E-2 visas are authorized for investors who are nationals 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 E-2 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.
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E-2 Visas – Documentary Requirements:
Applications for E-2 visas must be filed with the appropriate fee payment, and evidence that:
- The 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.
E-2 Visas: Additional Resources
- E-2 Treaty Investors (USCIS)
- Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors (State Department)
- List of Countries with E-1/E-2 Treaties
- AAO Non-Precedent Decisions on E-2 Petitions
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening an 8 attorney firm specializing in immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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