The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has different visa options that allow eligible foreign entrepreneurs to live the American Dream. After entering the country, many investors may find other profitable business opportunities to get involved.  

In this article, you will discover whether it is possible to buy or invest in another business as an E-2 visa holder.  

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa – The Basics 

The USCIS sets forth that foreign nationals must meet the following basic eligibility criteria to qualify for E-2 status: 

  • To be a national of a country which with the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation 
  • To have invested (or be actively in the process of investing) a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide US enterprise, and  
  • To be seeking entry to the United States solely to develop and direct the proposed enterprise 

There is no minimum cap to determine what a “substantial” investment is. USCIS defines that the amount invested by E-2 applicants must be: 

  • “Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one 
  • Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise 
  • Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial” 

After receiving USCIS approval, successful E-2 investors can enter the United States as temporary residents to direct the businesses proposed during the application process. While the initial period of stay is usually two years, there is no limit to the number of extensions an E-2 investor can obtain. 

Can I Buy Another Business on E-2 Visa? – In Detail  

E-2 visa holders can own other companies in addition to the original enterprise proposed in the application process. Once the E-2 enterprise is established, a treaty investor can freely pursue and take advantage of other profitable business opportunities.  

The new enterprise can be either partially or fully owned by the E-2 investor. However, there is a caveat involved in this process. E-2 investors only have work authorization to perform labor for the original enterprise proposed in the application filed with USCIS. 

While merely owning another company is not an issue, the owner must be aware that he or she cannot work at the new enterprise.  

Depending on how the new company is structured, it is possible to file for an E-2 visa for that specific business. In such cases, the company would be required to meet all relevant USCIS requirements to attain E-2 status. 

If the E-2 business is related to the newly acquired company, the owner may provide services to the non-E-2 company. Please note that E-2 investors can provide those services exclusively on the premises of the E-2 company, not at the new company’s site. 

In this situation, a well-written service agreement would be a much-welcomed method to avoid potential liability. 

Do You Want to Buy a New Business Under E-2 Status? – Immediately Seek Expert Legal Guidance 

An experienced legal advisor in US immigration and business law, Attorney Romy B. Jurado willingly wants to help you. Contact us by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing for an individual consultation.