U.S. Immigration and Business Legal Services
E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Overview
The E-2 visa is available to foreign nationals of treaty countries who invest a substantial amount in a U.S. business. The business could be an existing company which the applicant acquires, or a new company the applicant has formed. Foreign nationals typically apply at a U.S. Consulate / Embassy in their home country, unless they are physically present in the U.S. when the application is filed. Depending on the specific consulate where the application is submitted, the entire process can take in the range of 2 to 3 months.
How much Investment is required to be “Substantial”
Investment of a substantial amount of capital for E-2 visa purposes constitutes an amount that is:
- Substantial in a proportional sense, i.e., substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise, or creating the type of enterprise under consideration;
- 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.
No set dollar figure constitutes a minimum amount of investment to be considered “substantial” for E-2 visa purposes.
US Business cannot be a Marginal Enterprise
A marginal enterprise is an enterprise that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family. An enterprise that does not have the capacity to generate such income but that has a present or future capacity to make a significant economic contribution is not a marginal enterprise. The projected future capacity should generally be realizable within five years from the date the alien commences normal business activity of the enterprise.
The following list outlines the countries that are currently considered “treaty countries”. As such, citizens of the following countries may be eligible for E-1 Treaty Trader Visas.