Nonimmigrant visa to the US E2
To qualify for obtaining an E-2 investor visa, the applicant has to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested or are currently investing a substantial amount of capital.
Obtaining E-2 and further adjustment to other immigrant visas is an efficient way for small business owners and private investors with limited financial funds. An amount of $100,000 will be enough to start your own business, develop it, and stay in the United States
E2 Visa Benefits
- E-2 enables you and your family to stay in the United States for an indefinite period by extending your visa regularly.
- The petition for receiving an E-2 visa is processed quickly. The waiting period takes anywhere from 15 days to several months.
- It doesn’t require as much investment as Investment Visa EB-5. It doesn’t oblige you to maintain business operations in your native country. If you choose to stay in the US on an L-1 visa, your company in Russia, Ukraine, or any other country has to continue its business operations while you are in the United States. It isn’t required for an E-2 visa.
- The visa scheme is applicable for the whole family. The visa is available both for the investor and their close relatives: their spouse and their children under 21 years old. The spouse can seek official employment, and the children can obtain educations in the US as permanent residents.
Receiving E2 in the US
Any foreign citizen is entitled to obtain the visa to enter the United States if they meet all the following E2 visa requirements:
- You are a citizen of a state that has signed a special treaty with the United States. The full list of the treaty states can be found a the official website of the U. S. Department of States. It is important to note that citizens of most post-Soviet countries can apply for an E-2 visa, including Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and others. However, such countries as Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan are not included in the list of treaty countries.
- You have a TFN status, or at least 50% of your company belongs to individuals with a TFN status;
- If you or your company have plans to invest or have already invested at-risk substantial funds (over $100,000) in an American enterprise. Placing the capital at risk means that you are likely to suffer financial losses if your business fails;
- You have a managerial or executive position in the company or have highly specialized skills that make you an essential employee for the company’s business operations;
- The business visa investments are not the only source of your income, and the investments are meant to create jobs for citizens and permanent residents of the United States;
- The investment must be made into a real operating enterprise, or you are in the process of active investing.
- The investor must control or direct the enterprise.
- You agree to leave the US territory as soon as your status changes.
E-2 Visa Validity
In most cases, E2 Visas are approved for 2 years starting with the day you enterthe United States, but the validity period depends on a particular country. The number of times you are allowed to leave and enter the US also varies: from one entry every two years to multiple times during five years. As noted above, there are no limits on the number of extensions for the visa, which makes it life-long. This means that if the main requirement is met, i.e. the business in the US operates successfully, you are allowed to stay in the United States as long as you need.
What Amount of Investment is Required?
The exact amount of investmentis not specified. The E-2 visa minimum investment depends on your business plan and business area. Therefore, you will need a different amounts of investment to buy a steel making enterprise than a flower shop. The main E2 visa requirement is that the capital has to be “substantial” for your business idea. In most cases, the E2 visa investment amount starts from $100,000.
Potential to Transfer from E-2 visa to Green Card
The nonimmigrant E-2 visa is not a straightforward way to receive a Green Card, or a permanent residence in the United States. However, it can be a stepping stone for staying in the country permanently. You can transfer to an immigrant visa EB-1C, EB-5 or marry a US citizen in due time. To apply for an EB-1C, you, as an executive, and your company have to achieve certain objectives. To transfer from E-2 to EB-5, you need to invest a certain amount in US development.
What if your country doesn’t have an E-2 investor treaty with the USA?
Unfortunately, citizens of some states (Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan) are not eligible to apply for E2, as their countries don’t have a treaty with the United States. Thus, the question is how to get an E-2 visa in the United States? There are two solutions to the problem in this situation.
The first way s to marry a person with citizenship of a state that has an investor treaty with the United States. A spouse can be from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia, and many other countries. In this case, you can declare them an investor and act under the status of a partner. This solution has an obvious disadvantage, however - it doesn’t work for married people. So there is an alternative.
The second way s to receive citizenship of the state that has an investor treaty with the United States. One of the most popular countries chosen for this purpose is Grenada, an island state in the Caribbean.
How can ACS Law Offices help you?
Our company’s investment immigration lawyers will help handle the paperwork necessary to file an E2 petition, as well as help with formalizing your business and receiving all legal permissions to operate the business on the US territory. While working on your petition, we will analyze your opportunities and suggest the most appropriate investment immigration plan for your case.
We assist our clients at all stages of the petition being processed by the US federal authorities and can prepare appeals if they are required to be filed. Already have the package of required documents and want to have it reviewed? We are ready to offer our expert opinion based on the information provided, and to suggest the best immigration scheme for you and your family.