E-2 Treaty Investor Visas

The E-2 investor visa classification is authorized for a national of a country with which the United States has a commercial treaty, who is coming to the United States solely to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is actively involved in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital.

If the investor is inside the U.S., form I-129 should be used to apply for a change of status, extension of stay, or change of employment. If you wish to speed up the processing of your petition, you may wish to use USCIS’ premium processing procedure.

Investor Visas This category does not require a petition for employment if the investor is outside of the U.S. In that case, the investor applies for this category on his or her own behalf directly to a U.S. consular office abroad.

The investment involved must place lawfully acquired, owned, and controlled capital at commercial risk with a profit objective, and be subject to loss if the investment fails.


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Application Document Requirements:

The application must be filed with the appropriate fee payment, and evidence that:

  • The investor is a national of a country with whom the U.S. has the requisite treaty or agreement;
  • The investor (or in the case of an employee of a treaty investor who seeks classification as an E-2, the owner of the treaty enterprise) will direct or develop the enterprise. The investor must demonstrate that he controls the enterprise by showing ownership of at least 50% of the enterprise, by possessing operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device or by other means;
  • The investor has invested in or is actively in the process of investing in the enterprise;
  • The investment is substantial, i.e. sufficient to ensure the investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise and big enough to support the likelihood that the investor will successfully direct and develop the enterprise;
  • The investment enterprise is not a marginal enterprise;
  • If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in an executive or supervisory capacity, or possess skills that are highly specialized and essential to the operations of the commercial enterprise. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.
  • That the applicant intends to depart the U.S. upon the expiration of E-2 status.


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