An E2 visa can be obtained by an investor who is a national of a country which has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US. The investor must be coming to the US to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which has invested, or is actively involved in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital.
A petition is not required if the investor is applying for an E2 visa outside of the US.
The investment involved must place lawfully acquired, owned, and controlled capital at commercial risk with a profit objective, and be subject to loss if the investment fails.
Although there is no limit on the number of times that an E2 visa may be renewed, it is a temporary visa. It is not to be confused with an EB-5 investor green card.
As of December 23, 2022, Section 101 (a)(15)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) was amended to define the eligibility criteria for E visas.
For all E-1 and E-2 filings received on or after December 23, 2022, USCIS may request additional documentation related to how the applicant obtained treaty country nationality to ensure compliance with the amended language.
In addition, for those individuals who obtained treaty country nationality through a financial investment, USCIS may require additional documentation to show that the applicant has been domiciled in the treaty country indicated in the application for a continuous period of at least 3 years at any point before applying for E-1 or E-2 classification.
The current text of the statute is as follows:
(E) an alien entitled to enter the United States under and in pursuance of the provisions of a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the foreign state of which the alien is a national, or, in the case of an alien who acquired the relevant nationality through a financial investment and who has not previously been granted status under this subparagraph, the foreign state of which the alien is a national and in which the alien has been domiciled for a continuous period of not less than 3 years at any point before applying for a nonimmigrant visa under this subparagraph, and the spouse and children of any such alien if accompanying or following to join such alien;
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On November 12, 2021, USCIS issued a policy announcement to clarify that they will consider E and L spouses to be employment authorized based on their valid E or L nonimmigrant status.
E2 Visa – Documentary Requirements:
An application for E2 visas must be filed with the appropriate fee payment, and evidence that:
- The visa investor is a national of a country with whom the US has the requisite treaty or agreement;
- The investor (or in the case of employees of a treaty investor who seek an E-2 visas) will direct or develop the enterprise. The investor must demonstrate that he controls the enterprise by showing ownership of at least 50% of the enterprise, by possessing operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device or by other means;
- The investor has invested in or is actively in the process of investing in the enterprise;
- The investment is substantial, i.e. sufficient to ensure the investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise and big enough to support the likelihood that the investor will successfully direct and develop the enterprise;
- The investment enterprise is not a marginal enterprise;
- If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in an executive or supervisory capacity, or possess skills that are highly specialized and essential to the operations of the commercial enterprise. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.
- The applicant intends to depart the US upon the expiration of E-2 status.
E1/E2 Visa Treaty Countries
The chart below lists the countries that have E-1 and E-2 treaties with the U.S.
Persons who are citizens of countries which are not listed below, but who want to get E-1 or E-2 visas, sometimes buy citizenship in a country which is listed below.
|Albania||E2 Visa||January 4, 1998|
|Argentina||E1 Visa||October 20, 1994|
|Argentina||E2 Visa||October 20, 1994|
|Armenia||E2 Visa||March 29, 1996|
|Australia||E1 Visa||December 16, 1991|
|Australia||E2 Visa||December 27, 1991|
|Austria||E1 Visa||May 27, 1931|
|Austria||E2 Visa||May 27, 1931|
