E2 Visa – Requirements, Eligibility and Benefits
The E2 Treaty Investor Visa is a U.S. non-immigrant visa designed for individuals who make an investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States. The E2 Investor Visa allows a national of a treaty country to temporarily come to the United States together with their spouses and children to live and work. E2 Investor Visa allows the Investor or Entrepreneurs and their spouse and children to travel outside of the United States and re-enter.
As E2 Visa Lawyers in Miami Florida USA, we have experience on the subject and we share our knowledge regarding E2 Visa for all those interested in getting one, with the help of an experienced E2 Visa Lawyer.
As E2 Visa Lawyers in Miami, Florida, USA we use our expertise to advise you on all aspects of business immigration, capital raising and daily business operations to business growth strategies.
In order to qualify for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, the Investor must meet certain minimum requirements.
What are the benefits of E2 Visa?
For investors and entrepreneurs applying and obtaining an E2 Visa has many benefits including:
• Investors can live and work in the US full time;
• Investors and their families can travel internationally and in general they can travel freely in and out of the US multiple times;
• Investors can bring along their spouse and children under the age of 21 on an E2 Visa status;
• The spouse of the E2 Investor has an unrestricted right to work in the US; the spouse can work for any company in the US, whether full-time or part-time and even start their own company in the US;
• Investors’ children can attend US schools, colleges and universities and are not required to obtain a separate student visa (F-1 visa)
• E2 visa can be renewed for an unlimited amount of times, offering investors and their families the possibility to live and do business in the US indefinitely.
• While there are not many disadvantages to this type of US visa, some of them include:
• E2 Visa is available only to citizens of certain countries which have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States; the most current and complete list of E2 Visa countries can be found here;
• An Investor can work only for the E2 business in which he or she invested or if the E2 Visa is for an employee, the E2 employee can only work for the specific E2 employer;
• Investor and their family are granted 2-years of status each time they enter the US; this should not be confused with the validity of E2 Visa in the passport;
Do you want to know more about benefits of E2 Visa?
What are the key requirements for an investor to get an E2 Visa?
The key requirements necessary for an investor and entrepreneur to qualify for an E2 Investor Visa in the US are:
The investor must be a citizen of one of the E2 Visa Treaty Country?
Currently, as of January 2020, the E2 Investor Visa countries are Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and The United Kingdom.
The investor has invested or is in the process of investing in a US business at the time of application for E2 Visa
The most important point here is that the investor has already irrevocably committed the investment funds at the time of application or has irrevocably committed some of the funds and assets before application. In practice, funds or assets are irrevocably committed when the investor is in such a position that he or she loses the investment if the E2 Visa is not approved. For investors purchasing businesses in the United States or franchise businesses, conditioning the purchase and payment of purchase price on successful issuance of an E2 Investor Visa can qualify as an irrevocable investment depending on how the business purchase transaction is structured. For example, let us say that the investor wants to purchase a fast food restaurant for an E2 Visa in Miami, Florida and the asking price for the business is $200,000. The investor does not want to pay $200,000 for the restaurant prior to the E2 application because he or she does not know whether the E2 Investor Visa would be approved. However, if he or she does not commit any funds for the restaurant at the time of application then the investor does not qualify for an E2 Visa because there is no investment being made in the business. In this case, an option for the investor is to commit some of the funds and condition the payment of the full price of $200,000 on the approval of the E2 Visa. To do so it is important to work with experienced business immigration attorneys who can structure the transaction to meet all E2 Visa requirements and ensure the success of an E2 application.
In addition to the investment funds being irrevocably committed, the funds must be spent only on those transactions that count as investment because not every financial arrangement constitutes an investment for E2 Visa purposes. Moreover, the funds must come from legitimate sources and the investor must show that he or she is in possession and control of the investment funds or assets.
The funds must be invested in a real and active US business
A real and active US business produces a certain product or service. For example, a real and active business can be a restaurant, bar, yoga studio, pilates and aerobics, hairdresser, marketing agency, car and limousine services, travel agency and others. However, investing in stocks and bonds is not a real and active business. The special case is the real estate management or property management companies that can qualify for an E2 Investor Visa only under certain circumstances.
