If you live in a country that has a commerce treaty with the United States, you may be eligible to file for the E-1 treaty trade or E-2 Treaty Investor visas. In this post, we will only discuss eligibility for E-2 treaty investor and will provide information on E-1 treaty trader visa in another blog post.
An E-2 treaty investor visa allows a foreign national status in the US to invest, develop, and direct a business in the US.
To qualify for E-2 visa, the foreign national must be national of a country with which the US maintains a treaty of commerce. The foreign national must have invested or is actively investing substantial capital in a bona fide US business. The foreign national seeks to enter the US solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. The investment must be in an active and operating business rather than just a passive investment (i.e. stock investment). Any funds invested must be at risk, meaning that the funds must be subject to partial or total loss if the business fails.
USCIS has not set a specific amount for the Substantial amount of capital requirement. Instead, substantial amount of capital is defined as substantial in relationship to the total cost of acquiring a current business or establishing a new one. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher the investment must be in order to be considered substantial. The idea is that the investor must be financially committed to the enterprise and proves this through the size of the investment relative to the cost of establishing the business.
Furthermore, the business must not be a marginal enterprise. A marginal business is one that does not have the ability to create more than enough income for the investor and his family to live on.
The E-2 treaty investor visa may be renewed in two-year increments without a limit to the number of applications for renewal. Thus, although it is a non-immigrant visa, E-2 treaty visa holders can technically remain in the United States indefinitely, if they maintain their business and renew the E-2 visa every two years.
If you have any questions regarding the E-2 treaty investor visa, please contact our office at (248) 557-3645.