Investor Visa (E-2) – How to Apply

The U.S.A.United States of America welcomes businessmen and investors who intend to come to the country for business opportunities. If your dream is to live and work legally in the United States, moreover, you possess well-developed business, the E-2 visa is exactly what you need. The E-2 visa is non-immigrant, so-called treaty visa of “Friendship, Commerce and Navigation” between the United States and other countries with which the U.S. has a treaty of commerce, investment and navigation. You may see the list of countries that have treaties with the United States right here.

An investment is the treaty investor’s placing of capital, including funds and/or other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit. So, the E-2 Treaty Investor visa allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in the U.S. business.

An interesting fact is that during 2013, there were 173 million non-immigrant admissions to the United States. And 373,360 of these admissions were E-1 to E-3 visas. Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

As it was mentioned above, Treaty Investor (E-2) visa is for citizens of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. Treaty Investor (E-2) visa’s purposes are the following:

  • international banking;
  • insurance;
  • transportation;
  • tourism;
  • communications.

In order to apply for such a visa you should meet the following general qualifications of a Treaty Investor visa, i.e.:Demanded Qualifications

  • to be a national of a treaty country;
  • to be coming to the U.S. to invest in a new or existing enterprise;
  • your investment must be in a bona fide enterprise. (A bona fide enterprise refers to a real, active and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit);
  • you must have control of the funds;
  • to be able to provide the source of your funding;
  • you must own at least 50% of the business.

If you fit the required qualifications you can easily apply for the E-2 visa. Although, you need to know several steps to do this. The order of these steps may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply.

Five steps for applying for the business visa would be:

1. you must complete the On-line Visa Application, Form DS-160.

2. you should have an interview appointment the wait time of which vary by different criteria such as: location, season, and visa category. That is why you should better apply for the visa earlier!


3. you must pay for the non-refundable visa application fee at the rate of $270.

4. you should gather required documents such as:

  • Passport valid for 60 days beyond the expiration date printed on the immigration visa;
  • Non-immigrant visa application, Form DS-160 confirmation page;
  • Photo;
  • Non-immigrant Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E, if you are an:
  1. Executive Employee;
  2. Manager Employee;
  3. Essential Employee.

5. you must attend your visa interview.

Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply.

Not less important information to know is that all E-2 non-immigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their E-2 status expires. The maximum initial period of stay and work in the United States with E-2 visa is 2 years. However, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. At the end of the business, investor should return to the country of his/her origin or may change the status.

Your case is unique and demands a lot of effort to decide a point or you have many questions about the immigration law or you need a piece of advice in general, you are welcome to Legal Bistro, an online legal community where you can find competent and experienced lawyers.

You are welcome to watch our video, which provides you with additional information regarding the E-2 Treaty Investor visa.

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