|Azerbaijan||E2 Visa||August 2, 2001|
|Bahrain||E2 Visa||May 30, 2001|
|Bangladesh||E2 Visa||July 25, 1989|
|Belgium||E1 Visa||October 3, 1963|
|Belgium||E2 Visa||October 3, 1963|
|Bolivia||E1 Visa||November 09, 1862|
|Bolivia||E2 Visa||June 6, 2001|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina 11||E1 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina 11||E2 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Brunei||E1 Visa||July 11, 1853|
|Bulgaria||E2 Visa||June 2, 1994|
|Cameroon||E-2 Visa||April 6, 1989|
|Canada||E-1 Visa||January 1, 1993|
|Canada||E-2 Visa||January 1, 1993|
|Chile||E-1 Visa||January 1, 2004|
|Chile||E-2 Visa||January 1, 2004|
|China (Taiwan) 1||E-1 Visa||November 30, 1948|
|China (Taiwan) 1||E-2 Visa||November 30, 1948|
|Colombia||E-1 Visa||June 10, 1848|
|Colombia||E-2 Visa||June 10, 1848|
|Congo (Brazzaville)||E-2 Visa||August 13, 1994|
|Congo (Kinshasa)||E-2 Visa||July 28, 1989|
|Costa Rica||E-1 Visa||May 26, 1852|
|Costa Rica||E-2 Visa||May 26, 1852|
|Croatia 11||E-1 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Croatia 11||E-2 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Czech Republic 2||E-2 Visa||January 1, 1993|
|Denmark 3||E-1 Visa||July 30, 1961|
|Denmark||E-2 Visa||December 10, 2008|
|Egypt||E-2 Visa||June 27, 1992|
|Estonia||E-1 Visa||May 22, 1926|
|Estonia||E-2 Visa||February 16, 1997|
|Ethiopia||E-1 Visa||October 8, 1953|
|Ethiopia||E-2 Visa||October 8, 1953|
|Finland||E-1 Visa||August 10, 1934|
|Finland||E-2 Visa||December 1, 1992|
|France 4||E-1 Visa||December 21, 1960|
|France 4||E-2 Visa||December 21, 1960|
|Georgia||E-2 Visa||August 17, 1997|
|Germany||E-1 Visa||July 14, 1956|
|Germany||E-2 Visa||July 14, 1956|
|Greece||E-1 Visa||October 13, 1954|
|Grenada||E-2 Visa||March 3, 1989|
|Honduras||E-1 Visa||July 19, 1928|
|Honduras||E-2 Visa||July 19, 1928|
|Ireland||E-1 Visa||September 14, 1950|
|Ireland||E-2 Visa||November 18, 1992|
|Israel||E-1 Visa||April 3, 1954|
|Israel||E-2 Visa||May 1, 2019|
|Italy||E-1 Visa||July 26, 1949|
|Italy||E-2 Visa||July 26, 1949|
|Jamaica||E-2 Visa||March 7, 1997|
|Japan 5||E-1 Visa||October 30, 1953|
|Japan 5||E-2 Visa||October 30, 1953|
|Jordan||E-1 Visa||December 17, 2001|
|Jordan||E-2 Visa||December 17, 2001|
|Kazakhstan||E-2 Visa||January 12, 1994|
|Korea (South)||E-1 Visa||November 7, 1957|
|Korea (South)||E-2 Visa||November 7, 1957|
|Kosovo 11||E-1 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Kosovo 11||E-2 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Kyrgyzstan||E-2 Visa||January 12, 1994|
|Latvia||E-1 Visa||July 25, 1928|
|Latvia||E-2 Visa||December 26, 1996|
|Liberia||E-1 Visa||November 21, 1939|
|Liberia||E-2 Visa||November 21, 1939|
|Lithuania||E-2 Visa||November 22, 2001|
|Luxembourg||E-1 Visa||March 28, 1963|
|Luxembourg||E-2 Visa||March 28, 1963|
|Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of (FRY) 11||E-1 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of (FRY) 11||E-2 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Mexico||E-1 Visa||January 1, 1994|
|Mexico||E-2 Visa||January 1, 1994|
|Moldova||E-2 Visa||November 25, 1994|
|Mongolia||E-2 Visa||January 1, 1997|
|Montenegro 11||E-1 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Montenegro 11||E-2 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Morocco||E-2 Visa||May 29, 1991|
|Netherlands 6||E-1 Visa||December 5, 1957|
|Netherlands 6||E-2 Visa||December 5, 1957|
|New Zealand||E-1 Visa||June 10, 2019|
|New Zealand||E-2 Visa||June 10, 2019|
|Norway 7||E-2 Visa||January 18, 1928|
|Oman||E-1 Visa||June 11, 1960|
|Oman||E-2 Visa||June 11, 1960|
|Pakistan||E-1 Visa||February 12, 1961|
|Pakistan||E-2 Visa||February 12, 1961|
|Panama||E-2 Visa||May 30, 1991|
|Paraguay||E-1 Visa||March 07, 1860|
|Paraguay||E-2 Visa||March 07, 1860|
|Philippines||E-1 Visa||September 6, 1955|
|Philippines||E-2 Visa||September 6, 1955|
|Poland||E-1 Visa||August 6, 1994|
|Poland||E-2 Visa||August 6, 1994|
|Romania||E-2 Visa||January 15, 1994|
|Serbia 11||E-1 Visa||November 15,1882|
|Serbia 11||E-2 Visa||November 15,1882|
|Senegal||E-2 Visa||October 25, 1990|
|Singapore||E-1 Visa||January 1, 2004|
|Singapore||E-2 Visa||January 1, 2004|
|Slovak Republic 2||E-2 Visa||January 1, 1993|
