E2 Visa: Investor from a Treaty Country
Nationals of qualifying treaty countries who have made a significant investment in the United States may qualify for E2 Treaty Investor status. There is no set minimum level of investment which may qualify for E2 status, but from our experience the lower the investment the less likely the applicant is to qualify.
The level of investment must be sufficient to justify the treaty national or his/her employees presence in the United States. The investment must be in an operating business. The applicant must direct and control the business or hold certain management positions. A substantial part of the investment must have been made before applying for E2 status.
How to Qualify for the E2 Visa
To qualify for the E2 visa, the applicant generally must meet the following qualifications:
- Nationality: The applicant must be a national of a country that maintains a treaty status with the United States. If you are unsure, you should check with our immigration lawyers to learn about the status of your home country.
List of E Treaty Countries
|Albania||E-2||January 4, 1998|
|Argentina||E-1||October 20, 1994|
|Argentina||E-2||October 20, 1994|
|Armenia||E-2||March 29, 1996|
|Australia||E-1||December 16, 1991|
|Australia||E-2||December 27, 1991|
|Austria||E-1||May 27, 1931|
|Austria||E-2||May 27, 1931|
|Azerbaijan||E-2||August 2, 2001|
|Bahrain||E-2||May 30, 2001|
|Bangladesh||E-2||July 25, 1989|
|Belgium||E-1||October 3, 1963|
|Belgium||E-2||October 3, 1963|
|Bolivia||E-1||November 09, 1862|
|Bolivia||E-2||June 6, 2001|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||E-1||November 15, 1882|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||E-2||November 15, 1882|
|Brunei||E-1||July 11, 1853|
|Bulgaria||E-2||June 2, 1994|
|Cameroon||E-2||April 6, 1989|
|Canada||E-1||January 1, 1993|
|Canada||E-2||January 1, 1993|
|Chile||E-1||January 1, 2004|
|Chile||E-2||January 1, 2004|
|China (Taiwan)||E-1||November 30, 1948|
|China (Taiwan)||E-2||November 30, 1948|
|Colombia||E-1||June 10, 1848|
|Colombia||E-2||June 10, 1848|
|Congo (Brazzaville)||E-2||August 13, 1994|
|Congo (Kinshasa)||E-2||July 28, 1989|
|Costa Rica||E-1||May 26, 1852|
|Costa Rica||E-2||May 26, 1852|
|Croatia||E-1||November 15, 1882|
|Croatia||E-2||November 15, 1882|
|Czech Republic||E-2||January 1, 1993|
|Denmark||E-1||July 30, 1961|
|Denmark||E-2||December 10, 2008|
|Ecuador||E-2||May 11, 1997|
|Egypt||E-2||June 27, 1992|
|Estonia||E-1||May 22, 1926|
|Estonia||E-2||February 16, 1997|
|Ethiopia||E-1||October 8, 1953|
|Ethiopia||E-2||October 8, 1953|
|Finland||E-1||August 10, 1934|
|Finland||E-2||December 1, 1992|
|France||E-1||December 21, 1960|
|France||E-2||December 21, 1960|
|Georgia||E-2||August 17, 1997|
|Germany||E-1||July 14, 1956|
|Germany||E-2||July 14, 1956|
|Greece||E-1||October 13, 1954|
|Grenada||E-2||March 3, 1989|
|Honduras||E-1||July 19, 1928|
|Honduras||E-2||July 19, 1928|
|Iran||E-1||June 16, 1957|
|Iran||E-2||June 16, 1957|
|Ireland||E-1||September 14, 1950|
|Ireland||E-2||November 18, 1992|
|Israel||E-1||April 3, 1954|
|Italy||E-1||July 26, 1949|
|Italy||E-2||July 26, 1949|
|Jamaica||E-2||March 7, 1997|
|Japan||E-1||October 30, 1953|
|Japan||E-2||October 30, 1953|
|Jordan||E-1||December 17, 2001|
|Jordan||E-2||December 17, 2001|
|Kazakhstan||E-2||January 12, 1994|
|Korea (South)||E-1||November 7, 1957|
