How Can I Acquire an E-2 Investor Visa?

Seek help from an immigration lawyer on getting an E-2 investor visa

There are various types of visas an individual can apply for, from student visas to marriage visas and the popular E-2 investor visa. While the E-2 investor visa is open to many foreign business people who want to conduct business in the United States, it still puzzles one to ask, “How can I acquire an E-2 investor visa?”

E-2 applications involve complex processes and lengthy time. Proving ‘substantial investment’ is also challenging. This is where having a St. Charles E-2 investor visa attorney comes in handy. Our Missouri immigration attorney at Gateway Immigration Law will help you every step of the way to acquire your dream E-2 investor visa.

To learn more if you are eligible and help you with the application process, contact us now, and we are always happy to answer questions about immigration law.


What is an E-2 Investor Visa?

An E-2 visa is often referred to as a ‘start-up visa’ or ‘entrepreneur visa’ but the official title is a “treaty investor” visa. This allows foreign investors and entrepreneurs to operate a business in the United States. Business people holding this visa type can either buy an existing business or start a new one.

An E-2 investor visa is different from a green card through investment which most people often get confused about. Green cards are permanent, while the E-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa and temporary.

This visa is subject to tight regulations, so it is best to follow standards and comply with essential requirements. A St. Charles E-2 visa lawyer could help through this application process and beyond to help ensure the best chance of success.


What are the Qualification Criteria for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

The following are the criteria for obtaining an E-2 visa:

  • The candidate must be a citizen of a country with a relevant treaty with the United States.
  • The candidate must be coming to work in the United States for a business that they own or that is at least 50% owned by citizens of the applicant’s country of origin.
  • The candidate must be the US company’s owner or a key employee (executive, supervisor, or someone with critical abilities).
  • The applicant or the organization must have invested a sizable sum in the American enterprise. Although there is no defined legal minimum, the applicant or firm must be risking money or other assets, aim to generate a return, and have a sizable investment compared to the type of business.
  • To conduct business in its state or region, the US company must be actively engaged in commercial activities and comply with all applicable legal requirements. Additionally, it cannot just be an investor’s means of support. The primary objective of the treaty investor visa is to employ Americans.
  • Although it is not necessary for the applicant to keep a foreign residency overseas, the applicant must have the intention to depart the United States after their business in the country is finished. The applicant will probably be required to provide the US consulate with proof of impending departure intentions.

To know more if you are eligible and help you with the application process, contact Gateway Immigration Law now!


What are the Key Features of an E-2 Visa?

Here are some of the pros and cons involving an E-2 visa:

  • The treaty investor and certain employees can work legally in the United States for a US business wherein substantial cash investment has been made by the investor, so long as the homeland of which the investor is a national has a treaty with the US.
  • While in the country, the investor or employee is restricted to working only for the employer or self-owned business that acted as the E-2 visa sponsor.
  • Unlimited visa extension depending on the individual’s homeland. (Initial visas may last for up to five years.) The visa length depends upon the visa ‘reciprocity’ agreement between the US and the foreign country and the business’ viability.
  • E2 visa holders (workers or family members) will receive up to two (2) years of stay every time they enter the United States. They also may extend their stay while remaining in the US.
  • Visas are available for an accompanying spouse and minor, unmarried children.
  • Spouses, but not children, may accept employment in the US.

Similar to an E-1 visa, some people call the E-2 the next best thing to US permanent residence because it is possible to obtain via self-employment. It also comes with an unlimited number of extensions. Also, there are no annual limits on the number of E-2 visas issued to qualified applicants.


Which Countries’ Citizens Qualify for E-2 Visas?

E-2 visas are available to citizens of certain listed countries (ones that have qualifying treaties with the United States). You can check whether your country has such a treaty in force on this website which lists the treaty countries.

Top E-2 visa countries include the following:

  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Germany
  • Colombia
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Spain
  • Italy


How Do I Determine Whether an Investment Qualifies for an E-2 Visa in Missouri?

For an investment to qualify the individual for E-2 status, the investment must be ‘substantial’ and ‘non-marginal.’

First, a visa applicant’s investment must be sufficient enough to allow a business to begin operation. For existing business cases, if the applicant purchases the business at fair market value, the investment should include a substantial amount to fulfill this requirement. In addition to ensuring that an investment is substantial, it is also crucial to ensure that it is made in a ‘bona fide’ business, meaning the business must operate to generate a profit.

Moreover, the investor must actively participate in the business. It is not enough that that investor is simply buying stock in a company or undeveloped real estate to meet the requirements for a treaty investor application. The investor is expected to take responsibility for the development and direction of the business.

The investment also must be ‘at risk,’ meaning that the investor may suffer a loss if the business does not succeed. These visas aim to encourage investment that will grow the economy. Therefore, the investment should be ‘non-marginal.’ A marginal enterprise does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and their family.

With the help of a St. Charles E-2 visa attorney, it is easier to determine if your investment meets the requirements of your E-2 investor visa application.


How Long Can a Qualified Treaty Investor Stay?

Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial two years of stay. 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.

An E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted as many extensions as necessary. However, all E-2 non-immigrants must continue to intend to leave the country after their status expires or is canceled.

If deemed eligible by a US official, an E-2 non-immigrant who travels overseas may generally be permitted. According to the Officer of Customs and Border Protection, there is a mandatory two-year reentry period upon returning to the United States.


Talk to our Missouri E-2 Investor Visa Attorney Today!

E-2 visa applications are difficult to compile and can be very time intensive. Immigration laws are not easy to comprehend alone either. If you want to begin this journey, it is best to consult our Missouri E-2 investor visa attorney at Gateway Immigration Law.

Our St Charles immigration lawyer will assist you by providing a deep analysis of your eligibility and guide you with your application process. We believe no case is too difficult for us. Contact us today for a no-obligation evaluation of your case!


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