Who is it for: The type of visa classified as E-2 visas are also known as Treaty Investor Visas. The United States maintains numerous treaties for the purposes of commerce and navigation with other countries throughout the world.
Organizations or individuals who invest large amounts of capital into U.S. businesses are eligible to be granted E-2 visas. To obtain an E-2 visa designation, a treaty investor must meet the following qualifications:
- The applicant must be a citizen of a country that the United States currently has a treaty of commerce or navigation already in place.
- The applicant must have already invested or is actively investing capital in a U.S. business enterprise.
- The applicant wants to enter the United States to manage and direct the investment, as evidenced by proving at least a 50 percent ownership in the enterprise or by proving they have direct management oversight or control of the business.
- The investor must be able to prove that the invested funds were not gained from criminal activity.
Immigrant or Non-immigrant visa: Nonimmigrant visa
Check Your Eligibility
Duration: E-2 visa holders can initially stay in the United States for up to two years. Visa holders can apply for unlimited additional two-year extensions.
Details: Treaty investor visa holders may only work for the enterprise that the E-2 visa was originally approved for. E-2 employees may work for the parent company of a treaty investor as long as it is in an executive or supervisory capacity, or in a position that requires specialized or essential skills.
Specialized skills may include unique and significant experience in the employer’s type of operation and whether or not those skills are easy to find in the United States. It is important to note that specialized knowledge of a foreign culture or language does not constitute a specialized or essential skill.
If the business enterprise undergoes a major change, such as a merger, acquisition or other similar event, E-2 visa holders must contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration by filing a new Form I-129 to show they can continue to qualify as an E-2 visa holder under the new business circumstances.
Spouses and unmarried children of E-2 visa holders can also apply for E-2 visas as dependents.
Check Your Eligibility
To apply: If you are outside of the United States and want to apply for an E-2 Visa, you must complete an Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 and submit a photo per Department of State guidelines.
The online Form DS-160 is found here.
When you complete the application, you will need to schedule an interview and pay the application fee of $205. At the interview, you will need to present your passport, the confirmation page for your DS-160 application, a fee payment receipt, a photo and a completed Nonimmigrant Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E.
In many instances, applicants for E-2 visas will already be in the United States legally under a different nonimmigrant status. If that is the case, and a treaty investor wants to change their status to E-2, they can file a Form I-129 to request that change. If an employee of a treaty investor wants to change to an E-2 status, a qualifying employer can file the Form I-129 on behalf of the employee.
For more information: For details on applying for an E-2 Visa, visit this page.
For a complete list of countries that the United States holds commerce treaties with, go here.
Additional application information can be found at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.