The E-2 classification offers unique advantages with a superior cost-benefit. Lower investment requirements, no education requirements, and no renewal limitations make this visa a fan favorite for foreign entrepreneurs and investors.
Is the E-2 visa easy to get? Read on for a full overview.
E-2 Treaty Investor Visa – What Are the USCIS Requirements?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers several visa options for foreign entrepreneurs and investors seeking to form a successful US company. One of the most popular options available is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa.
This nonimmigrant visa is available for foreign nationals of “treaty countries,” which are countries:
- With which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation,
- With which the United States maintains a qualifying international agreement, or
- Which have been deemed qualifying countries by legislation
After meeting this primary requirement, applicants must invest a “substantial amount of capital” in a US-based business. USCIS does not impose a fixed cap on the minimal amount of investment required.
To determine what “substantial” is, the amount 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, and
- 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”
The applicant must have invested or be actively in the process of investing the amount in a bona fide US company. The applicant’s entry to the country must focus solely on the development and management of the investment enterprise, which is demonstrated by:
- Ownership of at least 50% of the enterprise, or
- The applicant’s control of the operation through a managerial position or other corporate devices
Is E2 Visa Easy to Get? – A Realistic Overview
A successful E-2 application depends on three fundamental elements:
- The applicant’s full eligibility
- The ability to satisfy all the USCIS requirements, and
- Carefully demonstrating to USCIS or consulate/embassy officials that no impediments affect the application
Please note that applicants can apply either as individual investors or in the name of a foreign business. To determine the nationality of the business, USCIS will consider the individual owners applying on behalf of the company.
A foreign company must be at least 50% owned by nationals of eligible E-2 countries. If the company does not meet this requirement, the ownership shares must be restructured to result in at least 50% of ownership by a national from a treaty country.
A well-succeeded application also requires applicants to pay attention to the appropriate documentation. Failing to submit the necessary documents or not demonstrating that the proposed business is a real, active, bona fide, and non-marginal enterprise will result in USCIS denial.
As long as you rely on the guidance of a seasoned immigration attorney, the application process for an E-2 visa can be significantly smoother than other visa options.