In order to promote business and development, the U.S. has entered into treaties with various countries to allow foreign nationals to perform business services in the U.S. The E-2 visa is for individuals from such countries who are investing or in the process of investing substantially in a U.S. business (or in certain circumstances, employees of such businesses).
The basic qualifications of the E-2 visa require that the individual to be a national of a foreign country with which the U.S. has entered into a treaty investor agreement, that the individual invested substantially in a U.S. business, and that the individual is coming to the U.S. to develop the business. The definition of a substantial investment varies greatly depending on the business involved. Generally, “substantial” means that the investment must be considerable as compared to the cost of the business, and of an amount that demonstrates that the investor is committed to successful development of the business. Investment can be made in the form of capital as well as noncash assets. The business must also be significant, rather than marginal in nature, meaning that the individual can prove that the business will generate sufficient capital, thus showing its projected and continuous profitability.
Note, if creating a new business, a foreign individual may enter the U.S. temporarily on a B-1 visa to help set up the business. S/he may not run the business but rather may be involved in appropriate short-term activities necessary to establish the business until an E-2 visa becomes appropriate.
E-2 visas Investors may be granted for up to two years with the possibility of extension in two year increments, with no limit on the number of extensions. Spouses and children of E-2 visa holders may have a dependent visa, though only spouses may petition for work authorization based on their dependent status.
The E-2 visa attorneys at Surowitz Immigration, P.C. are highly experienced assisting individuals from many different countries in obtaining visas to enter the United States. If you have questions about obtaining an E-2 investor visa or would like more information, contact us today.