The E-2 Visa: Investors
To qualify for an E-2 investor visa, applicants must “develop and direct operations of an enterprise in which he or she has invested or is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.” As a foreign citizen, you may be issued E-2 nonimmigrant visas if you meet all of the following requirements:
- You are a TFN, or at least 50% of your company is owned by TFNs.
- You or your firm will invest or have invested substantial capital ($100,000 or more) which is at risk, meaning subject to potential loss if the business does not succeed, in a bona fide enterprise in the United States.
- You hold an executive or managerial position in the firm, or possess special skills that make your services essential to the firm’s operations.
- The investment in question is not your sole means of income, and is intended to create jobs for U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
- The investment enterprise actually exists or you are actively in the process of investing.
- You promise to depart the U.S. when this status changes.
Duration of the E Visa
Both E-1 and E-2 visas are generally issued for five years, but this term can be extended by a U.S. consulate or embassy. Initially, admission is granted for each entry to the U.S. for a period of two years during the life of the visa, and extensions may be issued for up to two years at a time. Traders and investors can remain in the United States indefinitely, so long as they maintain their eligibility and treaty status.
Spouses and Minor Children
The spouses and unmarried minor children of petitioners are also eligible for E visas. Spouses may seek U.S. employment authorization from USCIS, but minor children are not eligible for employment in the United States.
Unauthorized employment will not cause their deportation, as in the case of a spouse or child who holds a B, TN, or H visa, and in addition, servants of the E visa holder can be issued B-1 visas with work authorization.
Domestic workers of an E-1 visa holder can be eligible to continue working for their employer, under the terms of a B-1 visa.