The investment must be substantial
There is no specific amount of money that an investor must spend in order to obtain an E2 Visa. The rule of thumb is that $100,000 constitutes a substantial investment of an E2 Visa but this is not a requirement nor a guarantee that the E2 Investor Visa is approved. The requirement is that the investor must invest a substantial amount based on the type of business the investor intends to do in the US. For example, if the investor intends to engage in real estate development in Florida, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, etc. and build a hotel, then $100,000 is not a substantial amount because the cost for a hotel development project in the United States far exceeds $100,000 and for such projects investments in the millions would be an adequate investment. However, if the investor plans to open a fruit stand in Florida, then less than $100,000 can be considered a substantial investment for an E2 Visa.
Do you want to invest in USA and get an E2 Visa?
The US business must not be marginal
The US business must be in a position to generate a substantial amount of income for the investor and his or her family. The business must have the capacity to ultimately hire employees and contribute to the US economy. An E2 business plan is required to show that the US business is not marginal. The E2 business plan is not a traditional business plan and must be at a certain level in line with US immigration guidelines, standards and requirements.
The E2 Visa investor is in a position to develop and direct the US business
The investor must have a controlling interest in the US company and must be in a position to develop and direct the US business either through the investor’s ownership interest or other business corporate structure. The investor cannot be a passive investor in the US company and must be actively directing the activities of the business. For example, the investor cannot invest the E2 required funds with a business partner and have his or her business partner manage the entire company without any involvement from the E2 Investor.
The process of getting the E2 Visa
First, the E2 Investor or entrepreneur must decide whether to start a new business in the United States, purchase a business or franchise, become a partner in a business in the United States or form a joint venture. In addition, the E2 investor must also choose the industry in which they want to operate and the commercial activity the business undertakes in the US.
Second, the investor or entrepreneur should work with an experienced E2 Visa business immigration lawyer to make sure the business they decided to do meets the E2 Visa requirements and prepare the E2 Visa application. As part of the E2 Visa application, the investor usually needs additional assistance with business formation, asset purchase agreements, joint venture agreements, financing, mortgage, real estate purchase, franchise agreement, franchise disclosure documents, E2 business plan and others.
Third, after the E2 Visa application is submitted, the US Consulate or US Embassy abroad reviews the application and invites the E2 investor for an interview. The amount of time each US Embassy allocates for the review of E2 Visa applications before the interview depends on the treaty country and the volume of visas filed at the specific US post.
On the day of the E2 Investor Visa interview, the E2 investor or entrepreneur should be prepared to know the details of their entire E2 application, including the business plan prepared for the E2 Visa. In general, the E2 Visa interview can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or more depending on the complexity of the E2 case, the E2 business and the background and individual circumstances of each E2 Investor.
Do you need help with your E2 Visa?
What are the possible questions in an E2 Visa interview
Some of the possible questions in an E2 Visa interview are quite easy to determine beforehand. Yet, some are specific for the countries from which the investor is coming.
From our experience, the E2 Visa investor should be prepared to answer this kind of questions:
• What is the business that the applicant is investing in?
• Why is the applicant applying for an E2 Visa?
• What makes the applicant qualified to run the E2 business?
• What happens to the investment if the E2 Visa is denied?
• What does the applicant plan to do after the expiration of the E2 Visa?
• Questions related to the source of the E2 Visa funds?
• How many workers the applicant plans to hire for the E2 Visa and when the person would be hired?
• How does the applicant plan to develop the E2 business?
• Whether the applicant plans to bring his or her family?
Of course, these questions are not the ones that any investor would be asked during an interview, but they allow the interviewees to see an overview of how the actual interview could look like.
What is the E2 Visa processing time?
The E2 investor visa processing time at US Embassies and Consulates around the world are below and specify the time for the consular staff to review the E2 visa application before the interview appointment. After the visa is approved, the processing time for the visa and the passport is on average 3-5 days. However, at certain US consular posts, the E2 visa and passport are available for pick the same day. Please be advised that the E2 processing times below can change, and updates can be found on the webpage of the US Embassy in each country.
