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American E2 Visa Guide for Treaty Investors

The US E2 Visa allows you to easily invest and trade in the United States of America. The E2 visa is a Treaty Trader and Investor Visa for the United States.

Moreover, it is a US nonimmigrant visa category issued for individual investors or investing companies from countries with a treaty with the United States. The investment can be in any industry or business, such as tourism, IT, marketing, and other places.

In this article, you will discover how to apply for E2 Visa and which country has an investment treaty with the United States of America. In addition, you will know the eligibility requirements to apply for this E2 visa.

Meaning of US E2 Visa

The E-2 Visa is a Treaty Investor Visa which is part of the family of US visas available to citizens or nationals of over 30 countries that have trade treaties with the United States. Individuals with significant investment funds can come to the US with an E-2 visa to set up a business, practice, or office.

Eligibility Criteria for the E2 Visa

You are eligible to apply for this visa if you meet the following criteria which are:

  • If you are an individual investor, you must be the national of a country that has an investment treaty with the US.
  • Or if the applicant is a company, it must be owned at least 50% by a treaty investment country.
  • If a company is sending an employee with an E2 visa, the employee must be a national of a treaty investment country, as well as be in a supervisory, managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge position (essential employee).
  • The investor (individual or company) must have the intent to invest a substantial amount of capital in an existing or new bona fide business. A bona fide company is a real company that produces products or services and is profitable.
  • And the investor (individual or company) must ensure that the business generates more profit than just making a living.
  • New businesses are exempt from the requirement of marginal profit but should meet this requirement within five years.
  • The investor (individual or company) must have the goal to develop the business further through that investment.
  • Again the investor (individual or company) must place the funds in a bank account or an agent until their visa is approved.
  • The investor must intend to return to their home country once their work is completed.
  • It is also recommended that the investment be between $100,000 to $200,000 in an existing or new business, although a smaller investment qualifies sometimes.
  • The investment should be expected to increase employment, at least for 3 to 4 people.

By meeting these criteria, you qualify and are eligible to apply for the E2 visa. It does not mean that you will be granted the visa automatically. You will have to apply for a visa.

List of Treaty Countries For E2 Visa

The counties below include trade and investment treaties with the United States of America.

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Columbia
  • Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Grenada
  • Honduras
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Liberia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

Advantages of the US E2 Visa

There are many benefits of an E2 Visa. They are:

  • There is no quota for it, so anyone who qualifies can be granted this visa.
  • It is a much better option for entering the US than with the EB5 investor Green Card, which requires people to invest more than $500,000 in the US and generate employment for at least ten people.

Easy Ways to Apply for E2 Visa

To apply for E2 Visa, you can either apply from within the US or from outside the US. So there are two ways to apply for the E2 visa:

  • From within the US.
  • Or from outside the US.

E2 Visa Application from within the US

Those who are in legal status in the US can change their status to get an E2 visa. This can be done by filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The application must contain proof of your nationality, investment, and intent to return.

If you are an individual investor, you must file the petition yourself. If you are part of a company, your employer must file Form I-129. Once processed, USCIS will either deny or approve your request. You will get a Form I-797, Approval Notice from them if approved.

E2 Visa Application from outside the US

When applying from outside the US, you must apply for the E2 visa through the US Embassy in your country of residence. So these are five steps you must go through to apply for an E2 Visa:

  1. File the Form DS-160.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Schedule your visa interview.
  4. Prepare your document file.
  5. Attend the interview.

#1. File form DS-160

The first thing to do is to file the DS-160 form. This is a Nonimmigrant Visa Application form. This form will ask you to provide your information and purpose for going to the US. After filling it out, you will be given a confirmation page and code, which you need to have for your interview.

#2. Pay the application fee

The next is to pay the application fee. For the E2 visa, the application fee is $205. You might also be required to pay additional fees based on your home country, such as visa issuance or reciprocity fees. After you pay all your fees, save the receipts, as you need them later.

#3. Schedule your visa interview

You should know that all applicants between 13 and 80 years old must conduct a visa interview at a US Embassy for their visa application to be complete.

Nevertheless, it is recommended that you schedule your interview as soon as possible so you can immediately start due to the high workload of the US Embassy.

Note that when you schedule the interview, you will get a visa appointment letter, which you must bring to the Embassy.

#4. Prepare your document file

The document file must be completed on the day of the interview. Here is the list of required documents for the E2 visa:

  • Filed Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
  • Your valid passport.
  • Two photographs that comply with the
  • US visa Photo Requirements.
  • The receipt proves you have made the payment of $205.
  • Form DS-156E, Nonimmigrant Treaty.
  • Trader/Treaty Investor Application – If you are an Executive/Manager/Essential employee.
  • Proof that you intend to return to your home country, such as:
  • Property deeds.
  • Apartment lease, etc.
  • Proof that the business you will invest in is real (bona fide), such as:
  • Business licenses and registration documents.
  • Financial statements.
  • Office lease agreements.
  • Organizational chart.
  • Tax returns.
  • Bank statements.
  • Contracts with employees and customers, etc.
  • Proof that your investment is substantial, such as:
  • Your personal or business bank statements.
  • License or registration documents for your business if you are starting it
  • Business plan.

