E-2 visas are for foreign investors who want to invest in the United States. With an E-2 visa, you will be able to stay in the United States for a limited period in order to manage your business. Although E-2 visas typically last for two to five years, you can renew it indefinitely.
In order to qualify for an E-2 visa, you need to meet some requirements.
As an individual, to qualify for an E-2 visa, you need to be the citizen of a treaty country. These are countries the United States has a treaty of commerce, friendship and navigation with. There are presently about 75 of these countries all over the world.
In the case of a company, majority of the shareholders have to be from a majority country. In a situation where citizens of the treaty country are already permanent residents of the United States, their ownership shares would not be counted to determine majority ownership by treaty country citizens.
To qualify for an E-2 visa, the investment has to be substantial. Presently, there are no official figures used to determine what a substantial investment is. However, the investment has to be something that would be reasonable for the business in question. For instance, if you want to establish or purchase a manufacturing business, you need a lot of capital investment.
Also, the investment has to be proportional. By proportional it means that the investment has to be a substantial part of cost of acquiring the business.
The business should also not be a marginal one. A marginal business is one that generates profit enough for just the personal needs of the business owner’s family. Essentially, the proposed business needs to employ U.S workers.
Furthermore, the investment has to be an active one. This means that it has to be one where you actively direct the operations of the business. So, passive investments like stocks and real estate investment would not qualify you for an E-2 visa.
If you want to be issued an E-2 visa, you have to be in a managerial or executive position. You can also use the E-2 visa to bring staff of your company from your country. Employees that you bring have to either be in a managerial position or have a specialized skill.
Benefits of an E-2 Visa
With an E-2 visa, your spouse and children under 21 can reside in the United States with you. While your children cannot work with the E-2 visa, your spouse can work for any establishment. Your children can also school in the United States without a student visa.
If you are outside the United States, you can process your application for an E-2 visa at the US consulate in your own country. After submitting the application, you will have to undergo an interview at the consulate, after which your application will be approved.
If you are in the United States on a temporary visa, you can file a petition at the United States Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) to convert your temporary visa to an E-2 visa. In this situation, you will need an E-2 visa stamp when returning into the US from your next travel.
If you want to get more information about the application process for an E-2 visa, you can contact experienced immigration lawyers at Jurado & Associates, P.A. You can give us a call at (305) 921-0976 or send an email to [email protected].