The treaty investor visa, or E2, is a highly sought-after type of visa issued by the US. The visa is meant to encourage investors and entrepreneurs to open a business, expand their business, or invest in a US business by foreign nationals of countries that hold a specific treaty with the United States. Due to this, not all foreign nationals are permitted to apply for the visa.
Below, you’ll find information relating to both an investor who can apply for the visa and routes for investors to apply for this particular visa when not holding citizenship in a treaty country.
What is an E2 Visa?
The treaty investor visa is a nonimmigrant classification that allows a national of a US treaty country to travel and reside in the United States for up to five years for the purpose of investing a substantial amount of capital in an approved US commercial enterprise.
These visas are highly sought after by foreign nationals and investors because the visa provides substantial benefits to investors, their spouse, and qualified children under the age of 21. Benefits include access to exceptional education opportunities and the option to reside outside of the United States with unlimited re-entry privileges for the duration of the visa.
Treaty Investor Visa Countries
As of 2020, 80 countries maintain a treaty of navigation and commerce with the United States. The barriers to entry in each country are significantly different and obtaining citizenship in an E2 treaty country can cost a treaty investor a substantial amount of time and money.
Grenada is a popular option for treaty investors seeking citizenship status in order to qualify for entry into the United States through the visa as this is the only jurisdiction with a Citizenship by Investment Program with an E-2 treaty with the USA. Over 40,000 individuals were granted E2 visas in 2019 and relocated to the United States to live, work and pursue the American Dream.
Grenada also provides foreign investors with the greatest amount of visa free travel benefits compared to alternative options and countries. Grenadian citizens can travel to over 130 countries, visa-free, including the UK, Schengen countries, China and others.
Treaty investors seeking access to apply for a USA E-2 visa opt to invest in Grenada citizenship by investment programs because of the quick and easy processing time to receive a passport. Investors, their spouse and qualifying children under the age of 30 can receive their passport and visa-free travel privileges in 120 days or less.
Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program
Learn more about the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program and to find out how you can gain eligibility to apply for a visa.
Benefits of the E2 Visa
There are many advantages and benefits given to holders of the investor visa, even extending to your family. Discover some of the opportunities granted to visa holders:
- Free education in US public schools and more affordable, in-state tuition costs at US universities.
- Spouses have the ability to work anywhere in the United States.
- The Grenada E-2 visa can be renewed indefinitely, as long as the E-2 business maintains operations.
- E-2 visa holders can spend up to 120 days in the US without being subject to worldwide income taxation.
- E-2 visa holders can sponsor specialized employees from their nation (non-family members) to work in their E-2 business.
- The investment to apply for the E-2 visa generally starts from around $100,000.
E2 Visa Requirements
To qualify for the visa an investor must meet the following criteria:
- The investor is a national of a country which maintains a treaty of navigation and commerce with the United States.
- The investor has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial sum of money in an approved and legitimate business in the United States.
- The investor is seeking travel and temporary residency privileges in the United States for the sole purpose of developing, directing or overseeing the approved investment enterprise.
For a more in-depth understanding of the requirements for a US investor visa, we recommend reading here.
There is no minimum investment required to participate in the E2 visa program, as long as the investment is sufficient enough to establish and operate a profitable business in the US.
While there is no required minimum to gain the visa, there are guidelines to understand that can better your approval chances for the visa. We have assembled more detailed information on the E2 investor amounts here. Not all businesses are permitted under the investor visa, they must supply tangible goods and services. To learn more about the permitted businesses under the investor visa, we strongly encourage you to read here and discover your business options.
E2 Visa Renewal
These visas have different validity periods after which they can be renewed with two year extensions as long as the visa holder continues to maintain the necessary qualifications. Grenada’s E2 visa is valid for five years and is renewable an unlimited number of times.
Does an E2 Visa Lead to a US Green Card?
Treaty visa participants can apply for a green card (permanent residency) if they meet specific qualifications. There are several pathways to obtaining a green card, the most common of which are through the EB5 or EB-1 visa. The EB5 visa has a significant wait list that can reach up to ten years for certain nationalities and the amount of the investment can be up to 1.8 million USD. EB 1 visas are granted to foreign nationals who demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field of expertise or study, or who currently hold an executive or high managerial position in an approved US company. E-2 visas, on the other hand, can be processed in about two months, making them an ideal choice for foreign investors seeking an expedited pathway to a US visa.
To learn more regarding how to use the E2 investor visa to gain a green card, we encourage you to read here.
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