Guide to E-2 Treaty Investors

Employment-Based Immigration

Summary

The E-2 treaty investor visa is for countries with a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. The investor must be a citizen from that foreign country and may apply to develop an enterprise in the U.S. They must fulfill several requirements before they can engage in business and stay in the U.S.

The E-2 treaty investor visa is for countries with a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. The investor must be a citizen from that foreign country and may apply to develop an enterprise in the U.S. They must fulfill several requirements before they can engage in business and stay in the U.S.

Am I Qualified for an E-2 Classification?

A treaty investor must be planning to direct or develop an enterprise with at least 50% ownership. If you don’t have 50% ownership, you must have operational control through a position or other means. There must be an inherent risk and a goal of profiting for your venture to be considered an investment.

The USCIS will examine whether the investment has a chance for a partial or total loss to decide if it is a qualified investment. Other than that, you must meet the following qualifications:

  1. You must be a citizen of a country with a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S.
  2. You have invested or are investing a substantial amount in an enterprise located in the U.S.

Note that your investment must generate the income you need to cover your family’s minimal cost of living within five years to qualify for the E-2 classification.

How Do I Know if I Have Enough Capital for Approval?

The size of investment needed depends on the enterprise you’re investing in and how much you’re contributing.

You can consider it substantial if you cover most or all of the costs. The amount must be enough to ensure that the money is necessary to help the enterprise operate. Also, the enterprise must be commercial, providing goods or services for profit.

Can I Apply for an E-2 Classification Outside the U.S.?

Yes, you can apply for an E-2 classification through the U.S. Department of State website. The application will be a different process compared to those already in the country. After a successful application, you’ll get a visa which you’ll show for admission to a DHS immigration officer.

What if I Want To Change My Status in the U.S.?

You can apply for a change of status in the U.S. to get an E-2 classification. You’ll need to submit Form I-129 to request the change.

How Long Can I Stay in the U.S. With an E-2 Visa?

The E-2 visa has a maximum stay of two years, but you can extend it for two additional years. There is no limit to the number of extensions you can apply for with the E-2. During your renewal, you must iterate every time that you have an intention to return to your country once the visa expires.

What Happens if I Travel Outside the U.S. Before My E-2 Expiry?

You do not need to file for another E-2 before entering the U.S. Once you get in, the E-2 gets renewed for another two years automatically.

Can I Get an E-2 Visa as an Employee?

You can get an E-2 visa while working as a part of the enterprise of the treaty investor. You can also work for a subsidiary or parent, as long as you’ve shown enough evidence of the relationship. However, to get an E-2, you must be in an executive role or have essential skills necessary for the enterprise’s operation in the U.S.

You must also be legally employed and of the same citizenship as the treaty investor. To qualify as someone with essential skills, you have to show the following:

  • Substantial salary to justify the need for the skill.
  • A rarity for the type of skill and expertise you possess compared to others in the company.
  • The skills or qualifications must not be readily available in the U.S.
  • Proof of expertise.

Knowing a foreign language and culture does not count as an essential skill for the E-2.

What Happens if the Enterprise Undergoes a Structural Change?

If the company undergoes a merger or acquisition, the E-2 visa holder may need to file a new Form I-129. They can also file for an extension of stay at the same time. The new application must show the change. If an employee is applying, they must prove once more that they’ll have an essential capacity working under the new structure.

Can My Family Get E-2 Status?

If they get approval, they must also file for renewal at the same time as you. Even if they applied late, the expiry of the E-2 remains the same.

There is also no restriction to work for the spouse if they get approval. However, they must still file for a work permit.

Like you, they can get an extension if you apply for an extension with them. However, the family will not get automatic extensions if they leave and reenter the country. They can only do so if you’ve applied for an extension before their re-entry. Otherwise, the expiry date of their E-2 visa will remain the same as yours.

Next Steps

There are many factors to consider before you can get E-2 treaty investor visa approval. It’s crucial to submit complete and detailed information to improve your chances. To work with a skilled and seasoned attorney, reach out to us at Reeves Immigration Law Group to ensure that you don’t miss anything vital to getting an E-2. We can help you through each step of the process.

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