#5. Attend your Scheduled Interview

At this last stage, you will be interviewed by a US Embassy official regarding your purpose and intentions for going to the US. The interviewer will also inquire about your intentions to return to your home country, which you must prove. If it is suspected that you want to remain in the US permanently, your application might be rejected.

So when you submit the application and take your interview, the US Embassy will process your request.

How to Apply for a Green Card as an E2 Visa Holder

Applying for Green Card with E2 Visa is hard since one of the requirements of the E2 visa is to prove intent to return home. So it isn’t easy to go from an E2 visa to a Green Card. However, you can follow these four ways to apply for your Green Card.

#1. Get an EB-5 Visa for Investors

The EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa or Green Card for investors. Since the E2 visa is also a nonimmigrant visa for treaty investors, it is similar to the EB-5 visa.

Anyone can get an EB-5 visa, but the investment amount required is quite large. For example, an investor looking to get an EB-5 visa must invest between $500,000 and $1 million in a commercial enterprise and create ten or more jobs.

#2. Self-Petition for an EB-1 Visa

The EB-1 visa is a Green Card for people with extraordinary abilities in science, business, education, athletics, and arts, as well as those who have been in a managerial or executive position at a foreign branch of a US company for the past three years.

Another thing is that you can either have an employer petition for you, which is recommended if you have been working at a foreign branch of a US company, or you can file the petition yourself to USCIS.

#3. Get an Immediate Relative or Family Based Visa

If you have a close relative living in the US as a permanent resident or US citizen, getting a Green Card from an E2 visa is much easier. You could adjust your status to two types of immigrant visa categories. They are:

  • The Immediate Relative.
  • The Family-Based Immigrant Visas.

#4. Change status to a Nonimmigrant Dual Intent Work Visa

Another route to get your Green is a less direct way. But it leads to a Green Card from an E2 Visa. The way is to change the status to a dual intent visa. A dual intent visa is a US nonimmigrant visa that allows the holder to apply for a Green Card without needing to prove their intent to return to their home country.

Examples of dual intent visas are the H-1BL-1, or O-1 visas. You could change your status to these visas by finding an employer in the US willing to petition and sponsor you for one of these visas. However, you will also have to fulfill the requirements of those Visas to be eligible to apply for them.

FAQs

How long Does it Take to Go From an E2 Visa to a Green Card?

Depending on which option you choose to go from an E2 visa to a Green Card, it can take quite some time. If you choose to go with an EB-1, EB-5, or family petition, it might take six months to more than a year to get the Green Card. If you choose to adjust to a dual intent visa, it will take several years.

How long can you stay in the US with an E2 visa?

Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay in, or changes of status to, E-2 classification may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted.

How can I Adjust my Status From an E2 Visa to a Green Card?

You must adjust your status if you get approval for one of the immigrant visas from an E2 visa. This is done by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to USCIS. They will take some time to process it and will mail your Green Card to you once completed.

Can my Dependents Join Me?

The E2 visa allows dependents to join the primary visa holder. Dependents are spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old. They can apply at the same time as the primary visa holder for the E2 visa or later on.

With an E2 visa, dependents are allowed to study, and the spouse is allowed to work. To begin working, the spouse must obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by filing Form I-765, Employment Authorization.

The period of validity for the E2 dependents visa is the same as the primary visa holder. However, if the dependents want to extend the validity of the visa, they must apply for the extension by filing Form I-539, Application to Extend or Change status. Dependents do not get automatic renewals if they leave the US and return.

Moreover, E2 visa dependents can change their status if the primary visa holder changes their status too. Also, if the primary visa holder gets a Green Card, the dependents qualify to get it too.

How Can I Extend My Stay in the United States?

There are two ways you can extend your stay in the United States as a treaty investor. One way to extend your stay is to travel outside the US and come back in. This will result in automatic renewal for another two years. The other way is to apply for an extension through USCIS. You can apply for the extension by filing Form I-539, Application to Extend, or Change status.

The extensions are granted in 2-year periods, and the investor can apply as often as they want. In addition, extensions will be granted if the visa holder continues to be eligible for the E2 visa and proves intent to return home.

How Long Can I Stay in the US as a Treaty Investor?

The initial period that the E2 visa is given is two years. During those two years, the visa holder can continue developing the company they invested in. When that validity period is close to expiring, the E2 visa holders can extend it.

What is the Processing Time of the E2 Visa?

If you are a company applying for the E2 visa registration, the processing time is 4 to 6 weeks, while if you are an employee, it takes around two weeks.

The processing time varies, however, with the workload of the US Embassy, so if you do not receive an answer within those time frames, it does not mean that your visa application was denied.

Are there other treaty traders and Investor Visas?

Yes, there are two more visas in this category, and they are the following:

  • E1 visa for treaty traders
  • E3 visa for Australian professionals

Conclusion

With this E2 Visa, investors and trades who want to do business in the United States of America can now fulfill their dream. So go for this visa by following our guide, and don’t forget to reach out to us for more information at workstudyvisa.com.

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