|Slovenia 11||E-1 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Slovenia 11||E-2 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Spain 8||E-1 Visa||April 14, 1903|
|Spain 8||E-2 Visa||April 14, 1903|
|Sri Lanka||E-2 Visa||May 1, 1993|
|Suriname 9||E-1 Visa||February 10, 1963|
|Suriname 9||E-2 Visa||February 10, 1963|
|Sweden||E-1 Visa||February 20, 1992|
|Sweden||E-2 Visa||February 20, 1992|
|Switzerland||E-1 Visa||November 08, 1855|
|Switzerland||E-2 Visa||November 08, 1855|
|Thailand||E-1 Visa||June 8, 1968|
|Thailand||E-2 Visa||June 8, 1968|
|Togo||E-1 Visa||February 5, 1967|
|Togo||E-2 Visa||February 5, 1967|
|Trinidad & Tobago||E-2 Visa||December 26, 1996|
|Tunisia||E-2 Visa||February 7, 1993|
|Turkey||E-1 Visa||February 15, 1933|
|Turkey||E-2 Visa||May 18, 1990|
|Ukraine||E-2 Visa||November 16, 1996|
|United Kingdom 10||E-1 Visa||July 03, 1815|
|United Kingdom 10||E-2 Visa||July 03, 1815|
|Yugoslavia 11||E-1 Visa||November 15, 1882|
|Yugoslavia 11||E-2 Visa||November 15, 1882|
Country Specific Footnotes
- China (Taiwan) – Pursuant to Section 6 of the Taiwan Relations Act, (TRA) Public Law 96-8, 93 Stat, 14, and Executive Order 12143, 44 F.R. 37191, this agreement which was concluded with the Taiwan authorities prior to January 01, 1979, is administered on a nongovernmental basis by the American Institute in Taiwan, a nonprofit District of Columbia corporation, and constitutes neither recognition of the Taiwan authorities nor the continuation of any official relationship with Taiwan.
- Czech Republic and Slovak Republic – The Treaty with the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic entered into force on December 19, 1992; entered into force for the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic as separate states on January 01, 1993.
- Denmark – The Treaty which entered into force on July 30, 1961, does not apply to Greenland.
- France – The Treaty which entered into force on December 21, 1960, applies to the departments of Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Reunion.
- Japan – The Treaty which entered into force on October 30, 1953, was made applicable to the Bonin Islands on June 26, 1968, and to the Ryukyu Islands on May 15, 1972.
- Netherlands – The Treaty which entered into force on December 05, 1957, is applicable to Aruba and Netherlands Antilles.
- Norway – The Treaty which entered into force on September 13, 1932, does not apply to Svalbard (Spitzbergen and certain lesser islands).
- Spain – The Treaty which entered into force on April 14, 1903, is applicable to all territories.
- Suriname – The Treaty with the Netherlands which entered into force December 05, 1957, was made applicable to Suriname on February 10, 1963.
- United Kingdom – The Convention which entered into force on July 03, 1815, applies only to British territory in Europe (the British Isles (except the Republic of Ireland), the Channel Islands and Gibraltar) and to “inhabitants” of such territory. This term, as used in the Convention, means “one who resides actually and permanently in a given place, and has his domicile there.” Also, in order to qualify for treaty trader or treaty investor status under this treaty, the alien must be a national of the United Kingdom. Individuals having the nationality of members of the Commonwealth other than the United Kingdom do not qualify for treaty trader or treaty investor status under this treaty.
- Yugoslavia – The U.S. view is that the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) has dissolved and that the successors that formerly made up the SFRY – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo a continue to be bound by the treaty in force with the SFRY and the time of dissolution.
E2 Visa – Additional Resources
- E-2 Treaty Investors (USCIS)
- Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors (State Department)
- Employment Authorization for Certain H-4, E, and L Nonimmigrant Dependent Spouses – USCIS (November 12, 2021)
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Immigration Attorney Carl Shusterman has 40+ years of experience. He served as an attorney for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) from 1976 until 1982, when he entered private practice. He has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in SuperLawyers Magazine. Today, he serves as Of Counsel to JR Immigration Law Firm.