E-2 Treaty Investor Visa: Allows a national of a “treaty country” – a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation – to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.
The U.S. business must be majority owned by nationals of the treaty country (for complete list see below).
Although countries like China and Vietnam are not treaty countries, many investors qualify for the E-2 visa through dual-nationality through investment in countries like Grenada.
The investment must be substantial in relation to the type and size of the E-2 business often times a minimum of $150,000.
The business must be an enterprise with sufficient profits to support the investor’s family.
E-2 Visa Counties (from the State Department website): http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/fees/treaty.html)
Theoretically no limitation on the types and sizes of e-2 businesses;
May be extended indefinitely;
Typically used by entrepreneurs starting new ventures in the U.S. when they do not have any affiliated businesses abroad;
May sponsor other essential employers that have same nationality;
Short processing time often less than one month;
Minors under 21 can attend school and spouse can obtain work authorization.
Lack of uniformity in foreign consulate processing of applications;
Must demonstrate that the business is growing and is profitable over five years to obtain extension;
Requires lump-sum investment amount in the beginning (generally more than $150,000);
No direct path for green card;
Investor may only work for the investment business, which served as the basis for the E-2 visa application.
* This information is meant as a reference and it is always advised to consult with an immigration attorney