The E2 Visa permits individuals from certain countries to live in the United States by investing in a business that they intend to develop and direct. While the E2 visa inevitably attracts entrepreneurs and investors, this is certainly not a precondition. In fact, many people opt for the E2 visa even if they have never owned a business before. This is because it is a versatile visa category with many benefits.
The main requirement for an E2 visa is that you must hold citizenship of a country that has a treaty of navigation and commerce with the United States. However, if your country does not hold such a treaty, you can become eligible by first obtaining citizenship of Grenada, an E2 country in the Caribbean.
Contact us today to discuss your interest with an E2 Visa lawyer. Book a free consultation
The E2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa, which means it bestows a temporary rather than a permanent right to reside in the United States. Nevertheless, provided the underlying business continues to operate, it is possible to keep renewing the business and remain in America indefinitely. The duration of your initial visa will be determined by your country of origin and an assessment made by the consular official during your visa appointment at the embassy. Ultimately, this validity period only determines the time period before you need to submit a renewal application when the authorities will check you are complying with the E2 rules. The E2 visa does not provide a direct pathway to permanent residency (Green Card) and you will need to prove that you ultimately have an intent to depart the United States. However, in practice, the E2 visa can act as a stepping-stone to a Green Card, for example, if you meet the criteria for an investment-based Green Card (EB5 Visa) or an employment-based Green Card (EB-1C Visa).
Unlike many other US visa categories, there are no annual caps or quotas on the number of E2 visas available in any given year. There is also no lottery associated with the E2 visa as there is with the H-1B visa. limitations are the fact that you must be a citizen of an E2 treaty country. If you are not a citizen of an E2 treaty country, then you are permitted to obtain citizenship of an E2 Visa country and ultimately apply for the E2 visa. Different USA E2 Visa countries have E2 Visa processing times. Nonimmigrant visa application.
While there is no minimum investment requirement for the E2 visa, you must make a “substantial investment” in the business, and invest a substantial amount of capital. How much investment for E2 Visa? This term is open to interpretation, but upwards of $100,000 is a good rule of thumb. That said, the US authorities have accepted E2 investors with less than $100,000. The key is to ensure that the size of the investment makes sense for the business being proposed. It is also important to note that investments need not only to be cash but can also include non-cash investments like inventory and intellectual property. US E2 investment Visa.
Not necessarily. For an E2 Visa, you are permitted to invest in an existing business or start a new one. It is also possible to invest in a qualifying franchise business. While some clients will be entrepreneurial and have a business idea in mind, others simply want to live in the United States and prefer the lower-hassle approach that a franchise solution can bring. It is also essential that you have an E2 Visa Business Plan. Our E2 Visa attorney and business plan team can help. The business needs to be operational and have a bank account, and premises to operate out of.
Passive investments like property are not permitted as an E2 investment. However, it is possible to set up a qualifying real-estate company that is actively managed by the E2 investor. Ensuring such arrangements are compliant with the E2 visa rules can be challenging and it is best to seek our advice on whether your property business proposal would be permitted.
Yes, you can still apply for the US E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, regardless of whether you choose the Grenada CBI real estate option or the donation option. There is a common misconception that if you choose the donation option, you are not eligible for an E-2 Visa – this is incorrect.
While the creation of jobs is not explicitly required for an E-2 visa investment, the primary focus of the E-2 visa program is on the development and operation of a viable business enterprise that will contribute to the U.S. economy. As such, the investment should have the potential to generate job opportunities indirectly or directly.
An E2 investor can bring their spouse and any children under the age of 21 to the United States on E2-dependent visas. After the age of 21, children “age out” and must depart the United States or switch to alternative visas, e.g., student visas or H-1B visas. Spouses are permitted to work for any business in the United States – this is often a major motivating factor in people seeking the E2 visa.
E2 visa holders will be taxed on income earned inside the United States including the revenues generated by their E2 business. E2 visa holders would not usually be taxed on income earned outside the United States unless they meet the Substantial Presence Tax. Tax is all about the details and so it is difficult to provide general advice; we recommend that you discuss the specifics of your situation with our team.