1. The E2 visa processing time for Albania is 7 days.
2. The E2 visa processing time for Argentina is 3 weeks. The initial E2 visa application or renewal package must be sent for review at least 3 weeks before the interview appointment.
3. The E2 visa processing time for Armenia is 2-4 weeks for initial E2 applications at the US Embassy in Yerevan.
4. The E2 visa processing time for Australia is approximately 4 weeks at US Consulates in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
5. The E2 visa processing time for Austria is between 2 to 4 weeks at the US Embassy in Vienna.
6. The E2 visa processing time for Azerbaijan is 14 days before the interview.
7. The E2 visa processing time for Bahrain is up to 1 week.
8. The E2 visa processing time for Bangladesh is on average 4 weeks at the US Embassy in Dhaka.
9. The current E2 visa processing time for Belgium is on average 10 weeks (2 to 3 months) to review the E2 application and supporting documents.
10. As of 2012, Bolivia no longer accepts E2 applications except for renewing applicants until June 10, 2022.
11. The E2 visa processing time for Bosnia and Herzegovina is 1 week at the US Embassy in Sarajevo.
12. The E2 visa processing time for Bulgaria is approximately 1 week at the US Embassy in Sofia.
13. The E2 visa processing time for Cameroon is up to 1 week at the US Embassy in Yaounde.
14. The E2 visa processing time for Canada is between 2 to 4 weeks. Initial E2 applications are processed at the US Consulate in Toronto and renewals are processed at US Consulates in Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver or Toronto.
15. The E2 visa processing time for Chile is about 1 week.
16. The E2 visa processing time for China (Taiwan) is between 2 to 4 weeks.
17. The E2 visa processing time for Colombia is approximately 2 to 4 weeks at the US Embassy in Bogota.
18. The E2 visa processing time for Congo (Brazzaville) is up to 1 week.
19. The E2 visa processing time for Congo (Kinshasa) is up to 1 week.
20. The E2 visa processing time for Costa Rica is about 1 week at the US Embassy in San Jose.
21. The E2 visa processing time for Croatia is approximately 1 week at the US Embassy in Zagreb.
22. The E2 visa processing time for the Czech Republic is between 2 to 3 weeks before the interview appointment. The visa processing times vary according to the time of the year and the workload at the US Embassy in Prague.
23. The E2 visa processing time for Denmark, not including Greenland, is approximately 1 week. After review, the US Embassy in Copenhagen notifies the E2 visa applicant to schedule an interview.
24. As of 2012, Ecuador no longer accepts E2 applications except for renewing applicants until May 18, 2028.
25. The E2 visa processing time for Egypt is about 1 week at the US Embassy in Cairo.
26. The E2 visa processing time for Estonia is approximately 1 week at the US Embassy in Tallinn.
27. The E2 visa processing time for Ethiopia is approximately 1 week at the US Embassy in Addis Ababa.
28. The E2 visa processing time for Finland is about 1 week. After receiving the E2 visa package and reviewing the application, the US Consulate in Helsinki contacts the applicant to schedule an interview.
29. The E2 visa processing time for France, including Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Reunion, is 2 to 3 weeks.
30. The E2 visa processing time for Georgia is approximately 1 week at the UE Embassy in Tbilisi.
31. The E2 visa processing time for Germany is about 4 weeks.
32. The E2 visa processing time for Grenada is approximately 2-3 weeks.
33. The E2 visa processing time for Honduras is between 2 to 3 weeks at the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa
34. Iran is no longer eligible for an E2 visa.
35. The E2 visa processing time for Ireland is on average between 6 to 8 weeks.
36. The E2 visa processing time for Israel is approximately 1 week.
37. The E2 visa processing time for Italy is a minimum of 5 weeks.
38. The E2 visa processing time for Jamaica is about 1 week.
39. The E2 visa processing time for Japan, including Bonin Islands and tThe Ryukyu Islands, is between 3 to 4 weeks.
40. The E2 visa processing time for Jordan is on average 1 week.
41. The E2 visa processing time for Kazakhstan is approximately 2 weeks at the US Embassy in Nur-Sultan or US Consulate General in Almaty.
