E-2 Investor Visa Immigration
Lawyers in San Diego

The E-2 treaty investor visa allows individuals from foreign countries to come to the United States to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which that person has invested, or is in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital. This nonimmigrant visa, along with the EB-5 immigrant investor visa, are the two best choices for those seeking to live in the United States via a significant investment in the country’s economy.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Requirements

The investor must meet the following requirements to qualify for the E-2 treaty investor visa:

  • The investor must be a national of a treaty country.
  • The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.
    • The regulations do not require a specific dollar amount, but the larger the investment, the easier it is to prove it is substantial. The amount invested should generally be at least $50,000-$75,000 and possibly more for certain types of businesses. More importantly, the investor should look at what size investment makes sense for the specific business.
  • The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investments do not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
  • The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just enough to provide a living for the investor and his/her family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
  • The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
  • The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.

Benefits of the E-2 Visa

The E-2 visa has a number of notable benefits:

  • The visa is available to the citizens of 75 different treaty countries around the world.
  • There is no minimum investment required – the investment simply must be proven “substantial.”
  • The spouses of E-2 visa holders may obtain an open-market work permit to work for any company of his or her choice.
  • The dependent children of E-2 visa holders may attend the school of their choice while living in the United States and in many cases qualify for in-state tuition at colleges and universities.

Limitations of the E-2 Visa

Those considering an E-2 visa should also be aware of its limitations, drawbacks, and disadvantages.

  • The visa is only available to the citizens of treaty countries.
  • The visa is a nonimmigrant visa and usually does not lead to permanent residence. The exception is if the investor invests over $500,000 (or $1,000,000) and creates 10+ jobs, then he/she may qualify for the EB-5 green card
  • Only the operator of a successful enterprise is able to sustain the E-2 visa.
    • Investors whose enterprises fail will need to leave the country even if their visa has not expired.

Get E-2 Visa Help From An Experienced San Diego Immigration Attorney

If you have a question about E-2 treaty investment visas, or about other non-immigration visas, we are here to help. The California immigration attorneys at Feldman Feldman & Associates can help you with any aspect of your immigration legal issues, including successfully applying for a visa.

To learn more about our legal services, or to talk to one of the immigration attorneys on our team, please call us today at (619) 299-9600.