E-2 Visa Lawyer

Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is for a national of a country with which the United States has entered into a treaty of commerce, who is coming to the Unites States to develop and direct the operations of a U.S. company in which the foreign national has invested, or is in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital.

The E-2 Visa is the most popular option for foreign nationals who want to come to the U.S. to invest in an existing business or start their own business. Virtually any legal activity qualifies for purposes of E-2 Visa classification.

As a New York Immigration Attorney, I handle all kind of immigration matters, such as employment Visas, Green Card petitions for family of U.S. Citizens, and applications for U.S. Citizenship.

However, my practice is concentrated in Business Immigration matters. I have helped many foreign investors get the E-2 Visa through investments in the United States.

I have personal experience and a deep understanding of the E-2 Visa. As an immigrant of the United States, I am one of the very NYC Immigration Lawyers to have held E2 immigration status before becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident.

E-2 Visa Requirements

The main requirements for obtaining an E-2 Visa are:

  • that the investment is substantial, and it is not made in a marginal enterprise;
  • that the petitioner is a citizen of one of the E-2 Visa Treaty Countries (see the full list here);
  • that the investor will be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise;
  • that the investor can document the lawful source of the funds invested.

The law does not set a specific amount for the investment, and the determination is made on a case-by-case basis. An E-2 Visa may be granted even with a relatively small investment, if it can be proved that the business is a viable one, and will not become a marginal enterprise. The amount of the minimum investment for qualifying for an E-2 visa mostly depends on the nature of the business and the qualifications of the investor.

Generally, an investment of at least $80,000 is required. However, because the law does not set an absolute minimum amount, an E-2 Visa may be obtained even with lower investments, and may be renewed without limitation, as long as the business is active and did not become a marginal enterprise.

E-2 Visa and Green Card

The E-2 is a non-immigrant Visa. It is generally granted for an initial period of admission of 5 years (2 years in case of a change of status obtained in the U.S.). There is no limit to the number of extensions that an E-2 Visa holder may be granted.

As a non-immigrant Visa, the E2 does not create a path to U.S. Citizenship, unless the business grows considerably as to qualify for the EB-5 classification. However, a limited form of "dual intent" is recognized for E-2 Visa holders. The USCIS position is that an application for initial admission, change of status, or extension of stay in E classification may not be denied solely on the basis of an approved request for permanent labor certification or a filed or approved immigrant visa preference petition (Green Card).

Another alternative for a foreign investor that is interested to a Visa that creates a path to U.S. permanent residency is the L-1 Visa, which allows dual intent, can be potentially lead to an EB-1 Green Card, and does not require the investor to be a citizen of a Treaty Country.

The spouse of a Treaty Investor may be granted admission as dependent, and may be also authorized to work without restrictions. Unmarried children under the age of 21 are also allowed in the United States as dependents, but are not allowed to work.

If you are interested in the E-2 Visa, please fill out an evaluation form if you would like for me to review your case free of charges, or contact my law firm to schedule a consultation in my New York City office.

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New York Immigration Attorney
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New York, NY 10123
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