E-2 Investors Bring Business & Economic Growth to the United States
E-2 investors are foreign nationals or firms of countries with which the United States has trade treaties, coming to the U.S. to direct a new or existing enterprise in which they have invested, or are investing, a substantial amount of capital (compatible with the type of business). If buying into an existing business, the foreign national or firm must hold controlling interest. Also eligible for E-2 status is a person employed by a treaty investor or firm in an executive position, or in a specialty capacity if the employee has special qualifications that make the services essential to the operation of the enterprise. The investor or employer must be a person having the nationality of the treaty country, sufficient evidence of which is a passport granted by that country.
The funds or assets invested must be directly attributed to the investor. Documentary evidence as to the origin of the funds is required. Please note that an investment connotes the placing of funds at risk. As such, a passive investment such as a home or real estate cannot qualify as an E-2 treaty investment because it requires no direction and control, and merely (hopefully) appreciates in value. The investor must also prove that he/she has other sources of revenue to sustain him and his family while the investment is consolidated.
After properly prepared, the application and supporting documents are submitted to the appropriate U.S. Consular Section. When approved, the visa is issued in the applicant’s passport (as well as any family members). An E-2 Investor’s Visa can last virtually indefinitely as long as the investment is maintained and the business is not “marginal”. Further, some E-2 investments can be structured so that an investor and his or her family can seek an EB-5 investment visa.
Family Members are eligible for the E Visa
Family members of the E visa holder are permitted to enter the United States with the visa holder. Included in this category is the spouse of the visa holder, as well as minor unmarried children under the age of 21. Once children attain the age of 21 or get married, they are no longer entitled to remain in the United States in treaty status. Each family member needs a separate visa application filed in conjunction with that of the principal “E” applicant.
Documentation Required for the E Visa
Seeking an E-2 investment requires many forms of documentation, such as a properly structured business plan, lawful source of funds, proof of active investment, and more, which our law firm is happy to guide you through, as well as assist you in organizing or preparing. For more information, please feel free to contact our firm‘s board certified expert in Immigration law.
Countries Eligible for the E Visa
|COUNTRY||CLASSIFICATION||ENTERED INTO FORCE|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina11||E-1||11/15/1982|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina11||E-2||11/15/1982|
|Trinidad & Tobago||E-2||12/26/1996|
1China (Taiwan). Pursuant to Section 6 of the Taiwan Relations Act, Public Law 96-8, 93 Stat, 14, this agreement, which was concluded with the Taiwan authorities prior to January 1, 1979, is administered on a nongovernmental basis by the American Institute in Taiwan, a nonprofit District of Columbia corporation, and constitutes neither recognition of the Taiwan authorities nor the continuation of any official relationship with Taiwan.
2Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. The Treaty with the Czech and Slovak Federal Republics entered into force on December 19, 1992; it entered into force for the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic as separate states on January 1, 1993.
3Denmark. The Convention of 1826 does not apply to the Faroe Islands of Greenland. The Treaty, which entered into force on July 30, 1961, does not apply to Greenland.
4France. The Treaty, which entered into force on December 21, 1960, applies to the departments of Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, and Reunion.
5Japan. The Treaty, which entered into force on October 30, 1953, was made applicable to the Bonin Islands on June 26, 1968, and to the Ryukyu Islands on May 15, 1972.
6Netherlands. The Treaty, which entered into force on December 5, 1957, is applicable to Aruba and Netherlands Antilles.
7Norway. The Treaty, which entered into force on September 13, 1932, does not apply to Svalbard (Spitzbergen and certain lesser islands).
8Spain. The Treaty, which entered into force on April 14, 1903, is applicable to all territories.
9Suriname. The Treaty with the Netherlands, which entered into force December 5, 1957, was made applicable to Suriname on February 10, 1963.
10United Kingdom. The Convention, which entered into force on July 3, 1815, applies only to British territory in Europe (the British Isles (except the Republic of Ireland), the Channel Islands, and Gibraltar) and to “inhabitants” of such territory. This term, as used in the Convention, means “one who resides actually and permanently in a given place, and has his domicile there.” Also, in order to qualify for treaty trader or treaty investor status under this treaty, the alien must be a national of the United Kingdom. Individuals having the nationality of members of the Commonwealth other than the United Kingdom do not qualify for treaty trader or treaty investor status under this treaty.
11Yugoslavia. The U.S. view is that the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) has dissolved and that the successors that formerly made up the SFRY – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia, continue to be bound by the treaty in force with the SFRY and the time of dissolution.
12The E-3 visa is for nationals of the Commonwealth of Australia who wish to enter the United States to perform services in a “specialty occupation.” The term “specialty occupation” means an occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. The definition is the same as the Immigration and Nationality Act definition of an H-1B specialty occupation.
13Bolivia. Bolivian nationals with qualifying investments in place in the United States by June 10, 2012 continue to be entitled to E-2 classification until June 10, 2022. The only nationals of Bolivia (other than those qualifying for derivative status based on a familial relationship to an E-2 principal alien) who may qualify for E-2 visas at this time are those applicants who are coming to the United States to engage in E-2 activity in furtherance of covered investments established or acquired prior to June 10, 2012.
14Ecuadorian nationals with qualifying investments in place in the United States by May 18, 2018 continue to be entitled to E-2 classification until May 18, 2028. The only nationals of Ecuador (other than those qualifying for derivative status based on a familial relationship to an E-2 principal alien) who may qualify for E-2 visas at this time are those applicants who are coming to the United States to engage in E-2 activity in furtherance of covered investments established or acquired prior to May 18, 2018.