What’s an E-2 Visa and Who may be Eligible for this Visa?

What’s an E-2 Visa?

An E-2 Visa is visa that a foreign national can apply for is she or he seeks to start a business in the United States.  This type of visa is also referred to as a treaty visa, as it encourages trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.  This visa is not for everyone, even if they have a legitimate interest in starting a business.  There are many requirements an individual seeking an E-2 Visa should meet before they are allowed to come into the United States on that visa.

What are Some Requirements or Qualifications for an E-2 Visa?

  1. You must be a national of a treaty country. The E-2 Investor Trader Visa is only available to people from countries that have a Treat with the Untied States.  Not all countries are on the list of treaty countries.  Most countries in Europe are treaty countries.  However, there are many countries in Asia, Middle East, and Africa that may not be considered a treaty country.
  2. The foreign national seeking to start a business in the U.S. must invest substantial capital. This means that you should have a substantial amount of money in an United States enterprise.
  3. The foreign national can come into the United States only to develop and direct their business. Someone seeking an E-2 Visa should show at least 50% ownership in an enterprise, or they should show operational control as a manager or corporate officer.

How Long Can Someone with an E-2 Visa Stay in the United States?

To start, someone with an E-2 Visa may stay in the U.S. for two years.  However, he or she may request extensions of their stay for up to 2 years at a time.  There is no maximum number of extensions an E-2 Visa holder may be granted.

If you are interested in learning more about an E-2 Visa, and/or if you need legal counsel to assist you in your E-2 application process, please contact an experienced immigration attorney who can assess your situation and provide you with assistance.

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please contact the office to discuss your circumstances and options.