|Korea (South)||E-2||November 7, 1957|
|Kosovo||E-1||November 15, 1882|
|Kosovo||E-2||November 15, 1882|
|Kyrgyzstan||E-2||January 12, 1994|
|Latvia||E-1||July 25, 1928|
|Latvia||E-2||December 26, 1996|
|Liberia||E-1||November 21, 1939|
|Liberia||E-2||November 21, 1939|
|Lithuania||E-2||November 22, 2001|
|Luxembourg||E-1||March 28, 1963|
|Luxembourg||E-2||March 28, 1963|
|Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of (FRY)||E-1||November 15, 1882|
|Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of (FRY)||E-2||November 15, 1882|
|Mexico||E-1||January 1, 1994|
|Mexico||E-2||January 1, 1994|
|Moldova||E-2||November 25, 1994|
|Mongolia||E-2||January 1, 1997|
|Montenegro||E-1||November 15, 1882|
|Montenegro||E-2||November 15, 1882|
|Morocco||E-2||May 29, 1991|
|Netherlands||E-1||December 5, 1957|
|Netherlands||E-2||December 5, 1957|
|Norway||E-1||January 18, 1928|
|Norway||E-2||January 18, 1928|
|Oman||E-1||June 11, 1960|
|Oman||E-2||June 11, 1960|
|Pakistan||E-1||February 12, 1961|
|Pakistan||E-2||February 12, 1961|
|Panama||E-2||May 30, 1991|
|Paraguay||E-1||March 07, 1860|
|Paraguay||E-2||March 07, 1860|
|Philippines||E-1||September 6, 1955|
|Philippines||E-2||September 6, 1955|
|Poland||E-1||August 6, 1994|
|Poland||E-2||August 6, 1994|
|Romania||E-2||January 15, 1994|
|Senegal||E-2||October 25, 1990|
|Singapore||E-1||January 1, 2004|
|Singapore||E-2||January 1, 2004|
|Slovak Republic||E-2||January 1, 1993|
|Slovenia||E-1||November 15, 1882|
|Slovenia||E-2||November 15, 1882|
|Spain||E-1||April 14, 1903|
|Spain||E-2||April 14, 1903|
|Sri Lanka||E-2||May 1, 1993|
|Suriname||E-1||February 10, 1963|
|Suriname||E-2||February 10, 1963|
|Sweden||E-1||February 20, 1992|
|Sweden||E-2||February 20, 1992|
|Switzerland||E-1||November 08, 1855|
|Switzerland||E-2||November 08, 1855|
|Thailand||E-1||June 8, 1968|
|Thailand||E-2||June 8, 1968|
|Togo||E-1||February 5, 1967|
|Togo||E-2||February 5, 1967|
|Trinidad & Tobago||E-2||December 26, 1996|
|Tunisia||E-2||February 7, 1993|
|Turkey||E-1||February 15, 1933|
|Turkey||E-2||May 18, 1990|
|Ukraine||E-2||November 16, 1996|
|United Kingdom||E-1||July 03, 1815|
|United Kingdom||E-2||July 03, 1815|
|Yugoslavia||E-1||November 15, 1882|
|Yugoslavia||E-2||November 15, 1882|
- Investment: The applicant must invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. The exact amount depends upon the type of business and location.
- Position: The treaty investor E2 visa is not available to just any employee of a foreign business. The applicant must direct and control the business or hold certain management positions.
Generally, an E2 visa applicant is considered to have made an investment if the applicant placed money or other assets with an organization doing business in the U.S. The investment must be “at-risk” meaning that it may be subject to loss, and the investment must be made with the purpose of generating a profit and jobs in the U.S.
Amount of Investment
Investors must make a “substantial” investment to obtain an E2 visa. The investment may be either an investment in creating an enterprise or infusing funds into an existing enterprise. Immigration officials will look at whether the amount of funds are sufficient to ensure that the applicant has a stake in seeing the success of the investment and that the investor will take a role in directing and developing the enterprise.