Processing times for the E2 Visa are relatively quick and are determined by waiting times at your local embassy or consulate. One of the major bottlenecks in US immigration is the high caseload at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The E2 visa is one of the few visas that is processed at US embassies and consulates and does not require prior approval by USCIS. Therefore, E2 visa applications tend to move faster than most other US visa categories. Click here to check the waiting time at your local embassy or consulate.
The E2 visa investment requirement can be met in several ways. Here at Global Immigration Partners clients frequently use various types of investments, including:
– Stocks of Inventory
– Patents and Trademarks
Should you require further details or have inquiries about the process of obtaining an E2 visa investment, feel free to reach out to us.
The E2 visa requires that applicants be a citizen of a country with a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with the United States. If your country of citizenship does not hold a relevant treaty (for example, India, China, Vietnam, Russia, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil) it is possible to obtain citizenship of an E2 treaty country and apply. The E2 country with the fastest and most cost-effective pathway to citizenship is the island nation of Grenada in the Caribbean. Grenada offers a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program through which you can obtain a Grenada passport in just a few months for a minimum of $150,000. Under the Grenada CBI program, you can select either invest in real-estate or make a one-off public donation. Many of the applicants to Grenada’s citizenship program have gone on to obtain an E2 visa and are now living in the United States. Book a free consultation
The first step to obtaining an E2 Visa is to call us for a preliminary eligibility requirement. Our team can assess whether you meet the basic requirements. If you do not meet the eligibility requirements our team will propose alternative solutions. If you do meet the eligibility requirements, we will help you to gather the appropriate documents, build a business plan, complete the correct forms, pay the correct fees. We will also prepare you for your consular interview.
Yes, an E2-visa holder can and should obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) in the United States. A Social Security Number is a unique nine-digit identification number issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to individuals for various purposes, including employment and tax reporting.
Yes, E-2 investors can bring workers from their home countries to work in the U.S. business that they have invested in. However, the ability to bring foreign workers under the E-2 visa program is subject to certain requirements and limitations. To bring workers from their home countries, E-2 investors must demonstrate that the workers possess special qualifications or skills that are essential to the operation and success of the U.S. business, that they have the ability to pay the employee’s wages, and that the employment of the foreign worker will not negatively impact U.S. workers. Sometimes this is known as an E2 employee visa.
No, an E2-visa holder cannot work for another company in the United States. The E2 visa is specifically tied to the investment and business that the visa holder has established or is actively developing and directing in the U.S. The primary purpose of the E2 visa is to allow individuals to operate their own business and contribute to the U.S. economy through their investment.
The E2 visa holder is expected to be actively engaged in the management and operation of the qualifying business. While they can hire employees to work for their business, they are not permitted to work for another company as an employee or engage in unauthorized employment. However, the spouse of an E-2 visa holder can apply for work authorization, which allows them to seek employment with any employer in the United States without restrictions.
E2 visas initially have a validity period of up to five years, subject to reciprocity. During the validity of the E2 category visa, the visa holder has the liberty to travel in and out of the U.S. E2 visas can be renewed indefinitely, provided the underlying business continues to require the visa holder’s management and direction.
The E2 Visa holder’s spouse is eligible to relocate to the United States along with the main applicant. The spouse has the option to apply for e2 visa work authorization, which allows them to work for any employer in the US. This provides a significantly higher degree of employment flexibility compared to the H-1B visa, which is employer-specific and can only be renewed up to a maximum of 6 years. Dependent children who are under 21 years old are also allowed to move to the United States with their parents.
Yes, you can still apply for the US E-2 Treaty Investor Visa regardless of whether you take the Grenada CBI real estate or donation route. There is a commonly held misconception that you are not eligible for an E-2 Visa if you choose the donation route – this is incorrect. Eligibility for the E-2 Visa is determined by the citizenship of an E-2 Treaty Country Grenada is an E-2 Country and its citizens are eligible for the E-2 Visa, no matter which pathway to citizenship you choose. Book a free consultation
Check our latest news: E2 Visa Immigration Blog posts