E-2 Foreign Investor

Do you wish to invest your capital into the U.S. for your business? If so, you may qualify for an E-2 treaty investor visa to enter the United States. The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows foreign nationals to travel to the U.S. for investment reasons.

The United States immigration system is notorious for being complicated. If you are a foreign investor, you must be from a qualifying treaty country to enter the United States. You must also fill out a DS-160 form and schedule a visa interview. To correctly and efficiently apply for E2 status, you must contact a skilled immigration attorney.

Attorney for E-2 Visas in Montgomery County, Texas

The United States is a hub for economic activity. Many foreign investors and enterprises visit the U.S. to grow their business. You may want to look into how to obtain an E-2 visa for your economic endeavors. However, the immigration process can be extremely complicated.

We recommend you contact experienced legal counsel. A skilled attorney can fill out your application for you. They can also analyze it for any errors or missing details. You have a much higher chance of being permitted into the United States with the help of an immigration attorney.

Call Luis F. Hess now for a practiced immigration attorney. He has years of practice and the resources you need for your visa. Contact him today at (281) 205-8540 to schedule a free consultation. Luis F. Hess, PLLC accepts clients throughout The Woodlands and surrounding areas including Magnolia, Shenandoah, Conroe and Oak Ridge North. 

Overview of E2 Treaty Investors 


Qualifications for an E-2 Visa

The United States’ economy is booming with financial opportunities everywhere. It may be a good time for you to invest in your business. However, you must obtain an appropriate visa to enter the United States legally. You may want to look into obtaining E-2 classification as a treaty investor.

To qualify for an E-2 visa, you must be:

  • From a country where the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
  • In the process of investing or have invested in a substantial amount of capital for an enterprise in the United States; and
  • Seeking to live in the U.S so you can develop and direct your enterprise. You must show this by owning 50 percent of the enterprise or possess operational control through a managerial position.

Investment is when a person puts capital such as funds or assets at risk. This commercial risk is to produce a large profit. The term substantial amount of capital means: 

  • It was a significant cost to purchase or establish the enterprise;
  • The investment was sufficient enough to ensure you’re committed to the successful operation of this business or enterprise; and
  • The money invested was enough to develop and direct the enterprise. 

If you’re an employee of a treaty investor, you must meet different qualifications. To qualify for an E-2 as an employee, you must:

  • Have the same nationality as your employer;
  • The nationality must be one of the U.S listed treaty countries;
  • Meet the definition of employee under relevant laws; and
  • Have an executive or supervisory character in the enterprise or organization. You can also have special qualifications needed for your enterprise.

Treaty investors can be individuals or entities. If your employer is an enterprise or organization, 50 percent of the owners must have the same nationality as the treaty country. These owners must also have nonimmigrant treaty investor status.

Executive or supervisory character refers to your status in the enterprise. You must have a portion or all of the control and responsibility of the organization. Another way to qualify is to have special qualifications, which are the skills needed to run your organization.

Listed below are the several factors used by the USCIS to determine special qualifications. 

  • You have specific skills for the enterprise or organization;
  • You have a degree of proven expertise for the field;
  • Your salary reflects the special qualifications; or
  • If the qualifications and skills can be found in the U.S.

How Do I Apply for E-2 Status?

The procedures for E-2 status depend on where you currently live. If you currently live in the United States, you must file a Form I-129 to change your status to E-2. Your employer can also file a Form I-129 for you if you’re living in the United States.

However, if you’re outside the U.S the process can be a little more complicated. You must fill out a Form DS-160 on the internet. The form is pretty straight forward and comes with detailed instructions. Any mistakes on the Form DS-160 may result in you starting over the application. 

Your next step will be to contact a local U.S. embassy or consulate. You can find a list of U.S. embassies and consulates here. The embassy or consulate will review your case to see if an interview is needed. Not all E-2 applicants are obligated to participate in an interview. If the embassy or consulate requests for one though, you must attend.

At the interview you will be asked about the purpose of your U.S. visit. You will be required to bring important documentation and answer any questions asked. If you have a successful interview, your visa will be issued.


Required Documentation for an E-2 Visa

An embassy or consulate interview will require important documentation. If you’re required to attend an interview, you must bring: 

  • A valid passport;
  • The confirmation page for the form DS-160;
  • The receipt for the application fee;
  • A form DS-156E for nonimmigrant treaty trader; and
  • A photo if you were unable to upload one onto your DS-160. 

Some embassies or consulates will ask you to bring in additional documentation. This is usually to prove that you are a treaty investor or an employee of a treaty investor. You may be asked to complete special forms and provide more documentation. All interviews are done on a case-by-case basis so it’s impossible to specify what these documents may be.


E-2 Duration and Extensions

An E-2 nonimmigrant classification visa lasts for two years. Once the limit is up you can ask for an extension. All extension requests for E-2 visas are done in two-year increments. There is no limit on the amount of extensions you can put on your E-2 visa. You can renew your E-2 status until you no longer qualify. 

E-2 holders must leave the U.S. on the date or before their visa expires. Failing to renew your status can lead to you being out of status. This means you will be automatically voided the next time to try to enter at a port of entry. You could also lose the right to apply for any future visas.


Eligible Countries for an E-2 Visa

Only people from certain countries are eligible for an E-2 visa. These countries have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. Some countries whose citizens can apply for an E-2 visa include, but are not limited to: 

  • Australia;
  • Argentina;
  • Belgium;
  • Bulgaria;
  • Canada;
  • Chile;
  • China (Taiwan);
  • Denmark;
  • Ethiopia;
  • France;
  • Germany;
  • Greece;
  • Iran;
  • Ireland;
  • Mexico;
  • Philippines;
  • Singapore;
  • Sweden; and
  • United Kingdom

Restrictions for E-2 Visas

Nonimmigrant visas have restrictions for their holders. If you don’t follow the terms and conditions of your E-2 status, you could lose your visa. As an E-2 treaty investor, you cannot change their employment at any time. You can, however work for the treaty organization’s parent company or subsidiary if:

  • The relationship between the two organizations is established;
  • The employment requires essential, executive or supervisory skills; and
  • The terms and conditions of the occupation haven’t changed.

Additional Resources

E-2 Treaty Investors – Visit the official website for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to find more information about E-2 status. Access the site to learn more about treaty countries, the employment based I-129, and other valuable resources.

Visa Appointment Wait Times – Visit the official website for the U.S. Department of State—Bureau of Consular Affairs. Access the site to find learn the waiting time for your local embassy or consulate. Find more information about administrative processing and how it could affect your application.


Lawyer for E-2 Treaty Investor in The Woodlands, Texas

If you or a loved one is trying to obtain an E-2 visa, it’s imperative that you gain trusted legal counsel. You will be required to fill out multiple confusing forms. In addition, you may be required to attend a visa interview with the right documentation. Navigate the immigration process with ease by calling Luis F. Hess.

Attorney Luis F. Hess has years of experience in immigration law. He can analyze your case, collect important documents and fill out your forms for you. Call today at (281) 205-8540 to schedule a free consultation. Luis F. Hess, PLLC accepts clients throughout the greater Montgomery County area including Panorama Village, The Woodlands, Houston, Conroe and Oak Ridge North.


This article was last updated on December 21, 2018.

 

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