The E-2 is a nonimmigrant visa that allows investors from treaty countries to work in the United States through their investment in a U.S. enterprise. The enterprise must be bona fide and the investment must be substantial, meaning that the enterprise must be able to support you and your family within five years and your investment must be a significant percentage of the value of the enterprise. Also, you must be entering the U.S. with the sole purpose of developing the enterprise, so your E-2 investment shouldn’t be considered a side project.
There is no official minimum or maximum investment amount, though the rule of thumb is that petitions for investments of less than $250,000.00 have a much harder time getting approved. Speak with your immigration attorney to see if your proposed investment is substantial enough and if your enterprise is bona fide.
However, all of these requirements come second to the fact that you must be from a country that holds a treaty of trade and commerce with the U.S.
E-2 Visa Treaty Countries
To qualify for the E-2 visa, you must be a national of a treaty country. This means that if you are a legal permanent resident, you cannot apply. However, you do not need to be currently living in the treaty country. For example, if you are a French national living in Israel, you can petition for the E-2 visa even though Israel is not an E-2 visa treaty country.
So, without further ado, here is a comprehensive list of the E-2 visa treaty countries in alphabet:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Denmark (excluding Greenland)
Grenada (You can invest $150000.00 to become a citizen)
Montenegro (You can invest $350000.00 to become a citizen)
Singapore Slovak Republic
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey (You can invest $250000.00 to become a citizen)
Also, if you are bringing an employee over through the E-2 visa, that employee does not have to be from the same treaty country as you. You will need to file a separate petition on their behalf (also for any family members you bring) but generally, employees and family are granted the same period of stay as the principle E-2 investor, which is two years initially.
Once those two years are up, if you would like to remain in the U.S., you will need to file a new petition to extend your stay for an additional two years. Your employees and family members must do the same if they would like to stay as well. Make sure that you keep track of your period of stay so that you do not overstay your status while you wait for an approval for the extension.
International business executives, investors, and important persons who are active worldwide consider an alternative citizenship and passport a powerful tool for international tax planning and a safety net should the living conditions at home become unbearable. The applicant and their family receive full citizenship and passports.
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