US Immigration News

What is the State of E-2 Visas During the Global Pandemic?

2.25 minute read
"The E-2 Visa is a Treaty Trader Investor Visa for international entrepreneurs and investors from selected countries who have a trade agreement with the United States. This investor visa allows international entrepreneurs and investors to establish or acquire a business in the US."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jul 10, 2021
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The E-2 Visa is a Treaty Trader Investor Visa for international entrepreneurs and investors from selected countries who have a trade agreement with the United States. This investor visa allows international entrepreneurs and investors to establish or acquire a business in the US. 

What Are the Requirements for the E-2 Visa?

This visa requires the applicant to be from a selected country that has a trade treaty with the US. This also requires the applicant to be in the process of investing in a business or transferring funds to the US for investment. This investment must be from the applicant’s funds and must be “at-risk”, meaning that it should be invested in activities such as renting a business premise, buying equipment or machinery, etc. 

The applicant will be required to start the business operations and hire workers before applying for this visa. The applicant must also have a direct role in the operations or management of the business and can not just be a passive investor. 

There is no minimum requirement for investment, however, it must be substantial enough to start a business in the US. The business can not be marginal, meaning it should generate more income than required to sustain the applicant and their family members. 

What Is the Current Situation for E-2 Visa Applicants?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic that started to spread back in March 2020, visa services were suspended by the Department of State. They were able to resume services after a few months. However, the Department of State was unable to provide a specific time and date when every visa service will resume or which services will be prioritized.

Despite all this, E-2 Visa investors are still receiving visa appointments if their entry is considered in “national interest”. If applicants qualify for this exception, then they can bypass all the suspension of routine visa services and certain presidential proclamations.

Their entry is considered in the national interest if they are coming to the US for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security. It is also granted to those who can bolster the economic recovery of the US.

What Is the Future for E-2 Visas?

It is expected that under the Biden administration, the E-2 Visa Improvement Act of 2019 will be renewed. This act was amended by the INA to allow non citizens to enter the US for at least 10 years and create full-time employment for at least 2 individuals to apply for employment-based visas. A renewal of this act will result in 10,000 visas being available to foreign nationals annually. This act will also allow children of E-2 applicants to come to the US and remain on their parent’s visa until the age of 26 and even apply for work authorization at the age of 18.

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