The E2 visa is a non-immigrant treaty visa that allows foreign nationals of certain countries to enter the United States to invest in and manage a business. The visa is typically valid for one, two, or five years depending on the applicant’s nationality, and can be renewed indefinitely.
The E2 Visa is a treaty visa, meaning it is open to selected nationals that hail from a country within the treaty list. People from countries not on the list cannot apply, making it somewhat exclusive in its nature.
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To qualify for an E2 Visa, the foreign national must have invested or be actively in the process of investing a noteworthy amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States. The investment must be substantial enough to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. There is no minimum amount for the E2 investment, as the qualifying investment must logically correspond to the size of the business.
To qualify, the investor must:
- Have control of the funds and the ability to direct their use in the enterprise.
- Be from a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States.
- Must be entering the United States solely to develop and direct the enterprise.
Nationals Who Qualify For The E2
The US has an E2 treaty with 44 different countries. To qualify, a person must be a national of one of the nations in the table below.
It is important to note that people who are not nationals of one of the eligible countries can qualify for the E2 if they become citizens of a treaty country. However, as per the new legislation by the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) which was signed by President Joe Biden in Dec 2022, CBI-origin citizen treaty countries will only qualify for the E2 Visa if they have resided in that country for more than three years after obtaining the citizenship.
Nations such as Turkiye, Grenada, Jordan, and Egypt all have Citizenship by Investment Programs, meaning investors can obtain the citizenship of these countries in order to apply for the E2 Visa as a qualifying national.
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However, potential investors must understand the restrictions on the E2 Visa for each given nationality, as they may differ in visa validity and entry restrictions.
For example, nationals of Turkiye and Grenada are eligible for five-year, multiple entry visas, whereas nationals of Egypt only qualify for a three months visa, and Jordan qualify for one year, single entry E2 Visas, meaning they have to apply for renewal or a new visa anytime they leave the US.
The E2 Visa comes with a host of benefits, such as:
Easier Access to the US
The E2 Visa allows citizens from select countries to enter the US and stay for up to five years without applying for a work visa. This is especially important because of the US’s high visit visa rejection rate. For instance, the US government rejected 35% of all visit visa applications in Egypt in 2020, 65% in Nigeria, and a staggering 88% in Iran. The E2 visa helps people who need to get to the United States do so easily as residents.
Ability to Work
The E2 Visa allows the holder to work for the business they are investing in, as well as perform other activities related to the business venture. The E2 doubles as a residence permit and a work permit.
Route for Permanent Residency
The E2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning it does not directly lead to permanent residence (green card) or citizenship. However, if an applicant’s business continues to grow and they hire enough people, they can apply to switch for an EB5 from within the United States and then get a green card. This route allows investors to live in the US without having to wait outside for their EB5 application to be approved, a matter that could take several years depending on their nationality.
Adding Family Members
The E2 Visa allows the holder’s spouse and dependent children below 21 years of age to accompany them to the US.
E2 Visa holders may be able to take advantage of certain tax benefits.
The E2 Visa is renewable and can be extended if the holder continues to meet the requirements of the visa.
Access to the US Market
For entrepreneurs, the E2 Visa is a simple route to one of the world’s most exciting markets and the globe’s leading economic power.
The E2 gives investors a chance to provide the best educational opportunities for their children in the US. While technically non-immigrants, E2 family members have the right to study and apply for US educational institutes, allowing investors to forge a path for their children to fulfill their potential.
To know more about the benefits of getting an E2 Visa, contact us today to book a free, comprehensive consultation with one of our experts.
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