E-2 Visa to the US » Treaty Investors Visa » What You Need to Know to Apply

Watch this video to learn if you need an E-2 Investor Visa to invest and live temporarily in the US.

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If you are interested in investing in the US economy and want to temporarily live in the US, you could qualify for an E-2 visa if you have the ability to make a substantial investment.

An E-2 Visa (also know as an investor visa) will allow you to live and conduct business in the US temporarily without the burden of having to pay US taxes.

Who Qualifies or is Eligible for the E-2 Visa? 

The E-2 visa is for non-immigrants who are individuals, business owners, or investors who plan to make substantial investments in US businesses and plan to reside in the US on a temporary basis.

To be eligible for the E-2 visa, you must be a national of a country in which the United States maintains a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation. You must also have invested or be actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide business in the US.

A bona fide business “is a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial business that produces goods or services for profit,” according to United States Citizen and Immigration Services.

Certain employees of an E-2 visa holder, as well as family members of the investor or of an employee, may also be eligible for this classification.

The employee of a treaty investor must be of the same nationality as the employer/treaty investor, must meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law, and must either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.

Special qualifications are skills which make the employee’s services essential to efficient operation of the business. Some circumstances or qualities that could meet this requirement are the degree of proven expertise in the employee’s area of operations, whether others possess the employee’s specific skills and whether the employee can command a specific salary.

Family of E-2 visa holders employees of such a person/business may also be eligible for an E-2 visa.

What is the E-2 Visa? 

An E-2 visa is for owners and investors in businesses in the United States. This is a non-immigrant temporary US work visa that may be granted for substantial investments in the US.

An individual who obtains the E-2 and their employees may bring their unmarried children, aged 21 and under to the US to live with the visa holder or the employee temporarily, provided these individuals seek approval as E-2 non-immigrant dependents.

What is the E-2 Visa Processing Time? 

Processing times for US visas vary depending on several factors:

  • The office or service center responsible for processing the file
  • The type of non-immigrant visa
  • E-2 visa interview wait times (if applicable)
  • Whether the applicant can qualify for an expedited interview appointment
  • Whether Expedited processing is available
  • Whether Premium Processing is available
  • Providing insufficient or incomplete documents can lead to delays in processing and even denials

Top 10 Reasons for Refusal of the E-2 Application 

While there are many reasons why your treaty investor application could be refused, we have listed the top ten most common ones here:

  1. Current and or past immigration status and history for the US or abroad, including overstaying and unauthorized employment
  2. Insufficient funds to support themselves during their stay
  3. Incorrect or incomplete petition
  4. Insufficient supporting evidence
  5. Conflicts with travel documentation
  6. Health concerns
  7. Suspicious of malicious intent
  8. Problems with background check
  9. Criminal history/Being convicted of a crime/Suspected or known ties to terrorism
  10. Material Misrepresentation

The E-2 Visa » Other FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the required E-2 investment amount? 

The US government does not have a predetermined amount that they consider substantial so there are no minimum or maximum amounts required.

However, the US government looks at each E-2 visa application individually and uses a proportionality test to see the total amount required to set up the business and the actual amount.

Can you and your dependents work in the USA with an E-2 visa? 

You are permitted to work for the business in which you have invested and only your spouse may apply for work authorization, not your dependents.

Is there an E-2 visa renewal process?  

Yes and you are permitted to apply to renew your E-2 visa. There is no limit to the number of times you are permitted to renew.

What are the E-2 visa treaty countries? 

Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan

Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria

Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic

Denmark, Democratic Republic of Congo

Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia,

Finland, France,

Georgia, Germany, Grenada,


Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy,

Jamaica, Japan, Jordan,

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,

Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg,

Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco,

Netherlands, Norway,


Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland,

Republic of the Congo, Romania,

Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland,

Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey,

Ukraine, United Kingdom

Reference List

Can you study with an E-2 visa? 

Yes, are permitted to study while holding an E-2 visa, but you are only allowed to take a few classes. You are not allowed to enroll in a full-time program at a US college or university.

What is the difference between the E-1 and the E-2 visa? 

The E-1 visa is a Treaty Trader visa for individuals involved in the exchange, purchase or sale of goods and services or merchandise.

The E-2 visa is an Investor visa that allows individuals of a treaty country to be admitted to the US to conduct international trade.

At least 50% of the exports/imports must be to/from the United States and must be substantial.

Why Contact My Visa Source for an Assessment? 

Congratulations on taking your first step toward investing in the United States while temporarily living and working there.

The more research you do on the immigration process, the more you will learn about your specific situation and how we can help you navigate through the E-2 Visa process.

Immigration lawyers at My Visa Source dedicate themselves to your immigration case, providing legal representation tailored to your personal situation.

Our expertise focuses on immigration and visa programs for the United States and Canada, including global immigration.

Partnering with an award-winning immigration team greatly increases the likelihood of achieving your specific immigration or visa goals.

Begin Your Investor Visa Application Today!

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We have a dedicated team of licensed immigration professionals standing by, ready to answer your immigration and visa questions.

Immigration is a complex process that requires strong legal strategy, precise paperwork and perfect attention to detail, reducing the risk of wasted time, money or permanent rejection.

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