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Barrera Legal Group can help with Applying for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

What are Treaty Based Visas?

Treaty Trader visas (E-1) and Treaty Investor visas (E-2) are nonimmigrant visas for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The applicant must be coming to the United States to engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities, principally between the United States and the treaty country (E-1); or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the applicant has invested or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital (E-2).


E-2 Investor Visa


The E-2 visa classification is available to nationals of a treaty country to be allowed to live in the United States to develop and direct the operations of a business where the treaty national has invested a substantial amount of capital in the U.S. business.

E-2 Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.

  • Must have invested or must be actively in the process of investing in the enterprise.

  • Must be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the enterprise where the treaty national must show at least 50% ownership of the enterprise

  • The investment must be substantial where:

  • The investment is substantial in relation to the total cost in purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new enterprise.

  • The investment is sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment of the successful operation of the enterprise where the investment is irrevocably committed and at risk of being lost.

  • The investment amount must be enough to support the successful development and direction of the enterprise by the treaty investor.

  • The enterprise cannot be marginal where the enterprise is only able to generate income to provide minimal living support to the treaty investor and his family. The enterprise must be demonstrated to have the capacity to generate income to support the hiring of necessary employees within five years from the date the E-2 visa is issued.


Employee of a Treaty Investor


An employee of a treaty investor can qualify if:


  • The employee is of the same nationality of the principal noncitizen employer who has the nationality of the treaty country.

  • The employee must be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employed in a lesser capacity have special qualifications that make the employee’s services essential to the efficient operation of the business.

Spouse and children:

Spouse and children (unmarried and under the age of 21) can also apply for an E-2 visa as dependents. Their nationalities do not need to be the same as the treaty investor. Spouses of treaty investors granted dependent E-2 visas are employment authorized as part of their status except for spouses of long term investors in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands who are required to apply for employment authorization.


E-2 Application Process:

Filing with USCIS:

Only if the applicant is present in the United in another immigration status can the applicant file a petition for change of status to E-2 classification by filing the Form I-129 with the E-2 Supplement before the United States Citizen and Immigration Service, (USCIS). Documentation must also be provided supporting all of the eligibility requirements for the E-2 Visa. If the application is granted, the applicant will obtain the E-2 status, but not the visa which means that the applicant will be permitted to stay in the United States to perform duties authorized by the E-2, but the applicant will not be able to return to the United States if the noncitizen departs the United States since the status granted by USCIS is not an actual travel visa. Only a United States Consulate abroad can grant both the visa and status. The applicant can also change the status of a spouse and children as dependents by filing form I-539 with USCIS. 

Filing from outside the United States:

If the applicant is outside the United States, the application process will require the applicant as well as a spouse and children to file the application known as the DS-160 online to commence the process through a United States Consulate to obtain both the visa and status. The instructions for application are provided by the Department of State on their website. However, the applicant must still provide documentation demonstrating eligibility for the E-1 visa as well as submitting a supplement known as the DS-156E along with the supporting documents. 


Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an Treaty Visa attorney professional to discuss the eligibility requirements and application process for Treaty Investor Visa. 

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