42. The E2 visa processing time for South Korea is approximately 1 to 2 weeks at the US Embassy in Seoul.
43. The E2 visa processing time for Kosovo is about 2 to 3 weeks at the US Embassy in Pristina.
44. The E2 visa processing time for Kyrgyzstan is approximately 2-3 weeks at the US Embassy in Bishkek.
45. The E2 visa processing time for Latvia is about 1 week at the US Embassy in Riga.
46. The E2 visa processing has been suspended at the US Embassy in Liberia.
47. The E2 visa processing time for Lithuania is approximately 1 week at the US Embassy in Vilnius.
48. The E2 visa processing time for Luxembourg is between 2 to 3 weeks at the US Embassy in Luxembourg.
49. The E2 visa processing time for North Macedonia is approximately 2-3 weeks at the US Embassy in Skopje.
50. The E2 visa processing time for Mexico is 3-5 months at the US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez.
51. The E2 visa processing time for Moldova is about 1 week at the US Embassy in Chisinau.
52. The E2 visa processing time for Mongolia is approximately 1 week at the US Embassy in Ulaanbaatar.
53. The E2 visa processing time for Montenegro is on average 1 week at the US Embassy in Podgorica.
54. The E2 visa processing time for Morocco is about 1 week.
55. The E2 visa processing time for the Netherlands, including Aruba and Netherlands Antilles, is 12 weeks or more (minimum 3 months).
56. The E2 visa processing time for New Zealand is approximately 3 weeks.
57. The E2 visa processing time for Norway, not including Svalbard Spitzbergen, on average for first-time company registration is 6 weeks.
58. The E2 visa processing time for Oman is about 1 week.
59. The E2 visa processing time for Pakistan is between 2 to 4 weeks.
60. The E2 visa processing time for Panama is approximately 2 to 3 weeks at the US Embassy in Panama City.
61. The E2 visa processing time for Paraguay is 1 week at the US Embassy in Asuncion.
62. The E2 visa processing time for the Philippines is approximately 2 weeks at the US Embassy in Manila.
63. The E2 visa processing time for Poland is between 1 to 2 weeks.
64. The E2 visa processing time for Romania is 15 business days (2-3 weeks) at the US Embassy in Bucharest.
65. The E2 visa processing time for Senegal is approximately 4 weeks at the US Embassy in Dakar.
66. The E2 visa processing time for Serbia is 2-3 weeks at the US Embassy in Belgrade.
67. The E2 visa processing time for Singapore is approximately 2 weeks.
68. The E2 visa processing time for Slovakia is about 1 week at the US Embassy in Bratislava.
69. The E2 visa processing time for Slovenia is on average 1 week at the US Embassy in Ljubljana.
70. The E2 visa processing time for Spain is on average 5 weeks.
71. The E2 visa processing time for Sri Lanka is about 1 week at the US Embassy in Colombo.
72. The E2 visa processing time for Suriname is approximately 1 week.
73. The E2 visa processing time for Sweden is 60 days (8 weeks) on average to review applications before the interview.
74. The E2 visa processing time for Switzerland is about 2 months (8 weeks) at the US Embassy in Bern.
75. The E2 visa processing time for Thailand is about 15 business days (2-3 weeks).
76. The E2 visa processing time for Togo is about 1 week.
77. The E2 visa processing time for Trinidad & Tobago is approximately 1 week at the US Embassy in Port of Spain.
78. The E2 visa processing time for Tunisia is between 6 to 8 weeks at the US Embassy in Tunis.
79. The E2 visa processing time for Turkey is approximately 6 to 8 weeks.
80. The E2 visa processing time for Ukraine is on average 90 days (3 months) at the US Embassy in Kyiv.
81. The E2 visa processing time for The United Kingdom, a British territory in Europe, the British Isles, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar and not including The Republic of Ireland, is approximately 45 days (6 to 8 weeks).
What Nationality Does an Investor Need to Have to Apply For An E2 Business Investor Visa in the United States?
