E2 Visa | Countries Eligible for Treaty Investors

Written by: Patrick Findaro
Last Updated by Brenda Bagnoli: December 2, 2022
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This article is based on a video originally recorded on Visa Franchise YouTube channel.

E2 Visa | Countries Eligible for Treaty Investors

The E-2 visa was designed for individuals from certain treaty countries to make financial investments in U.S. businesses and come to the U.S. to direct and develop their businesses. These e2 Visa countries have a treaty of Commerce and Navigation with the U.S. The E-2 visa is an excellent option for U.S. franchises as visa applications based on these types of businesses tend to have a higher approval rate. The E-2 visa can be issued up to 5 years, though is determined by the consulate officer and the reciprocity schedule with the applicant’s country and the U.S.

e2 visa countries

Consular Officer Determines E-2 Visa Length

For the majority of e2 visa countries, the visa may be issued for 5 years and most of the time the E-2 visa applicant receives the full 5 years. However, the consular officer may issue the visa for a shorter period (often 2 years). The consular officer might have doubts in the investor’s ability to follow through on the business plan and hire American workers. After 2 years, the E-2 applicant must return to the consulate and demonstrate he followed the business plan at which time the investor is generally issued a 5-year extension.

Compared to franchises, startup businesses have more variables in the business plan which might make it difficult to secure the renewal.

Country Reciprocity Determines E-2 Visa Length

The length of time an E-2 visa is issued for is also dictated by the reciprocity schedule between the U.S. and the applicant’s country. The reciprocity is based on the maximum amount of time a non-immigrant visa (such as the E-2 visa) can be issued for. The majority of countries have a 5-year validity, but some e2 visa countries only have 3 months! When a visa is valid only for 3 months, this represent the period of time the investor has to enter the U.S. after the visa is issued. Once the applicant enters the U.S., he is entitled to 2 years under E-2 status to direct and develop his business. The investor can renew his status with USCIS indefinitely or if the investor leaves the U.S. after the 3-month period, he needs to renew the visa at a U.S. consulate.

e2 visa countries

Visa vs. Legal Status

A visa determines the investors ability to enter the U.S. while U.S. policy and regulations determine how long the investor can reside legally in the U.S. For the E-2 visa, the government states the investor is entitled to 2 years on E-2 status as long as they are operating the business and do not leave the country.

For a U.K. national with a 5-year E-2 visa, he must travel outside of the U.S. before his 2-year status lapses. Then, when he returns the U.S., he is entitled to 2 more years on the E-2 status.

Less than 12-month E-2 Visa Countries

For E-2 visa investors from e2 visa countries where the reciprocity schedule is less than 12 months, it is important to work together with your immigration attorney on a mid to long-term strategy. Some investors will seek the EB-5 visa through a direct franchise investment as a more permanent solution. The following countries have E-2 visa terms less than 12 months:

Azerbaijan 3 months
Bahrain 3 months
Bangladesh 3 months
Congo – Brazzaville 3 months
Congo – Kinshasa 3 months
Ecuador 3 months
Egypt 3 months
Iran 3 months
Jordan 3 months
Kyrgyzstan 3 months
Moldova 3 months
Ukraine 3 months
Ethiopia 6 months
Oman 6 months
Thailand 6 months

E-2 Visa Countries

Below is a list of E-2 visa countries with the corresponding reciprocity schedules. Always check directly on the U.S. State Department Website (https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/fees/reciprocity-by-country.html) for the latest schedule.

Country Validity Period Number of Entries
Albania 36 Months Multiple
Argentina 60 Months Multiple
Armenia 60 Months Multiple
Australia 48 Months Multiple
Austria 60 Months Multiple
Azerbaijan 3 Months One
Bahrain 3 Months One
Bangladesh 3 Months Two
Belgium 60 Months Multiple
Bolivia N/A N/A
Bosnia and Herzegovina 12 Months Multiple
Bulgaria 60 Months Multiple
Cameroon N/A N/A
Canada 60 Months Multiple
Chile 60 Months Multiple
Colombia 60 Months Multiple
Congo – Brazzaville 3 Months One
Congo – Kinshasa 3 Months Two
Costa Rica 60 Months Multiple
Croatia 60 Months Multiple
Czech Republic 60 Months Multiple
Denmark 60 Months Multiple
Ecuador N/A N/A
Egypt 3 Months One
Estonia 60 Months Multiple
Ethiopia 6 Months Multiple
Finland 24 Months Multiple
France 25 Months Multiple
Georgia 12 Months Multiple
Germany 60 Months Multiple
Greece N/A N/A
Grenada 60 Months Multiple
Honduras 60 Months Multiple
Ireland 60 Months Multiple
Israel N/A N/A
Italy 60 Months Multiple
Jamaica 60 Months Multiple
Japan 60 Months Multiple
Jordan 3 Months One
Kazakhstan 12 Months Multiple
Korea (South) 60 Months Multiple
Kosovo 12 Months Multiple
Kyrgyzstan 3 Months Two
Latvia 60 Months Multiple
Liberia 12 Months Multiple
Lithuania 12 Months Multiple
Luxembourg 60 Months Multiple
Macedonia 60 Months Multiple
Mexico 12 Months Multiple
Moldova 3 Months Two
Montenegro 12 Months Multiple
Morocco 60 Months Multiple
Netherlands 36 Months Multiple
New Zeeland N/A N/A
Norway 60 Months Multiple
Oman 6 Months Multiple
Pakistan 60 Months Multiple
Panama 60 Months Multiple
60 Months
Philippines 60 Months Multiple
Poland 12 Months Multiple
Romania 60 Months Multiple
Senegal 12 Months Multiple
Serbia 12 Months Multiple
Singapore 24 Months Multiple
Slovak Republic N/A N/A
Slovenia 60 Months Multiple
Spain 60 Months Multiple
Sri Lanka 36 Months Multiple
Suriname 60 Months Multiple
Sweden 24 Months Multiple
Switzerland 48 Months Multiple
Taiwan 60 Months Multiple
Thailand 6 Months Multiple
Togo 36 Months Multiple
Trinidad & Tobago 60 Months Multiple
Tunisia 60 Months Multiple
Turkey 60 Months Multiple
Ukraine 3 Months Two
United Kingdom 60 Months Multiple

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