E-2 treaty investor visas offer foreign nationals an opportunity to begin their own business in the United States. Compared to other visas, it is not as complicated to apply for. However, it does come with some stringent requirements. There are both advantages and disadvantages to E-2 treaty investor visas.
One of the main advantages of an E-2 treaty investor visa is that you have the ability to conduct business in the United States and be employed by that business. You must play a vital role in the business in order to be eligible for the visa. This can be demonstrated by showing ownership of more than 50% or operational control through a managerial position.
In addition, there is no minimum or maximum amount of investment that must be made, although the investment must be substantial. The investment should be proportionate to the nature of the business. Another advantage of the E-2 visa is that your spouse and children can also obtain visas. While in the United States, your spouse can seek a work authorization, and your children can attend college.
As long as your visa is valid, you are able to travel in and out of the US freely. In addition, E-2 visa holders can stay in the US for two-year increments and can request an unlimited number of extensions. This means you can essentially stay in the country indefinitely.
Every visa has its downside, and depending on your status, the E-2 visa may not be right for you. E-2 visas are limited to foreign nationals of countries with investor treaties. The list of countries can be found here. In addition, in order to work in the United States, you can only work for the company that is part of the investment. The E-2 is also only approved in two-year increments, and, in some cases, the extension process can be lengthy.
If you are interested in exploring your options as a treaty investor, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the application process. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.