E-2 visas are available to individuals who wish to pursue their American dream and open their own businesses in the United States. The United States, in order to increase commerce, will allow an investor the ability to assure the non de minimus investment by affording such individuals the right to live and work in the United States.
E-2 visas can be obtained for citizens of countries with whom the U.S. has signed treaties of commerce and navigation. For example, German citizens can apply for E-2 visas based on the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation, a treaty between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany that was signed on October 29, 1954, and entered into force on July 14, 1956.
Similar treaties are maintained by the U.S. with most European countries (e.g. Austria, Switzerland, Poland, France, Italy, and many other countries around the world including New Zealand, Australia, and Pakistan.
An E-2 visa applicant must be of the same nationality as the majority of ownership of the company in the United States where they are working. The U.S. company’s nationality is determined by the nationality and ownership of natural persons, or through intermediary companies. At least 50% of the company owners must have the same nationality as the applicant. It should also be noted that persons with a U.S. Greencard are no longer considered nationals of their home country for the purpose of E-2 visas.
Investors must meet the following requirements to be eligible for an E-2 visa:
The E-2 visa will allow the treaty investor, and/or employees, to enter and remain in the United States upon each entry for up to two years. Thus, for example, if an initial visa is granted for one year, during that year each entry affords a two-year stay. Employees of newly created start-up businesses are granted visas for one year. Viable business employees are afforded a five-year visa. Extension petitions in the United States are granted for a 2-year period. Although E visas can be granted repeatedly for long periods, this visa requires a permanent address abroad to which the visa applicant will return.
Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. can help you with your E-2 investment visa. It is crucial that you have an immigration lawyer on your side during this process due to all the possible legal complications. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (212) 944-9420.