2.7 Frequently Asked Questions about E-2 Visa

Q: How long does it take to obtain E-1 or E-2 status?

A: The time frame to obtain E-2 status depends on whether or not the alien is already in the United States and seeking a change of status, or will be applying outside the United States through consular processing. The average time frame for an E-2 visa application outside of the United States is 2-24 weeks, with exception to some countries such as an Iranian citizen which will get longer time. On the other hand, if the beneficiary is seeking to change status to E-2 through an I-129 application with the USCIS, it usually takes few months to have an E-2 visa approved. USCIS offers expedited 15-day Premium Processing for an additional fee of $ 1,225

Q: Does an E-2 Visa Lead to A Green Card?

A: No.  An E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant Visa and does NOT lead to a Green Card. E-2 is often approved for a 1-2-year period and as long as the business is still in operation you may renew the Visa indefinitely.  If you qualify for another green card category (e.g. EB-5) you should consult with our attorneys to explore the best way to apply for the green card.  This can be a tricky area as the temporary intent aspect of the E-2 Visa makes applying for a green card difficult.

Q: What are the major requirements for an E-2 visa?

A: Three major requirements need to be met:

  1. The alien must be a national of a treaty country. List of countries;
  2. The alien must have invested, or be investing, a substantial amount of capital in an enterprise in the U.S.;
  3. The alien must be seeking a U.S. visa solely to develop and direct this investment enterprise. This can be proven by providing evidence that the alien owns at least 50% of the enterprise, or that he/she possesses operational control of the enterprise through a managerial position, etc.

To see if you qualify for an E-2 visa/status, it is best to obtain legal advice from an experienced attorney.

Q: Do I have to make a Business Plan to Get an E-2 Visa?

A: A 5-year business plan is required. Your business plan is a key element that immigration considers when they review your Visa petition.

Q: What is a Treaty Country?

A: A country with which a qualifying Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, or Navigation or its equivalent exists with the United States.  A treaty country includes a foreign state that is accorded treaty visa privileges under Immigration and naturalization Act Section 101(a) (15) (E) by specific legislation. Please visit Treaty country chart to see if your country is a qualifying.

Q: What is a Substantial Amount of Investment?

A: An E-2 Investor may invest and apply to obtain a visa based on substantial amount of investment in U.S. business.

Investors must demonstrate that he/she has invested a substantial amount of capital into a new or existing United States business. There is no specific amount that qualifies as a minimum investment. Instead, the amount invested will be viewed on a qualitative basis, taking into consideration the nature of the business and the amount of capital necessary to establish that type of business on a successful basis.

If the amount of capital actually invested is the same as the cost of the business, the investment is considered to be 100% of the required funds, and is considered “substantial.”

Don’t Confuse L-1 and E-2

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