The E-2 investor visa allows a national of a treaty country to enter the United States to develop and direct a business in which (s)he invested, or in which (s)he is actively in the process of investing a “substantial” amount of capital. There is no dollar amount set for what constitutes a “substantial” amount. The invested amount (a) is weighed against the total cost of purchasing or creating the business, (b) has to be sufficient to ensure the investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the business, and (c) support the likelihood that the investor will successfully develop and direct the business. The lower the cost of the business the higher the percentage is required.
The investor can purchase or invest in an existing business or start a new business. The E-2 investor has to put funds “at risk” and has to show that funds were not obtained through criminal activity. The investor has to have controlling interest in business and the business cannot be marginal. It cannot be solely to earn a living for the investor and his family (they have to create job(s) for U.S. workers).
The E-2 investor visa is only available to investors from countries that have treaties of commerce and navigation with the U.S. There are more than 80 such countries. For instance, a foreign investor from the United Kingdom can apply, while a foreign investor from India or Russia may not since the U.S. does not have treaties with these countries at this time.
The visa validity is based on reciprocity with treaty country — for example, investors from Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Ireland, or the Czech Republic can have the investor visa issued for 5 years while investors from Mexico for 1 year and investors from Kyrgyzstan for 3 months. The investor is admitted to the United States for 2 years.
The E-2 investor may only work for the company (s)he has invested in. His family (spouse and children under age 21) may accompany him to the U.S. and are not required to be of a treaty country nationality. His spouse can apply for an employment authorization to work anywhere in the U.S.
The foreign investor must show that (s)he meets all requirements of E-2 investor visa. While some investors may be able to obtain E-2 visa without a lawyer, in order to obtain timely approval, it’s advisable to hire an experienced E-2 investor visa attorney.
The E-2 investor visa attorney Irena Juras has extensive experience in obtaining E-2 visas for investors from all over the world. As an immigrant herself, she understands your concerns. She will work diligently to make sure that your investor visa application is approved in the shortest amount of time. We will help you understand your legal options and answer your questions about the process.