E-2 Visa

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What Is an E-2 Visa ?

The E-2 visa is a treaty investor visa that permits the citizens of treaty countries to enter the United States for directing and developing operations of the enterprise they have invested in or are in the process of making a substantial investment.
Here, a substantial amount of capital investment is:

  • Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one
  • Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise
  • Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.

General qualifications of a treaty investor

To qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor should:

  • Be a citizen of a country with whom the United States has a commerce and navigation treaty;
  • Have invested, or are actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a legitimate U.S. business; and
  • Attempt to enter the United States primarily to develop and direct a business venture. This is demonstrated by holding at least 50% ownership of the company or operational control via a managerial position or other corporate routes.

Investment here means the treaty investor’s placing of capital, including funds and/or other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with an aim to generate profit. Meaning, the capital must be subject to partial or total loss if the investment fails. It is also crucial that the treaty investor demonstrates that the funds have not been obtained, directly or indirectly, from criminal activity.

General qualifications of an employee of a treaty investor

To qualify for E-2 classification, the employee of a treaty investor should:

  • Have the same nationality as that of the principal employer (who has a nationality of the treaty country);
  • Meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law; and
  • Either be engaged in executive or supervisory duties or have special qualifications if employed in a lesser capacity.

If the principal employer is not an individual, it must be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons in the U.S. who have the nationality of the treaty country.

These owners should either:

(a) be maintaining a nonimmigrant treaty investor status or

(b) if the owners are not in the U.S. and seek entry to the United States, they must be, if they were to seek admission to this country, classified under the nonimmigrant treaty investors category.

You can contact our immigration lawyers to determine your eligibility for the E-2 visa.

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Period of stay under E-2 classification

Qualified treaty investors and employees are allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay in, or changes of status to, E-2 classification may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted. All E-2 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.

An E-2 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission,if determined admissible by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Officer, when returning to the United States.

How to apply for an E-2 visa?

To apply for an E-2 visa, one will need to arrange all the required signed documents accordingly and submit them. However, the filing of the application has two distinct procedures.

  • For those residing in the U.S. – Prospective applicants residing in the U.S. need to submit Form I-129 directly to the USCIS service center present in the U.S.
  • For those residing outside the U.S. – Needs to submit the requisite signed documents in the U.S. consular office in their respective jurisdiction.

The E-2 U.S. investor visa application documents most include;

  • DOS Form DS-160 (for nonimmigrant application).
  • DOS Form DS-156E ( for investor application or nonimmigrant treaty trader).
  • A photocopy of your passport, holding at least one blank place and validity of six months beyond the stay period in the United States.
  • A colored passport-style photo that clearly shows your face against a light color background.
  • An outline of a future business investment scheme.
  • A copy of the curriculum vitae.
  • Record of control and possession of investment funds.
  • Job listing of attaining a relevant administration position or possession of required skill to carry out the assigned operation fruitfully.
  • An inkling of the U.S. remittance.
    Evidence authentication the existence and legitimacy of business in the U.S.
  • Proof of sustainability.
  • Documents validating the investment.

The Law Offices Of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, can assist you with the cumbersome documentation process and help you avoid unnecessary delays.

Terms & Conditions

A treaty investor or employee may only work in the activity for which he or she was approved when the classification was granted. An E-2 employee, however, may also work for the treaty organization’s parent company or one of its subsidiaries as long as the:

  • Relationship between the organizations is established;
  • Subsidiary employment requires executive, supervisory, or essential skills; and
  • Terms and conditions of employment have not otherwise changed.

USCIS must approve any substantive change in the terms or conditions of E-2 status. A “substantive change” is defined as a fundamental change in the employer’s basic characteristics that would affect the applicant’s eligibility for E classification, such as, but not limited to:

  • A merger;
  • Acquisition;
  • Sale of the division where the foreign national is employed; or
  • Other events that affect the treaty investor or employee’s previously approved relationship with the treaty enterprise.

Where there has been such a substantive change, the treaty investor or enterprise, if it wishes to continue to employ the foreign national in E-2 status, must notify USCIS by filing a new Form I-129 with fee, and may simultaneously request an extension of stay for the treaty investor or affected employee.

The Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, can help you timely file your E-2 visa application. Because of the extensive more, it is apparent for one to forget a thing or the other while proceeding with the application. So it’s advisable to have our experienced immigration attorneys by your side. For more information, contact The Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy at prashanthi@reddyesq.com or by calling 212-354-1010.

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