E2 Visa Approval Rate Reaches All-Time High in FY2023

E2 visa approval rate
Facundo Bermudez
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Published on 22 Feb 2022 Time to read 7 min read Last update on 14 Apr 2024

Embark on a journey through the intricacies of the E-2 visa program, exploring its significance for international entrepreneurs aiming to establish roots in the United States. In this comprehensive analysis, we delve into the dynamics of E2 Visa Approval Rate, shedding light on recent policy changes, adjudication trends, and the distribution of approvals across different countries and continents.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur seeking avenues for investment or a stakeholder navigating the complexities of investor migration, this exploration offers valuable insights into the evolving landscape of the E-2 visa program and its implications for global mobility and economic opportunity. Join us as we uncover the trends shaping the journey of entrepreneurs to the United States through the E-2 visa pathway.

About the E-2 Visa

The E-2 visa is a renewable nonimmigrant visa that allows entrepreneurs from a treaty country to invest in a business and move to the U.S. Unlike the EB-5 visa, there is no minimum investment amount for the E-2 visa, but rather depends on the type of the business. Many immigration attorneys recommend an investment of $150,000 or more as to satisfy the substantial investment requirement of the E-2 visa. Furthermore, the E-2 visa does not require a set number of American jobs created or maintained. Other benefits with the

 include the spouse’s ability to work in the U.S. and children being able to reside and study in the U.S. until they are 21.

Although the E-2 visa is not a direct path to the U.S. green card, the visa can be renewed indefinitely so long as the business is sustainable.

E-2 Visa Policy Changes

U.S. immigration policy has undergone a sea change since the inauguration of Donald Trump in January 2017. It is worth noting the many regulations implemented in several E-2 treaty countries. These changes were in large part due to the mandate in Section 10 of Executive Order 13780, requiring the Department of State to review all non-immigrant visa reciprocity agreements to make sure they are truly reciprocal. Below are the visa validity changes adjusted by the U.S. Secretary of State in FY 2020.

  • Mexico: The validity period of E-2 visa is extended from 12 months to 48 months.
  • Chile: The validity period of E-2 visa is reduced from 5 years to 12 months.
  • Denmark: The validity period of E-2 visa is reduced from 5 years to 18 months.
  • Latvia: The validity period of E-2 visa is reduced from 5 years to 34 months.
  • Norway: The validity period of E-2 visa is reduced from 5 years to 36 months.
  • Macedonia: Citizens of Macedonia are no longer eligible for E-2 visa.

Shortened E-2 validity periods are not a threat, as the E-2 visa can be renewed indefinitely, so long as the business is doing well. That is why Visa Franchise performs a rigorous business due diligence process. This is to make sure the businesses we investigate are the right businesses for the E-2.

The E-2 Visa Approval and Denial Rate for 2023

Over the past five fiscal years, the approval and denial rates for the E-2 visa have shown fluctuations. In 2018, the approval rate stood at 75.33%, with 41,181 visas issued and a denial rate of 24.67%, totaling 13,489 refusals.

The following year, in 2019, the approval rate improved to 89.43%, with 43,286 approvals and only 5,115 denials, reflecting a refusal rate of 10.57%. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the approval rate remained high at 87.79%, resulting in 23,493 visas issued and 3,266 refusals, equating to a denial rate of 12.21%.

The positive trend continued into 2021, witnessing a 92.51% approval rate, with 33,129 visas issued and 2,683 refusals, amounting to a 7.49% denial rate. In 2022, the approval rate peaked at 90.49%, with 45,878 issuances and 4,823 refusals, reflecting a 9.51% denial rate.

Finally, in 2023, the approval rate remained steady at 90.91%, with 54,812 visas issued, but the number of refusals slightly increased to 5,615, resulting in a denial rate of 9.29%. These figures illustrate the dynamic nature of E-2 visa adjudications over recent years.

