Home - The E-2 Visa Requirements & Comprehensive Guide 2024
This article covers everything you need to know about the E-2 visa requirements, including investment amount, eligible countries, and the pathway to permanent residency.
The E-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to invest in the United States. The visa is available to citizens of countries with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation. It provides a pathway for investors to live and work in the United States for an extended period.
The E-2 Visa treaty countries list can be viewed here. If you are not a citizen of a treaty country, you can still have an E-2 visa by applying for dual citizenship in Grenada and then applying for an E-2 visa from Grenada. You can read this article if you would like to know more about E-2 Visa Grenada.
While the E2 visa is not a substitute for an immigrant visa, E2 visa holders can travel in and out of the U.S. for two years and have their E2 visa renewed for an unlimited number of two-year extensions for as long as their business operates and meets E2 visa requirements.
To be eligible for an E-2 visa, investors must meet several requirements. Here are the key e-2 visa requirements:
Nationality requirements: Investors must be citizens or nationals of a country with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation.
Investment amount: Investors must invest a “substantial” amount of capital in a U.S. enterprise. There is no fixed amount of investment required, but it should be significant enough to show that the investor is committed to the success of the enterprise. Factors that are considered in determining the adequacy of the investment amount include the total cost of the enterprise, the proportion of the investment financed by the applicant, and the nature of the business. The applicant must either have invested or be ready to make a substantial investment in the U.S. company.
Marginality requirement: The investment must be “marginal,” meaning it must generate more than enough income to support the investor and his or her family. The investment must also be able to provide employment opportunities for U.S. workers.
Management and control requirements: The investors must have at least a 50% share of the business and have control over the business.
Other eligibility criteria: Investors must be coming to the U.S. solely to develop and direct the enterprise, and they must intend to depart the U.S. when the E-2 status ends. Additionally, the investment must be a “bona fide” enterprise, meaning it must be real and active.
Meeting these eligibility requirements can be complex, so working with a consulting service like ours can be helpful. Get a free consultation today.
If this is your first time applying for E2 Visa, here are the step by step:
Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.
Photocopy of passport with a minimum of 6 months validity
Certificates that prove family relationships and the marital status of each applicant or birth certificate(s) for children under age 21);
Statement of intent to leave the United States following the termination of E2 status
Please include a cover letter describing your company, role, and beneficiary.
A five-year business plan with profit/loss projections.
A copy of the IRS-reported sales for the two years immediately preceding the application, as well as the profit and loss statement for the current year (if applicable);
W-2 and W-4 tax forms;
Records of employee salaries (if any), employee data, such as names and pay rates, and copies of W-2s (for new business);
Proof of ownership shares of the company.
Organization chart showing full ownership structure;
Legal proof of ownership
Photocopies of the bio-data page of the passports
Proof of investment, such as contracts
Your resume or curriculum vitae
Documentation that showcases your expertise and skills.
You can also check the USCIS website for more information about the process.
There are two ways to apply for an E-2 visa. If you live in the U.S., you can apply to change your current visa status to an E-2 visa. You can do this through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Once your visa is approved, you cannot leave and re-enter the U.S.
If you don’t live in the U.S., you can apply through your country’s embassy. We often recommend applying through a consulate because of the ability to travel freely once the visa is issued. Applying through a status change will only allow you to use your visa for two years. However, sometimes a status change is more convenient depending on your circumstances. Please discuss this with your consultant before applying. Click here to start a consultation.
There are several steps involved in applying for an E-2 visa. While these steps may vary depending on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where investors will apply, the general application process is as follows. Investors outside the U.S. can submit their application for an E-2 visa through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country. The E-2 visa processing time varies with the workload of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and may range from about two weeks to four months. To apply for an E-2 visa, investors from outside the U.S. must follow the E-2 visa process step by step:
File the DS-160 or Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form.
The DS-160 Form is an online application form available on the Consular Electronic Application Center website that applicants must fill out correctly and truthfully. The form contains questions on the applicant’s personal information, contact details, and other relevant information such as passport details, travel history in the U.S., and education and work experience. In addition, applicants must also upload a quality photograph and answer security-related questions about their background. After completing the form, applicants will be directed to a confirmation page to print and bring to their interview.
Pay the application fee.
The application fee for the E2 visa costs $205. Upon visa approval, an applicant may also be required to pay additional fees, including visa issuance fees.
