E-2 Visa or “Treaty Investor Visa”

If you are an entrepreneur or an investor in an aviation related company who is interested in relocating to the United States, the E-2 visa may be your best option.

The E-2 visa or the “Treaty Investor Visa” is one of the non-immigrant visas that allows individuals such as entrepreneurs, investors, and business owners to engage in a business venture in the United States. 

This type of visa is granted to individuals who are nationals of a country that has a treaty of commerce with the United States. See the list of Treaty Countries.

What are the requirements for the E-2 Treaty Investor Category?

  • Requisite treaty exists;
  • Individual and/or business possess the nationality of the treaty country;
  • Applicant has invested or is actively in the process of investing;
  • Enterprise is a real and operating commercial enterprise;
  • Applicant’s investment is substantial;
  • Investment is more than a marginal one solely for earning a living;
  • Applicant is in a position to “develop and direct” the enterprise;
  • Applicant, if an employee, is destined to an executive/supervisory position or possesses skills essential to the firm’s operations in the United States; and 
  • Applicant intends to depart the United States when the E-2 status terminates.

What are the benefits or an E-2 Visa?

  • No permanent residency requirement- the E-2 visa allows the individual to remain in the United States for an extended period of time, potentially up to five (5) years; and
  • Dependents- E-2 visa holders can bring their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States. Dependent children are eligible for education in the U.S. and can also apply for work authorization.

How much is the investment amount for the E-2 visa category?

There is no bright line answer to the question of how much an E-2 applicant needs to invest. Instead, the Department of State (DOS) uses a proportionality test to determine whether the investment is substantial enough for the company to be successful. “Substantial for E-2 purposes is: 

  • Substantial in a proportional sense as determined through the application of the proportionality test;
  • 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.

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