Explaining the E2 Visa

The first step for non-citizens’ staying in the U.S. for a substantial length of time (legally) is, generally, to obtain a visa. A nonimmigrant visa guarantees a temporary stay, while an immigrant visa is typically required for permanent residence. 

For many entrepreneurs and small business owners, the E-2 Visa is a great option. Even though it is a nonimmigrant visa, it has an unlimited number of extensions for its term. There are also derivative visas that allow the spouses and unmarried children of visa holders to accompany them to the United States. It is a great option, but who exactly is it for?

The E-2 Visa is intended for treaty investors. Citizens of a treaty country can be granted the visa if they are coming to the U.S. for the purpose of investing in a company based in the U.S. The applicant must be investing (or planning to invest) a significant amount of capital in the company. The capital must be “at risk,” which means it is being invested in the company and will either result in profit from the company or loss of the capital. Applicants are also required to either manage the company personally or own at least fifty percent of it. In other words, the investments are intended for new companies or existing companies that are expanding to the U.S. for the first time.

This visa is great for small business owners and entrepreneurs for several reasons:

  • Owning the business. For entrepreneurs, the requirement of owning or managing the business is a perfect match. If you have a company that you want to bring to the U.S., chances are you want to run it yourself. This visa is perfect for that.
  • Less required capital. For other Visas, such as the E-5, investments as high as $900,000 are required. The E-2 starts at a much lower rate, which may be more realistic to what you need for starting the business.
  • Higher success rate. The E-2 has a high success rate. It is considered one of the best visas for entrepreneurs.
  • Adjudicated by the applicant’s consulate. Unlike other visas, the E-2 is adjudicated by the applicant’s respective consulate. The consulates are more open to entrepreneurs and small business owners, as they see that as an advantage over other applicants.

The E-2 is not the only possible visa for entrepreneurs. The E-1 Visa is intended for treaty traders. It is made for those carrying a significant amount of trade between the United States and their home treaty country. It also has a high success rate, but is less suited for entrepreneurs than the E-2.

The E-2 Visa is certainly an exciting option for entrepreneurs and small business owners coming to the U.S. Its initial term is only two years, but it can be extended an unlimited amount of times for a successful small business. If this sounds like it could be a good fit for you, reach out to us today. Contact RelisLaw through our website here to receive a free 10-minute phone evaluation. We are here for you!

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We help people from around the world to live and work freely in the U.S., to achieve their dreams, unite families, or escape persecution. No matter what immigration service you need, RelisLaw will provide caring and dependable counsel to you and aggressive advocacy to vigorously fight for you using every available legal avenue. As a global firm, we work with people in countries around the world. We meet clients across the U.S., as well as in New York, Toronto, and Montréal. We also meet with clients globally, located in any country, via Skype and other platforms.