An E-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa; therefore temporary. However, even though the E-2 visa is temporary, the E-2 visa is renewable indefinitely. An E-2 visa allows business people from treaty countries to work in the U.S. for a business either they own or that is at least owned 50% by other nationals of their home country.
E-2 visas are also available to an accompanying spouse and unmarried children under age 21. The spouse is able to work in the U.S. but children cannot.
- You must be a citizen of a country that has an investor treaty with the United States. If you are a citizen of more than one country, at least one of the countries must have an investor treaty with the U.S.
- You must be coming to work in the U.S. for a business that is owned at least 50% by citizens of your “treaty” country OR the business may be owned by you. The owners of the business may live outside the U.S. but must be eligible for an E-2 visa OR live inside the U.S. with E-2 visa status or another “nonimmigrant visa”.
- E-2 visas are only issued to principal owners OR key employees of the business.
- Either the business or you, as the owner, must have made a “substantial” investment in the U.S. There is no exact dollar amount that must be invested. However, it must be enough to show your commitment to the success of the business, establish the business, and sustain the future growth of the business.
- The business must not just produce marginal profits. For example, you want the business to exceed what you need to support yourself and your family. Additionally, you want economic impact by making an economic contribution to the community, such as through hiring employees.
- The business must be for-profit and actively involved in trade or services. You want to demonstrate that the business requires “active” supervision or executive oversight on a daily basis.
- Finally, you must show your intent to leave the U.S. at the completion of your business. However, you are not required to maintain a foreign residence. But you will need to show that you have either family members, property, or possessions elsewhere as a reason for you to return.