This non-immigrant visa is for those who is in the process or has invested a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business and are a national of the treaty country.


You may be eligible for E-2 visa if you meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
  2. Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States.
  3. Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise (by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate means).

The Treaty Investor must be placing the capital, including assets, at risk in the commercial sense with regard to the objective of generating profit. If the investment fails, then the capital must be subject to partial or total loss. The Treaty Investor must also show that the investment capital was not gained through criminal activity. See 8 CFR 214.2(e)(12).

A substantial amount of capital is:

  1. Substantial in relation to the total cost of either purchasing and establishing an enterprise or establishing a new one.
  2. Enough to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise.
  3. Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise.

The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.

Qualifications of the Employee of a Treaty Investor

You may qualify under the following criteria:

  1. Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country).
  2. Meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law.
  3. Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory capacity, or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.

Special qualifications are skills that make the employee’s services vital to the efficient operation of the business.
These include but not limited to:

  1. The degree of proven expertise in the employee’s area of operations.
  2. Whether others possess the employee’s specific skills.
  3. The salary that the special qualifications can command.
  4. Whether the skills and qualifications are readily available in the United States.

Qualifying applicants will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years, with requests for extension of stay in increments of two years. There are no limits to the extensions of stay for E-2 non-immigrants.

Family of E Visa Holders

Treaty investors and employees may be accompanied by spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21.

Related Forms

If you are inside the U.S., the I-129 should be used to apply for a change of status, extension of stay, or change of employment. This category does not require a petition for employment if the applicant is outside of the U.S. If so, then the applicant should apply for this category on his or her own behalf directly to a U.S. consular office abroad.

Complete Form I-129, Petition for Non-immigrant Workers. Family members already in the U.S. or seeking change of status or extension of stay, complete Form I-539.

Spouses of E-2 workers may apply for work authorization by completing Form I-756, Application for Employment Authorization.

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