A Comprehensive Guide to Obtaining a French E2 Visa

France is one of the E2 treaty countries. If you are French and planning to apply for French E2 visa, find the comprehensive guide here.

Requirements, Process, and Benefits of the E2 Visa for French Investors

The E2 Visa Basics

As one of the United States’ longstanding allies, France┬áhas been part of the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation since 1960. The E2 treaty also covers French territories like Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and R├ęunion. This means citizens of France and its territories can pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions in the United States by applying for an E2 visa.

If you’re a French investor considering┬ásetting up a caf├ę in downtown New York or venturing into other exciting business avenues, you’re in the right place. This E2 visa guide is tailored just for you!

The E2 visa, often called the Treaty Investor Visa, has a straightforward objective: bolster economic investment within the United States. It serves as a unique avenue that allows investors from specific countries, like France, to temporarily reside in the US while actively managing their business ventures.

Being a citizen of France, you’re already equipped with an important qualification for the E2 Visa.┬áBut why exactly do French investors find the E2 visa so enticing? Let’s uncover the most reasons behind E2 visa pursuit:

  • Residency opportunity

The E2 visa extends a unique opportunity for French investors to temporarily reside in the United States. This means immersing themselves in the local business ecosystem, networking opportunities, and cultural richness while actively managing their enterprises.

  • Business control

The E2 visa empowers French investors with a hands-on approach to business endeavors. It allows them to actively direct and shape the operations of their US-based ventures, contributing to growth and success.

  • Investment flexibility

Unlike other visas, the E2 visa doesn’t impose strict investment thresholds. As long as the investment is substantial and meets the requirements of the E2 visa program, a French investor can apply for and potentially obtain an E2 visa. This flexibility caters to businesses of varied scales, from startups to established enterprises.

  • Treaty perks

As a French national, the E2 visa leverages the longstanding alliance between France and the United States. French investors benefit from expedited processing and entry facilitation under this treaty, streamlining their journey into the US market.

  • Family inclusion

The E2 visa extends its privileges to the immediate family of French investors. The primary applicant can be accompanied to the United States by their spouse and children under the age of 21.

  • Renewal prospects

French investors can enjoy sustained US presence through E2 visa renewals if their business remains active and meets visa requirements. This provides stability and reassurance, allowing businesses to thrive and grow beyond the initial phases.

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Eligibility Requirements for the French E2 Visa

US landscape taken by french E2 visa holder

How do I qualify for a French E2 visa?

Aside from being a citizen of a treaty country, the E2 visa has several other prerequisites related to your business and investment. All of these requirements must be fulfilled for obtaining and upholding E2 status.

  1. Substantial Investment

To qualify for an E2 visa, you must demonstrate a substantial investment in a US-based enterprise. While there’s no fixed amount specified, the investment must be sufficient to establish and operate the business successfully.

  1. At-risk investment

The investment you make must be genuinely at risk. In other words, you must show that your funds are committed to the business and subject to potential loss if the enterprise doesn’t perform as anticipated.

  1. Active management

As an E2 visa holder, you must actively manage and direct business operations. This requirement emphasizes your role in contributing to the growth and success of the enterprise.

  1. Ownership stake

You should own at least 50% of the business or have operational control through a managerial position.

  1. Non-marginality

Your business should not be considered marginal, meaning it should have the capacity to generate a significant income, provide job opportunities, and contribute to the US economy.

  1. Intent to depart

Although the E2 visa is intended for temporary stays, it’s important to uphold an intention to leave the United States once your E2 status concludes. This demonstrates that your primary focus is on your business endeavor.

Steps to Apply for the French E2 Visa 

How can I apply for the French E2 visa?

To apply for an E2 visa at the US Embassy in Paris, follow these six steps:

  1. Complete Form DS-160.

Each applicant should diligently fill out Form DS-160. Remember to upload a photo that adheres to the specified photograph requirements.

  1. Create an account, pay fees, and schedule an interview.

Create a user account and pay the application fee of 85 euros at any French post office (La Poste). Once the fee is paid, create your account and schedule your consular appointment interview.

  1. Fill Out Form DS-156E. 

E1 visa primary applicants and the majority of E2 visa applicants must also complete Form DS-156E. This form is integral to the application process.

  1. Submit documents by email.

Within two days of scheduling your consular appointment interview, submit the necessary documents via email to [email protected] in the prescribed format. This step is essential, as it’s a prerequisite for the subsequent in-person interview at the US Consular Section.

  1. Attend the interview.

Attend your scheduled interview at the US Embassy in Paris at 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris, France. Bring along the complete E2 visa application package, and remember to adhere to the list of prohibited items during your visit.

  1. Await processing and delivery.

The embassy will retain your passport for processing if your visa is granted. The visa, along with your passport and relevant documents, will be delivered using the method you selected during the appointment registration.

Processing times generally range from 3 to 5 business days post-interview. Keep in mind that while this timeframe is typical, processing times can vary. To avoid inconveniences, apply as early as possible and refrain from making non-refundable travel arrangements until the visa is secured.

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Understanding E2 Visa Reciprocity 

What is the E2 visa validity period for French citizens? 

E2 visa policies are intricately linked to reciprocity between the United States and the respective country of the applicant. This reciprocity drives the range of validity periods. Some countries offer a reciprocity window as short as 3 months, while others extend the opportunity for applicants to secure an E2 visa for up to 5 years.

Presently, French citizens are eligible to obtain an E2 investor visa for the United States with a maximum duration of 25 months. This marks a change from the previously enjoyed validity of 60 months.

E2 Visa Renewal and Extension 

As a French E2 visa applicant, you can renew your E2 visa, provided you continue to meet the eligibility requirements and adhere to the E2 visa program’s criteria. It’s recommended to submit your visa extension application about 6 months before your visa’s expiry to maintain legal status in the US.

You can renew your E2 visa multiple times without a specific limit as long as both you and your business continue to fulfill the E2 visa requirements. This allows you to continue managing and overseeing your business in the United States.

Can I bring my family with me on the French E2 visa?

You have the option to bring your family along on the E2 visa journey. According to US immigration law, both E2 treaty investors and employees can be accompanied by their spouses and unmarried dependent children under the age of 21. Their nationality doesn’t need to match yours or the investor’s. If approved, your family members will receive an E2 nonimmigrant classification, aligning their stay period with yours.

Furthermore, spouses of E2 visa holders are eligible to obtain work authorization, and there are no restrictions on where they can work. To initiate this process, you typically include your family members’ details in your E2 visa application, after which they can apply for their own E2 dependent visas. This provision extends the benefits of your E2 visa to your immediate family, enhancing the potential for a fulfilling experience in the United States.

The French E2 visa allows French investors to establish and actively manage businesses in the United States. Its emphasis on flexibility in investment, active business management, and the inclusion of family members makes it an attractive option for those seeking to tap into the US market. The reciprocal benefits under the treaty further streamline the application process.

If you’re considering the French E2 visa, it’s crucial to understand the eligibility requirements, the application process, and the potential for renewal.┬á

Furthermore, if you’re interested in exploring suitable franchise options for your E2 visa endeavor, seek guidance from E2VisaFranchises.Com. Our expertise can offer valuable insights and support in selecting the right franchise for your E2 visa journey. Contact us now.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Presently, French citizens are eligible to obtain an E2 investor visa for the United States with a maximum duration of 25 months. This marks a change from the previously enjoyed validity of 60 months.

Yes. You can renew your E2 visa multiple times without a specific limit as long as both you and your business continue to fulfill the E2 visa requirements.

Yes. You have the option to bring your family along on the E2 visa journey.

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