the U.S. in a lawful nonimmigrant status, the qualifying employer must file Form I-129 for the employee.
What are the qualifications of the Employee of a Treaty Investor?
According to the USCIS, an employer may also obtain an E-2 Investment visa for qualified employees. The requirements for a qualified employee include the following:
- Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country)
- Meet the definition of “employee” under the relevant law
- Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.
What are the documents needed to apply for the E-2 Investment visa?
- Passport (valid for travel to the U.S.)
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160)
- Application fee payment receipt
- Passport Photo (2 inches by 2 inches)
- Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/ Treaty Investor Application (Form DS-156E)
Duration of Stay
Treaty investors and employees that meet qualifications for the E-2 Investment visa are allowed to enter and stay in the U.S. for a maximum of two years. This can be extended through requests and only in increments of two years. E-2 nonimmigrants who decide to travel abroad obtain an automatic two-year period of re-entry when returning to the United States.
Family of E-2 Treaty Investment Visa
Investors or employees who are able to successfully obtain the E-2 visa may also have their spouse and unmarried children (who are under 21 years of age) accompany them to the U.S. The family members are not required to have the same nationality as the treaty investor or employee. For family members not residing in the U.S., they may complete the nonimmigrant classification as dependents. The E-2 nonimmigrant classification for dependents already in the U.S. may seek a change of status or extension of stay using a single Form I-539. In addition, spouses of E-2 visa holders may apply for work authorizations using Form I-765.
Why choose the E-2 Investment Visa
The E-2 Investment Visa allows for employees to work and live in the United States without limitations on the length of stay, provided that the company will remain an investor. There are two-period stays that can be extended as many times as one desires. Not only is there a generous length of stay with the visa, but you may also travel abroad for as long as needed and return to the U.S. with ease. In addition, the visa application is usually granted faster than most visas, generally about two months, however, this varies case by case.
How can Sethi and Mazaheri help you?
For more information about the E-2 Treaty Investment visa and your own application process, contact our offices to be connected to one of our experienced attorneys. At Sethi and Mazaheri, we are dedicated to providing individuals with the necessary resources and support for visa applications. Over the years, we have submitted numerous E-2 Investment visa applications for companies and their employees. Our team of dedicated attorneys will guide you through the process of the application and ensure that you are provided with the quality and expertise that you value.