E2 visa approval rate

E2 Visa Approval Rate – Countries with the Most E-2 Visas in FY 2023

In the 2023 fiscal year, the United States emerged as a dominant player in the realm of investor migration, issuing nearly 54,000 E2 Treaty Investor Visas—an astounding 20% increase compared to the preceding year, setting a record high according to data from the Investment Migration Insider. Experts attribute this surge in interest to pent-up demand resulting from the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic years, coupled with concerns over the potential for more stringent immigration policies following the year’s election. However, amid this overall trend, attention turns to the top 10 countries contributing to this landscape.

Japan claims the first position with a staggering 15,560 approvals, maintaining its longstanding status as a frontrunner in E-2 visa issuances. South Korea follows closely, securing 6,639 approvals, marking a significant presence in the investor migration arena.

Remarkably, Canada also occupies the third position with 6,254 approvals, surpassing historical rivals like Mexico, and experiencing a notable 64% year-on-year increase, signaling its emergence as a significant source of E-2 applicants in the Western Hemisphere.

Several factors fuel this surge in Canadian demand, including rising living costs, limited opportunities for skilled workers compared to the US, migration of Indian-origin Canadians, and high tax rates.

Continuing down the ranking, Germany maintains its standing as a prominent player in the E-2 Visa domain, securing 9,590 approvals over the last three years, with 3,779 approvals in 2023 alone.

France obtained 2,951 approvals, while Great Britain and Northern Ireland received 2,943 approvals. Taiwan garnered 2,881 approvals. Mexico secured 2,185 approvals, Italy obtained 1,804 approvals, and Spain closed the list with 1,402 approvals. These numbers underscore the diverse landscape of investor migration and the factors influencing demand across different regions.

E2 visa approval rate

E2 Visa Approval Rate – Citizenship by Investment for E-2 Visa

In Fiscal Year 2023, the distribution of E-2 Visa approvals by continent highlights Asia as the leading region, with a remarkable total of 27,010 approvals, underscoring its prominence in investor migration. Following closely is Europe, securing 16,782 approvals, followed by North America with 8,761 approvals. South America trails behind with 1,721 approvals, while Oceania and Africa conclude the distribution with 579 and 110 approvals, respectively.

Over the past years, Asia, Europe, and North America have consistently dominated E-2 Visa issuances, reflecting the enduring appeal of these regions for investors seeking opportunities abroad.

Furthermore, noteworthy trends have emerged in various continents regarding countries experiencing significant growth rates in E-2 Visa issuances. For instance, Chile and Colombia have shown remarkable increases in approvals despite facing challenges. After a hiatus of over two years in accepting appointments for E-2 Visas, consulates in both countries have resumed processing applications, albeit at a slower pace. Chile witnessed a nearly six-fold rise in visas issued, soaring from 54 in FY2022 to 310 in the past year.

Similarly, Colombians saw their approvals almost quadruple during the same period. These developments signify a resurgence of interest in investor migration from these regions and highlight the evolving dynamics of global mobility and economic opportunity.

E2 visa approval rate


In conclusion, the analysis of the E-2 Visa program for the years 2023 and 2022 reveals intriguing trends and insights into investor migration to the United States. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the E-2 Visa remained a significant pathway for entrepreneurs from treaty countries seeking to invest in U.S. businesses.

The data highlighted a notable surge in E-2 Visa issuances in Fiscal Year 2023, with nearly 54,000 visas issued, marking a record high and indicating sustained interest in investor migration. Attention to specific countries, such as Japan, South Korea, and Canada, underscored their prominence as major contributors to the E-2 Visa landscape. Furthermore, the analysis of E-2 Visa approvals by continent emphasized the enduring appeal of regions like Asia, Europe, and North America for investors. Noteworthy trends also emerged in countries experiencing significant growth rates in E-2 Visa issuances, such as Chile and Colombia.

These findings illustrate the resilience and adaptability of the E-2 Visa program amidst evolving global dynamics, highlighting its importance as a key pathway for international entrepreneurs seeking opportunities in the United States.

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