E-1 and E-2 Treaty Trade Investor Visas
E-1 and E-2 treaty trade investor visas are reserved for foreign nationals
who come from a country who has entered into a treaty trade agreement
with the United States. Many countries have signed a treaty trade agreement
with the United States. A full list of participating countries are listed
What are the Requirements for a Treaty Trade Investor Visa?
Generally, to be eligible under this category, you must show that you are
entering the United States to carry on substantial trade with the United
States (E-1 visa), or, that you are entering the United States to make
a substantial investment in a United States enterprise, and to oversee
this investment (E-2 visa).
For an E-1 visa, you must be engaged in
international trade between the United States and your home country. This can include trade
in both goods and services. There is no monetary amount required for an
E-1 visa, however, it must be proven that the trade is "substantial"
and that the amount of trade ensures a continuous flow of international
trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.
For an E-2 visa, you must either be in the process or actively in the process
of investing in the United States. This means more than simply transferring
money to a US bank account in the "hopes" of investing, and
requires more than shopping for a potential investment. The applicant
must prove that he is entering the United States, or has entered the United
States, with a specific sum of money put "at risk." The term
"at risk" is a legal term of art, but is generally understood
to mean that the capital is subject to total or partial loss if the investment fails.
Both E-1 and E-2 visas require an intention to depart the United States
once your work has finished. E-1 and E-2 applicants must prove that they
intend to depart the United States. However, an E-2 investor may at a
later time choose to engage in the PERM Labor Certification process to
obtain permanent residency.
Special Requirements for E-2 Investors
The E-2 investor must manage the business and have a controlling interest
in the enterprise. Although he or she is not required to own a majority
of the business, he or she must have decision making authority and effective
control of the business.
Although there is no minimum investment required, generally, the investment must be
at least $50,000 to $100,000, taking into consideration the size of the enterprise.
In short, the amount of the investment must be sufficient to demonstrate
the investor's commitment to the business. Further, an E-2 visa must
be accompanied with a business plan with a five year projection, among
other documentation showing the source of the capital and how the capital
is "at risk."
How long will the E visa be valid for?
An E visa is valid for two years and is renewable so long as the enterprise
is still functioning and the applicant is engaged in overseeing the business or trade.
You may enter the United States as an E-1 or E-2 treaty trade investor,
or, if you are currently in the United States and in valid status, you may
change your status to E-1 or E-2. The process of obtaining a treaty trade investor visa is
highly complex, requiring the assistance of an experienced
immigration investment attorney to guide you through this process. Further, some applicants require the
assistance of third-parties to write business plans, obtain tax advice
or other business advice. If you are interested in investing in the United States,
contact an experienced Southern California immigration attorney today. The Law Office of Ashkan Yekrangi, P.C. has handled investment visas,
and will be happy to assist you in obtaining your visa.