The Investor or Entrepreneur must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation. There are currently about 80 countries with whom the United States has an E-2 Treaty. The E2 Visa is based on reciprocity and the list of E2 countries is changing at times with some countries being added to the list and others being taken out. Moreover, the terms of the E2 Visa for each country are frequently changing and the E2 Visa Lawyers can provide updated terms. Currently, the E2 countries are Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and The United Kingdom. For a complete list of countries that qualify for an E-2 Investor Visa and updates, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s Treaty Countries List.
Do you quallify for E2 Visa?
What Is The Minimum Investment For E-2 Visa?
The Investor, Business Owner or Entrepreneur, must invest or be in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a business in the United States. An experienced E2 Visa Lawyer will tell you that in the case of setting up a new business there is no minimum amount of capital required to be invested, but instead, a substantial amount is a subjective threshold that depends on the nature of the business, the total of investment compared to the total cost of purchasing an established business in the specific sector or establishing a new one and the financial commitment required to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. As such, for capital intensive businesses the investment amount can be in the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars while for businesses that are not capital intensive, the investment can be around $100,000 or less. However, the investment must be large enough to ensure that the investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. If, however, the investor purchased an existing business, then an experienced E2 visa Lawyer in the USA will tell you that the cost is generally, its purchase price, which is normally considered to be the fair market value.
What Is The Best Advice that an Experienced E2 Visa Lawyer Is Giving His or Her Clients Regarding Their Investment?hat Is The Minimum Investment For E-2 Visa?
The capital invested must be placed at risk in the U.S. business to generate a profit and must be subject to lose if the investment fails. Simply having investment funds in a bank account is not sufficient to show that the investment capital has been placed at risk for E-2 Visa purposes. Moreover simply being in the stage of signing contracts or looking for suitable locations and property is not sufficient to qualify for the E2 visa. Also, simply inheriting a business does not constitute an investment for purposes of E-2 visa eligibility. From our best E2 Visa Lawyers point of view, the E2 visa rules and regulations regarding the number of funds invested in the U.S. company are intended to ensure that the E2 investor or entrepreneur is unquestionably committed to the success of the business in the United States and is not simply a gamble. Further, the investment funds must not have been obtained, directly or indirectly, from criminal activity. At this point, the presence of an E-2 Investor Visa Lawyer is almost mandatory, especially when the client is not sure how to prove that the source of funds is compliant with immigration standards.
Finally, the Investor or Entrepreneur must intent to develop and direct the U.S. company in which he or she invests. For E-2 Investor Visa purposes, the Investor or Entrepreneur cannot be a passive investor in a U.S. enterprise and must show that he or she owns at least 50% of the enterprise or possesses operational control through a managerial position or other corporate devices. A smaller business that is a joint venture may also qualify as an E-2 enterprise; at least 50 % of the enterprise must be owned by a citizen of the treaty country. Certain employees of such an Investor or Entrepreneur or a qualifying organization may also be eligible for E-2 Investor Visas.
How Long Does An E2 Visa Last?
We advise you to ask for the advice of an experienced E-2 Visa Immigration Lawyer because in general the E-2 Investor visa is granted for three months to five years depending on the specific treaty the United States has with each country. The E-2 Investor Visa can be renewed for the same length of stay and there are no limits as to how many times Investor or Entrepreneur can petition to renew the E-2 Visa.
For example, the maximum length for which an E-2 Investor Visa can be issued to an applicant who is a citizen of Mexico is four years according to new adjustments of the E-2 Visa terms in 2020. However, in the case of most citizens of European countries, the E-2 Investor Visa is issued for two (2) to five (5) years. Currently, the validity period for E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Investor visas issued to French nationals has been drastically reduced from 60 months (5 years) to a mere 25 months. The validity period for E-2 Investor Visa for nationals of Treaty countries is continuously revised and we recommend those interested continue monitoring any updates or contact a dedicated E-2 Visa Lawyer.
Why should a foreign Investor, Business Owner or Entrepreneur work with an E2 Visa Lawyer?
