Have you ever thought of investing in the United States, and didn’t even know it was possible then worry not because the E-2 visa is your chance to know how to go about it.
What is an E-2 Visa?
The E-2 Visa is known as the Treaty Trader and Investor Visa, This is a non-immigrant permit for investors and investment companies who are from a treaty country. This visa gives investors the permission to live and work in the United States with the goal of developing their business.
For you to be eligible, you have to invest substantial funds in a bona fide U.S. business. On that note, a bona fide business can be seen as a real, active commercial, or entrepreneurial undertaking that gives services or goods for profit.
Anyone who receives E-2 visa can work just within their approved enterprise. If you have a particular financial asset that you wish to invest in a U.S. business, this is the best option for you to enter the country.
What are the E-2 Visa requirements?
Go you to be eligible for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, You must meet the following requirements:
- As an individual investor, you should be a citizen from a treaty country
- You either want to invest or are already investing in a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States
- You wish to enter the United States for the specific goal of developing and directing your investment enterprise
- You must show that you hold at least 50% ownership of the company.
- Your investment should be done with the goal of generating a profit within five years
- Your business must create an avenue for the U.S. workforce
- Your company is to be actively engaged in trade relations with other U.S. enterprises
- You have a business plan showing the strategy of your new business
How to apply for an E-2 Visa
The first step of your E-2 Visa application is to submit a DS-160 Form (Non-immigrant Visa Form). If you are traveling with your employees or colleagues, each applicant needs to file a separate DS-160F. Overall, the E-2 Visa application steps are as followed:
- The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will then require access to further documentation. You must provide proof of a stable source of income and evidence of your intent to return to your country of origin at the end of your authorized stay.
- It should be noted that each U.S. Embassy or Consulate may have additional application requirements. For example, in some cases, you may be asked to fill out the Non-immigrant Treaty Trader (also known as Treaty Investor Application).
What documentation do you need to apply for an E-2 Visa?
The most important part of your application involves you proving that your business meets the E-2 Visa requirements. The following evidence is required:
- Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application)
- Form DS-156E (Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader / Investor Application)
- Receipt of application fee payment
- A passport
- Photograph (which should be according to U.S. passport standards)
- A comprehensive business plan with detailed information on how to grow and expand operations
- Curriculum vitae/resume (this must contain details of your business experience and any other qualifying credentials you have may)
- Evidence that proves your employment is either a supervisory or executive capacity or shows that the visa applicant possesses the highly specialized skill capacity essential to the efficient operation of the business
- Evidence that shows that you have full possession and control of the investment funds
- Proof of remittance to the U.S.
- Proof of the establishment of an existing business in the U.S.
- Evidence of investors nationality
- Evidence of U.S. investment (such as titles, receipts, contracts, loans or bank statements)
- Evidence that you have enough funds to invest
- Proof that shows that your business is not a marginal enterprise
- Required documentation that shows your investment enterprise is a real, operating business.
What is the processing time for an E-2 Visa?
The minimum time for E2 Visa processing time is 2-4 weeks if the USCIS can adequately review your documents.
Furthermore, getting a visa for your employees might take another two weeks.
If you want a speedier method, you might pay for a premium processing service which may allow you to get your response within 15 calendar days.
To get the premium processing time, you are to submit an I-907 form and you are to pay an additional fee of $2,500.
How long is the Treaty Investor Visa valid?
Eligible treaty investors and their employees are basically allowed an initial stay of two years. Before your visa expires, you are to submit a request for an extension of stay.
The general rule is, you and your employees can reside in the U.S. for as long as you maintain your intention to go back to your home country when your immigration status expires or is terminated.
How can I get an E-2 Visa renewal?
An E-2 Visa holder is normally admitted to the country for up to two years. Because each of the E-2 Treaty countries has various agreements with the United States, visa validity can vary.
Your permit can be extended for a very long time, so long as your business rationale is still important. Every E-2 Visa renewal gives a period of two more years in the country.
It is advised that you request your visa extension before your I-94 card expires. But, while waiting for your E-2 Visa renewal approval, you will be granted an additional stay of 40 days in the U.S.
Can my employees apply for an E-2 Visa?
Your E2 Visa application may be extended to employees if they meet the following requirements:
- They are considered an important employee who is indispensable to run the business
- They are of the same nationality as the leading applicant
- They will get either supervisory or executive positions
- They have proven skills not readily available among U.S. workers
Can I bring my dependents with me on an E-2 Visa?
Your E2 Visa status carries your immediate family members, which includes your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21. The important requirement is that one must also be a citizen of one of the treaty countries.
Spouses of the investor can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to have the right to work in the country. also, children will also be able to go to public school in the United States.
Can the USCIS reject my E-2 Visa application?
Refusals can be in two forms which are A RFE and a NOID. An RFE is a request for further information. A NOID is a notice of intent to deny. Both require important responses. Some main reasons for refusal are:
- Marginal or unacceptable business activity.
- Lack of at-risk investment
You can now see that you can invest in the United States and be one of the country’s investors to grow yourself and the country.