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E-2 Visa - Treaty Investor and Treaty Investment Employee

 

Treaty Investment Visa

 

The E-2 nonimmigrant visa authorizes a citizen of a treaty country to oversee their investment in the U.S. or work with a U.S. business which is at least 50% owned by citizens of the treaty country.  The initial E visa may be granted for up to 5 years, depending on the country.  The visa can be extended every two (2) years without limitation on the total period of stay.  The spouse and minor children may accompany or follow to join the E-2 principal.  Employees from the treaty country, including executives, managers and essential employees are eligible for the E-2 visa.

 

The E-2 may be applied for in the U.S. with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) if the individual is in legal status and the law permits a change in status.  However, once the individual leaves the U.S., the individual must apply for an E-2 visa at an American Embassy or consulate.  In addition, the E visa is one of the few visas that may be applied for directly at an American Embassy or consulate without prior approval from CIS.

 

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Requirements

 

The E-2 visa requires all of the following:

 

  1. A treaty allowing investment in the U.S between the U.S. and the country of which the person is a national

  2. The investor is a treaty national or a qualifying organization (50% or more owned by treaty nationals)

  3. The applicant is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital

  4. Entering the U.S. to develop and direct the investment, or entering the U.S. to work in an executive, managerial or "essential employee" capacity

  5. The U.S. investment is fifty percent (50%) owned by a treaty national or qualifying organization.

 

Sample Treaty Countries

 

The following countries have investment treaties with the United States that qualify for the E-2 visa.  Many other countries qualify for the treaty investment visa.

 

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, Taiwan, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. (Click here for a more extensive list)

 

How Long is an E-2 Visa Valid? 

 

E-2 visas are generally valid for five years. E-2 visa holders are admitted into the U.S. for a period of up to two years at a time. E-2 status can be extended in two-year increments indefinitely. An applicant may remain in E-2 Visa for an indefinite time, as long as the investment enterprise is ongoing. Unlike the H1B visa, there is no annual Quota on the number of employees permitted. Also unlike the H-1B, L-1 and other petition-based work visas, the E-2 visa does not require USCIS pre-approval, but rather, can be submitted directly to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate of the Home Country of the applicant. As with other non-immigrant statuses in the U.S., E-2 can also be requested by an applicant already in the U.S., via a change of status request with USCIS. If using Premium Processing filing, an E-2 change of status can be granted in a matter of weeks if applied for within the U.S.  The Spouse of the E-2 Investor is eligible for an employment Authorization Card, (Work Permit) allowing the spouse the ability to work legally in the United States at any legal job in the U.S.which will accept them.

 

What Documents are Necessary to Apply for E-2 Visa?

 

E-2 Nonimmigrant Visa Document List:

 

E-2 Applicant (Petitioner/Beneficiary)

  • Resume (with detailed description of job duties and dates of employment)

  • Diplomas, degrees, and certificates

  • Evidence of nonimmigrant status if present in the U.S. (visa, I-94, approval notices)

  • Passports of E-2 Applicant and all dependents (passports valid for at least 6 months)

 

U.S. Company or Business Enterprise (Petitioner)

  • Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of Incorporation

  • Stock certificates (showing total ownership of the company)

  • Business sale agreement or stock purchase agreement

  • Business information (history, facilities, products, number of employees, clients)

  • Business appraisal, business valuation, or prospectus

  • Business registration, business license, business permits, DBA's

  • Commercial lease

  • Brochures, catalogs, promotional & product literature, and advertisements

  • Invoices, contracts, bills of lading, and other business documentation

  • Photographs of the business (if applicable)

  • Corporate tax returns (IRS 1120, IRS 941, TWC C-3)

  • Financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, asset & deficit, payroll)

  • Bank account statements

  • Bank wire transfers; certified checks or other documentation of investment in the U.S.

 

Foreign Company (if applicable)

  • Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of Incorporation

  • Business information (history, facilities, products, number of employees, clients)

  • Business registration, business license, business permits

  • Commercial lease

  • Brochures, catalogs, promotional & product literature, and advertisements

  • Invoices, contracts, bills of lading and other business documentation

  • Photographs of the business (if applicable)

  • Corporate tax returns

  • Financial statements (balance sheet, income Statement, asset & deficit, payroll)

  • Bank account statements

 

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