The U.S. laws, rules and regulations for E2 visa are not only many, but they are also complex because these rules are intended to ensure that the investor is unquestionably committed to the success of the business. Moreover, certain business transactions involving E-2 investors must be compliant with U.S. immigration standards and E2 visa regulations for the investor to meet the legal requirements for the E2 visa. To qualify for an E2 visa, investors are advised to work with an experienced E2 visa lawyer on their case to represent them before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and at the U.S. Embassies and Consulates. In the United States the only individuals who are qualified to advise clients on US laws, including immigration laws are attorneys and lawyers licensed to practice law in the United States. Individuals who are not qualified as lawyers through membership in a US state bar are not authorized to practice law in the United States and interpret and advise clients about US law. Moreover, clients benefit from confidentiality and attorney-client privilege which is the most important privilege afforded under US laws. As a result, an experienced E-2 Visa Lawyer can assist foreign Investors, Business Owners and Entrepreneurs with guidance in making the investment compliant with E-2 Visa immigration laws, long-term business and immigration planning and documenting and preparing E-2 visa applications and requesting other immigration benefits. Finally because the E-2 Visa exists at the intersection between business corporate and immigration law, an E-2 Visa Lawyer must be able to understand complex business and immigration concepts and our E-2 Visa Lawyers have the required background and experience in business and finance to provide competent legal advice in the area of E-2 Visas and other business visas.
E2 treaty investor visa to green card transition
After obtaining and moving to the United States on an E2 visa, the next step can be to transition from a temporary E visa to a green card and for those interested, there are a couple of options including the EB5 program we briefly discussed above and the EB2 National Interest Waiver.
The immigrant visa options to go from E2 treaty investor visa to green card are:
EB5 Investor Visa
Foreign investors can go from the E2 treaty investor visa to green card by investing in under the EB5 investor visa program which is an immigrant visa. To qualify for the EB5 investor visa and change status from E2 to EB5 the foreign investor must make an investment of a minimum of $900,000 or $1.8 million in a US business in a rural area or urban area, respectively, that creates at least 10 full-time jobs. For troubled businesses, the EB5 investor must simply maintain the number of employees that previously worked there. In practice, the E2 investor can make an additional investment into the E2 business to qualify for the EB5 and the amount of the initial investment to get the E2 visa, and all additional capital invested into the business may count toward the minimum investment amount to get an EB5 visa. In addition, the jobs created through the initial E2 investment may count toward the 10 jobs required for the EB5 investor visa. For example, if you invest $100,000 into an E2 business that provides cleaning and maintenance services and after you obtain the E2 visa you decide to expand your business from rural Miami to other parts of Florida and Georgia and apply for an EB5, the amount of your initial investment counts towards the EB5 investment requirement. The minimum investment in rural areas for an EB5 visa is $900,000. This means that you now need to invest an additional $800,000 into your E2 business to be able to qualify for an EB5. Similarly, if your E2 business has already hired 3 employees, you only need to hire an additional 7 employees to obtain the green card through EB5. In other words, you can apply for the EB5 investor green card with the same business you applied for the E2 visa.
The EB1 immigrant visa is available to a foreign individual who 1) possesses extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, athletics, education or business, 2) is an outstanding professor or researcher or 3) is a multinational manager or executive. The EB1 visa category for multinational manager or executive or can be an effective route for those foreign investors who have worked for the foreign business entity in a managerial or executive position for at least 1 year in the prior 3 years. In addition, the EB1 visa category for individuals who possess extraordinary ability can be a potential route to a green card.
EB2 Visa National Interest Waiver
If the foreign investor is interested in going from an E2 treaty investor visa to a green card, the EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) can be an option. The EB2 is available to foreign individuals who have exceptional ability and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the country. Advanced degree professionals with exceptional abilities are generally eligible.
Do you need E2 Visa to green card transition?
Employer-sponsored green card
Another way to go from an E2 treaty investor visa to a green card is to have a company sponsor the foreign investor or his or her spouse for a green card. To get a green card through a company sponsorship, a US employer must file a PERM Labor Certification with the US Department of Labor (DOL). Once the PERM Labor Certification is approved then the foreign investor can qualify for a green card through employment. Keep in mind that the PERM Labor Certification requires the US employer to go through an extensive recruitment process to ensure that no U.S. workers are available for the sponsored position.