Schedule an appointment for the E2 visa interview.
Visa interviews can be scheduled at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but qualifying for a visa outside the applicant’s home country may be more difficult. For their visa application to be complete, applicants between the ages of 13 and 80 must appear for the visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Wait times for interview appointments vary depending on the visa category, location, and season, so it is highly recommended that applicants schedule their interviews as soon as possible.
Prepare the required documents.
Below is the checklist of required documents that applicants must gather and prepare for their E2 visa interview:
Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) confirmation page
Payment receipt for the $205 E2 visa application fee
Two full-face color photographs that comply with the U.S. visa photo requirements
Form DS-156E (Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application) – This form is a supplementary document to Form DS-160 and is required for E2 visa applicants occupying executive, managerial, or essential employee roles in the U.S. company.
Curriculum vitae or proof of academic and other qualifying credentials, such as transcripts and certificates, and evidence of sufficient work experience
Evidence of business establishment in the U.S. and that the business is a real operating commercial enterprise.
Business licenses and registration documents (articles of incorporation, stock certificates, partnership agreement, lease agreement)
Financial and tax-related documents
Wage reports or payroll records
Organizational and staffing charts
Contracts with employees and customers
Evidence of substantial investment in the U.S.
Bank statements, titles, receipts, business tax returns
Proof of intent to return to home country, which may include any of the following:
Offer letter from employer specifying the applicant’s job roles, salary, and length of employment in the U.S. company
Property deeds, mortgage payments, or property tax receipts
Birth certificates of spouse and dependents
Personal assets and income
And other appropriate evidence
Attend the E2 visa interview.
A consular officer will interview E2 visa applicants regarding their purpose and intention for going to the U.S. and determine whether they qualify for the visa. Applicants must meet the legal requirements for the E2 visa category and demonstrate that they intend to return to their home country.
Following the visa interview, the consular officer will notify applicants if additional administrative processing is required for their application and how their passport visas will be returned.
If you are applying within the U.S., you can request to change your status to get an E2 visa by filing Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) to the USCIS.
The average E2 visa processing time is five months, which may vary depending on several factors. Applicants may also pay a premium processing fee of $1,225 for expedited processing within fifteen calendar days.
The USCIS will then either approve or deny the applicant’s request. If additional evidence is required, the USCIS will issue a Request for Additional Evidence (RFE) from the applicant and finalize a second decision within fifteen days of submission. If approved, the applicant will be issued Form I-797 (Approval Notice).
Here are some of the best E-2 visa benefits that you can have:
You can move to America faster.
You are in control of your investment.
You can bring your family.
Your spouse is eligible to work in America.
Your child is entitled to free primary school education.
No travel restrictions.
No visa renewal restrictions.
E-2 Visa does not directly lead to a green card, but you can still apply for a green card in two ways:
You can file for an immigrant visa via the United States consulate abroad.
You can apply for an adjustment of status from nonimmigrant to an immigrant visa if you are in the United States. Doing this means you don’t need to travel outside the United States.
If you hold an E-2 Visa, you will likely rely on an adjustment of status. It is important to understand that your E-2 Visa has a nonimmigrant status, so you must convert your E-2 Visa to an immigrant visa category. Be sure to discuss this with your advisor before choosing a method. Please consult with us today.
Yes, you can apply for an E-2 visa on your own. However, the E-2 visa requirements and process can be complex and time-consuming. If you do not have a solid understanding of the eligibility criteria, investment requirements, and other important details, you may risk having your application denied. Therefore, it is recommended that you seek guidance from an experienced immigration consultant to ensure that your application is complete and accurate.
Hiring an E-2 visa consultant like E2VisaFranchises.com can be extremely beneficial. We can guide you through the application process and help you identify suitable franchise opportunities that meet the E-2 visa eligibility criteria while ensuring you get the best business for your future investment. Get a free assessment by clicking this link.
Yes. Franchise is one of the best options for E2 Visa. We help our clients to analyze different options of franchises and ensure your clients find the best franchise according to their need and goals.
Yes, you can renew E2 Visa for another 2-year extension without any limit.
Based on our experience a $100,000 is the best investment to get your E2 Visa. However, we also have other clients who get their E2 with below $100,000 investment. Contact us to get your business assessed.
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