E-2 treaty investor visas are non-immigrant visas reserved for foreign entrepreneurs of countries that have a Treaty of Trade and Commerce with the U.S. Making an E-2 visa investment allows you, the financier, to enter the U.S. on account of the business that benefits from your capital.
However, while there are many advantages to having an E-2 visa, they each have a specific investment requirement. Make sure to take these factors into account as you consider making an E-2 visa investment. Below are top 6 advantages of E2 visa:
1. You can work legally in the U.S. for a company that is the subject of your investment.
With the E2 Visa, you can conduct business legally within the United States and also be employed by that business. This is one of the main advantages of E2 visa. Whether the company is pre-existing or you’re just starting up, it is important that you play a vital role in the business.
As proof, you need to show that you will be developing and directing the E-2 visa investment. You can do this by demonstrating ownership of at least 50% of the enterprise or have significant operational control through a managerial position.
You can demonstrate this by providing a list of all owners and their percentage of ownership and it should be signed by all owners to show that you possess a controlling interest in the business.
2. There is no minimum investment amount that is required.
The U.S. government does not specify a minimum or maximum amount for an E-2 visa investment. However, your investment must be a substantial amount and you must not be able to withdraw your funds. There is no substantial amount by US government regulation, however, the capital investment should be proportionate to the nature of the business.
While official requirements indicate an investment of $100,000, we have seen a wide range of scenarios, including getting approvals for investments of only about $50,000. On the end of the spectrum, an investment of $100,000 does not guarantee an approval if the business necessitates a higher investment.
If you plan on providing an even more significant E-2 visa investment of $500,000 or $1,000,000, you now have the opportunity to become a permanent resident in the U.S by applying for an EB-5 green card.
3. Your spouse can work under an E-2 dependent visa.
Spouses of E-2 investors may work in the U.S. by applying for a temporary work permit or employment authorization document (EAD). This allows the spouse to work for any company in the U.S. or start his or her own business.
4. Your children under 21 can attend a school of your choice with an E-2 dependent visa.
Children under 21 may not qualify for a work visa but they are able to pursue a higher education that will be accredited. They will then be able to apply for other non-immigrant visas to work after seeking a degree.
Usually, children would have to file for an F-1 visa which only allows the child to attend the school in which the visa was approved. However, there are many more options with an E-2 dependent visa.
5. You can travel freely in and out of the U.S.
As long as your E-2 treaty trader visa is valid, foreign investors and their dependents have the choice of living outside of the United States for an undetermined amount of time and can come and go as they please.
6. You can stay indefinitely.
E-2 visa holders maintain their E-2 status for two-year increments and can request an extension of stay an unlimited amount of times. Essentially, you can reside and conduct business in the U.S. for as long as your extensions are approved. You can do this without being a green card holder or a U.S. citizen.
According to USCIS, E-2 treaty trader visa holders may apply to extend stay if:
- You were lawfully admitted into the United States with a non-immigrant visa
- Your non-immigrant visa status remains valid
- You have not committed any crimes that make you ineligible for a visa
- You have not violated the conditions of your admission
- Your passport is valid and will remain valid for the duration of your stay