The E2 visa is a highly sought-after visa that grants a range of advantages and benefits to a citizen of another country in pursuit of business opportunities in the United States. The E2 visa isn’t available to all foreign nationals, there are many qualifications and requirements to be issued one and only specific types of applicants from countries that have a treaty with the U.S.
To better help those interested in gaining an E2 visa, we’ve outlined the basic requirements to apply for the E2 visa.
What is the E2 Visa?
The E2 visa is also known as the investor visa and is one of the visas available to citizens or nationals of countries with a treaty of navigation and commerce with the United States. The visa holds a nonimmigrant classification, which means it doesn’t necessarily allow for immigration. For more on that specific topic, we encourage you to read here:
The E2 investor visa allows a national or citizen of a treaty country to travel and live in the United States for up to five years and can be renewed for the purpose of investing in a U.S.-approved commercial venture. Besides being able to do business in the United States, E2 visa holders also have other benefits that include:
- Unlimited re-entry privileges for the duration of the visa
- Free education in public schools and in-state tuition costs at universities
- Spouses are able to work anywhere in the U.S.
- Children under 21 are included on the visa and the allotted benefits
- Visa holders can sponsor specialized employees from their nation and can work in their E2 business
Requirements to be Eligible for the E2 Visa
To be eligible for the E2 visa, there are numerous requirements to fulfill as an applicant. Firstly, you must be a citizen of a country that the United States has a treaty of navigation and commerce. To prove you’re a legitimate citizen, you must hold a current passport from one of the treaty nations.
Other criteria required for the applicant to meet include:
Must be coming to the U.S. to direct or develop the company
In order to meet this requirement, an investor must be the principal investor in business on the territory of the USA. If the applicant is an investor, they must show ownership of at least 50% of the company to develop and direct it.
The investment is substantial
There is no minimum investment amount to gain an E2 visa, but the investment must be « substantial ». The guiding principle here is that the amount must be enough to either purchase the business or demonstrate unequivocally that the applicant is invested in seeing the business succeed. This also eliminated risky ventures that defeat the purpose of the E2 visa.
The investment isn't solely for the investor to live off it
This requirement is tied into the previous one as the amount an applicant invests is tied to whether or not they will successfully gain the E2 visa. The enterprise the applicant will be investing in cannot be solely for their income. This means an applicant cannot begin a business just to afford to live in the U.S., rather it must be a company that does or has the potential to make a significant economic contribution.
Must be a legitimate company and operate as such
To be a legitimate business in the eyes of those who review the E2 visa application process, a company must offer tangible goods or services. This leaves a large area of businesses an applicant would be interested in, from medical offices to restaurants and dry cleaning to retail stores. Ventures that will not get you approved for an E2 visa include any speculative or idle investments, such as real estate or stocks.
A Road to the Treaty Investor Visa Application Process
The biggest concern for most investors interested in applying for the E2 visa is not being a citizen of a country that has the right treaty with the U.S. However, there is a way to pursue, to become a citizen of a country that has the treaty.
Through the Citizenship by Investment programme in Grenada, you can obtain citizenship of the country and gain access to the E2 visa as Grenada is one of the nations that have the treaty of navigation and commerce with the United States. We at Range Developments are one of the leading CBI developers in the Caribbean and have successfully guided our clients to not only gain citizenship in Grenada but to get access to the E2 visa for themselves and their families.
If you’re an investor who holds citizenship in a non-treaty nation and wishes to develop your enterprise in the United States through the E2 visa, we strongly encourage you to look at Grenada’s CBI programme.