An E2 Investor Visa is a route to securing the right to live in the US, alongside the opportunity to purchase a business venture or launch your own enterprise in the states.
As with many US visa routes, the conditions are extensive, so the Astons team has compiled this guide to summarise the essential eligibility criteria.
If you would like more information about the investment visa USA requirements or explore your application prospects in more detail, please contact our friendly team to schedule a private consultation.
Understanding Investor Visa USA Requirements
The fundamental requirements are governed by the USCIS, which defines a visa investor as someone who has contributed capital, which could be funds or another asset, into a commercial enterprise at their own risk.
For example, you could invest in starting a new company or buying a business but need to put up assets or funds as the investment.
This visa category applies to non-immigrants, so you must be:
- A foreign national.
- A citizen of a country with an appropriate treaty.
- An investor or entrepreneur.
Once successful, an E2 treaty investor visa means that you can travel to the US and work in the country provided your investment meets the thresholds and is in an authentic business.
E2 Treaty Investor Visa Types
There are two different E2 investor visa types, so the first step is to ensure you're applying for the most suitable permit.
The alternative is the EB5 Investor Green Card – please get in touch if you'd like more details about this alternative option.
What Can I Do as a Visa Investor?
Applicants who have secured an E2 visa can:
- Work in the business that they invested in.
- Travel to and from the states freely.
- Live there with unlimited extensions every two years (provided the investment is maintained).
- Travel with a spouse and relatives.
The investor's family members may also attend US schools and universities without requiring a separate student visa.
The challenge is that the investor visa USA specifications are rigid. You need to be a citizen of a country with an investment treaty with the US and can only work for the business or company that has sponsored your visa, or you invested in.
An E2 visa is approved for two years, meaning a slower application process than some other residency programmes.
Crucial Investment Visa USA Requirements
To be eligible for an E2 visa, you will need to prove that you are investing in a legitimate business – failure to demonstrate authenticity will mean being rejected.
Immigration authorities will therefore verify that the investment enterprise is an active commercial business, producing goods or services, earning a profit and correctly registered.
Evidence Required When Applying for an E2 Visa USA
Of the many types of documentation, the below list shows some of the necessary proof investors are asked for to support their US visa application:
- Confirmation that they have registered for an Employer Identification Number from the IRS.
- Tax returns and financial statements.
- Payroll summaries or quarterly wage statements.
- Business structure and licenses.
- Bank statements, directory listings and utility bills.
- Vendor agreements or customer contracts
- Lease paperwork or escrow documents.
If you are interested in investing in an E2 visa, it is, therefore, crucial you work with an experienced immigration adviser such as Astons to ensure your application is complete and compliant.
E2 Visa USA Treaty Countries
Another requirement of the E2 Visa is that you can only apply if you are a citizen of a country with a relevant treaty.
While not exhaustive, some of the relevant nations include Armenia, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Croatia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Moldova, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Singapore, Thailand, Ukraine and the UK.
Please get in touch with Astons for a comprehensive list of countries with E2 treaty eligibility.
Applicants must be full citizens, so permanent residency does not qualify – although you don't have to be currently living in your country of origin.
Investment Values for an E2 Investor Visa
An E2 investment must be substantial – which depends on the nature of the company.
For example, if you invest in a low-cost venture, you might be expected to contribute a higher percentage investment.
US immigration can approve smaller investments of under $100,000, but most contributions should be of this value as a minimum.
To begin your E2 visa application or discuss further the requirements to apply, please get in touch with the Astons team at your convenience.