Family-sponsored green card
Investors can be sponsored by family or close relatives who are US citizens or green cardholders.
Transitioning from an E2 treaty investor visa to a green card is a complex process with many intricacies. Hiring an experienced business immigration attorney can save time and money as you work for a green card through your company.
E2 visa renewal or extension during Covid pandemic
What do you need to know when filing for an E2 visa renewal or extension?
If your E2 visa is expiring soon or you simply want to learn and prepare ahead of time for when that time comes, it is important to know that once the expiration date on your visa comes due, you need to renew or extend the E2 visa if you want to continue to live and work in the United States. To extend your E2 visa you must file for renewal before the time of expiration of your visa as stated in your passport. Please keep in mind that you must also remain compliant and renew your E-2 status every 2 years as stated in the I-94 record.
However, as you will see in this article there are situations where you must file for an E2 investor visa renewal or extension even though your visa is still valid in order to renew your E2 status, and this is increasingly the case due to COVID-19 and the restrictions on travel.
The E2 visas are granted initially for a certain amount of time depending on your country of citizenship and the strength of the business model and can range from anywhere between 3 months to 5 years maximum. Occasionally, the US Embassies abroad issue the initial E2 visa for less than the maximum period allowed because the E2 small businesses can be volatile. However, if the business is successful, the US Embassies abroad renew the E2 visa for the maximum amount of time. This is for example the case with the UK where the initial E2 visa is generally issued for 3 years (maximum period is 5 years) and if the business succeeds then the E2 visa is renewed for 5 years.
E2 Visa renewal or extension?
Where should you file for renewal or extension of your E2 visa?
When your visa is expiring, you can file for renewal or extension of your visa at the US Embassies and Consulates abroad or directly with the USCIS if you are in the US.
In the case that you have a valid E2 visa that is not expiring and you are in the US and cannot leave the country to obtain automatic 2-year readmission on E2 status due to Coronavirus, the restrictions on travel, the closure of the US Embassies and Consulates abroad or for any other reason, you must file for renewal or extension directly with USCIS as if you are filing a new E2 application.
The E2 visa can be renewed at the US Embassy or Consulate abroad or directly with USCIS.
If you are in the US and you do not intend to leave and your E2 visa is expiring, you can file for renewal or extension directly with USCIS no more than 6 months before the expiration date. If USCIS approves your E2 application for renewal, then you can be granted an additional 2-years. Similarly, you can file subsequent applications with USCIS and renew you E-2 status every 2-years indefinitely. However, it is important to keep in mind that if your E2 status is renewed through USCIS, once you leave the US for pleasure or business, you cannot re-enter without a valid E2 visa (unexpired). In this case, once you leave the US you must plan accordingly because you must apply for renewal of the E2 visa at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad and go through the application and E2 interview to get a new E2 visa in your passport.
Likewise, due to CORONAVIRUS, the restrictions on travel or the closures of the US Embassies and Consulates abroad, if you are in the US with a valid E2 visa that is not expiring but your 2-year E2 status on your I-94 is expiring and you cannot leave the US and re-enter before the expiration date, then you must file for renewal or extension of the E2 status directly with USCIS before the due date and no more than 6 months before expiration in order to remain in legal E2 status. The same applies if you are in the US with an E2 visa that is expiring soon and you cannot leave due to COVID-19 related issues or for other reasons; you must file for renewal or extension directly with USCIS.
How can our best E2 Visa Lawyers at Malescu Law assist you?
Our experienced business and US immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida USA can determine if the E2 visa is right for you, review all other visa options, inform you about the E2 process and legal requirements, guide you throughout the E2 visa investment, assist you with the necessary documents and prepare all the required E2 visa documentation for the U.S. Embassy or The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For more information about the E-2 Investor Visa or to speak to our best E2 Visa Lawyers in Miami, Florida USA, contact us now. We speak English, Romanian, Bulgarian, Russian and Spanish.
E2 visa lawyers: Malescu Law P.A. Immigration Lawyers