Do I merely need to provide USCIS with a business plan and a future intent to invest funds into the U.S.?
No. Although a business plan is an important part of an E2 visa petition, for a new company, it is insufficient to indicate a future intent to invest a particular sum of money. As provided by applicable regulatory language, uncommitted funds are not considered sufficient even if proof of these funds are shown to exist in a bank account. In order to satisfy the E2 visa standards, the funds have to be irrevocably committed to the new enterprise.
How can I possibly irrevocably invest a substantial sum of money into an enterprise in the U.S. if I am not sure to be granted the visa that allows me to enter and operate the business?
The regulations do make it clear that placing funds into an escrow account (a common type of third party holding account in the U.S.), will be considered satisfactory. So the way this could help is that a person could place their investment amount into an escrow account which irrevocably commits funds to a particular purpose, e.g. the purchase of office space or a store front, as long as a specific contingency is satisfied, such as being granted the E2 visa. This provides a legal mechanism by which the investor can show that funds have been irrevocably committed, while it protects the investor’s money in case the E2 visa is not granted, as the funds are then returned due to the failure to satisfy the contingency.
Do I have to invest one million dollars into a commercial enterprise to get the E2 visa?
No. Many people confuse the E2 visa process with the EB-5 green card investment category. The EB-5 green card category is an immigrant visa petition which, if approved, provides the investor with Legal Permanent Residence.
For the E2 visa a substantial investment amount is required. The regulatory language does not provide a specific dollar amount, as opposed to the EB-5 category, however they do provide a test that is to be used. This test is termed the relative/proportionality test and considers the following elements:
(i) Whether the capital investment is substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or creating the type of enterprise under consideration;
(ii) Whether the capital investment is sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise; and
(iii) Whether the capital investment is of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. Generally, the lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered a substantial amount of capital.
What if I inherit a business that is worth a substantial sum of money?
Unfortunately, inheriting a business in the U.S. does not qualify as an investment for E2 visa purposes, however, inherited funds can be used to in turn invest in establishing a U.S. commercial enterprise for E2 visa purposes.
Does the business have to show that it will be making a certain sum of money in order to be approved?
Per the regulatory language, a commercial enterprise is not allowed to be marginal in nature. What this means is that a qualifying E2 visa commercial enterprise will have the capacity to generate more income for the investor and family then merely an amount required to live. Accordingly, whether the investment will create future job opportunities, and whether the enterprise will generate sums of money far above that which could be considered a living wage are important factors.
Can I invest capital and appoint a different person to enter the U.S. and operate the business?
Yes, assuming that the person being appointed is of the same nationality as the treaty employer and is either (1) an Executive or Supervisor or (2) an Essential Employee.
Who is considered to be an Executive or Supervisor?
Pertinent regulatory language provides that the position needs to be “principally and primarily” as opposed to merely “incidentally or collaterally” executive or supervisory in nature. The following considerations must be taken into account when determining whether the position satisfies the requirements:
- Does the position provide the person authority to determine policy and direction?
- Does the position provide supervision for a significant portion of the operation?
- Does the position provide supervision over low-level employees or is it of a higher supervisory nature?
- Does the person possess the proper executive/supervisory skills and experience?
- What is the salary of the position?
- What is the relationship of the position to the greater organizational structure?
- What percentage of the persons duties are routine staff work?
Who qualifies as an Essential employee?
To be considered an essential employee the person must show that they have a particular proven degree of expertise in the particular job duties required by the enterprise and that those duties are very specific in nature, thereby supporting the need for the particular persons abilities.
“Helping you to obtain the right visa, when you need it”
When you contact our firm for an initial consultation, we will take the time to educate and explain the immigration laws, regulations and the visa application procedures of the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, formerly known as the INS or Immigration and Naturalization Service). As a client, you will receive personal attention and work directly with an experienced attorney who will be able to answer any questions you have and keep you informed and aware of new developments as your case moves forward.
For all of your legal immigration needs, contact the immigration lawyers of Muston & Jack, P.C., at our San Francisco, San Jose or Pasadena California law offices to schedule an initial consultation.