E-2 Investor Visa

An E-2 Visa, also known as an “investors visa”, allows nationals of certain countries to enter and live in the United States in order to direct and develop a for-profit business. The E-2 requirements often become complicated as there are many intricacies involved in building and preparing an approvable E-2 Visa application. Burgos Law can guide you in establishing and proving the E-2 requirements in a manner that is tailored for your specific business.

When considering the option of an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, there are several key components:  

  • Nationality and Ownership: To begin with, the principal E-2 investor must be citizen of a country  in which the United States holds an E-2 treaty as well as maintain 50% or more ownership of the  business. U.S. Department of State’s Treaty Country List: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/ en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/fees/treaty.html
  • Business Formation: Investors have three possibilities to consider when establishing a business  for the purpose of obtaining an E-2 visa. The options are (1) creating a brand-new company, (2)  purchasing a franchise, or (3) purchasing and acquiring an existing company and its assets. As  part of the E-2 process, forming a U.S. entity to operate the chosen business model is pivotal to  obtaining an E-2 visa, and Burgos Law can provide the necessary legal assistance to legally form  your business in the United States.  
  • Substantial investment: At the center of the E-2 process is the concept of making a substantial  investment in the business. An investment amount that is substantial in nature is an investment  that is proportional to the total overall cost of establishing the business. This proportional  approach ensures the investor’s financial commitment and dedication to directing and  developing the business endeavor. While there is no fixed minimum investment amount, the  amount of investment should align with the specific type of E-2 company being established by  the E-2 investor.  
  • Source of Investment Funds: an E-2 investor must have control over the investment funds prior  to the funds being invested into the business. The source of the funds must be legitimate and  proving the source of the funds and the manner the funds were invested into the business must  be thoroughly documented as part of preparing the E-2 application. The investment funds can  be originated from capital assets, savings, gifts, inheritance, contest winnings, loans  collateralized by the principal investors own personal assets, or any other legitimate sources 
  • Investment at Risk: Before your E-2 attorney can submit an E-2 application, the investments into  the business must be already invested or in the process of being invested resulting in the 

investment being put at risk. This includes investment funds spent on business formation,  professional services, software, business licenses, contracts, five-year business plan, equipment,  business location, marketing services and materials, website, and any other investments  required to establish that the business is real and operational. 

Marginality: The business that you plan to direct and operate cannot be considered marginal.  Your business is considered marginal if it merely operates for the benefit of the investor and the  investor’s immediate family. The E-2 investor must present a five-year business plan showing  how the business will operate, hire, and engage employees, earn a profit, grow, and contribute  to the economy.

Applying for E-2 Treaty Investor Visa 

The benefits and renewability of an E-2 Visa further enhance its appeal for E-2 treaty investors and their  families. The process to apply for an E-2 visa depends on whether you apply at the consulate or apply  while you’re in the United States.  

If you’re already in the United States, you and your family can apply for a change of status and receive E-2  status for up to two years at a time but obtaining a change of status from your current status in the  United States to E-2 comes with international travel limitations. Thus, most E-2 visas are processed at the  consulate to obtain a multiple entry E-2 visa which provides the benefit of traveling freely. How long an  E-2 visa is issued for at the consulate depends on the E-2 treaty between the United States and your  country of nationality. While most countries allow E-2 visas to be issued for five years at a time, some  countries issue E-2 visas for only three months at a time. Renewal opportunities are limitless, allowing investors and their families to continue their entrepreneurial journey. 

E-2 Dependents and Advantages for Your Family 

The E-2 Visa extends its advantages to the immediate family of the principal E-2 treaty investor. The  spouse of an E-2 treaty investor is eligible to work for any employer or obtain an education which  provides a broad scope of professional possibilities. Of course, a spouse can always play an integral part  in directing and developing the E-2 business as a partial owner and/or team member, even if the spouse  is not the principal E-2 Investor.  

Additionally, unmarried children up to 21 years of age are eligible for E-2 dependent classification which  fosters a sense of stability and unity for families while pursuing their U.S. business endeavors. E-2  dependent children are eligible to obtain an education but are not eligible to work while in E-2 status. 

Schedule a Strategy Session Today 

Whether establishing a new venture, investing in a franchise, or acquiring an existing company, the E-2  visa path presents an opportunity for immigrants and their families to create their American dreams.  Although it is not possible to obtain legal permanent residence directly through an E-2 visa, an E-2 Treaty  Visa can be a steppingstone and a vehicle to maintain lawful status during the process of obtaining Legal  Permanent Residence in the United States. 

It is important to discuss your best options and strategize with an experienced E-2 Visa attorney on the  E-2 visa process and lawful permanent resident options for the future. If you’re ready to embark on your  business journey, our firm is here to guide you every step of the way to avoid pitfalls which save you time  and money. Schedule a strategy session today. 

Alternative Option: How Do I Become an E-2 Employee of an E-2 Investor? 

You do not have to be an E-2 Investor to obtain the benefits of an E-2 Visa. The E-2 employee visa  category benefits skilled individuals who can contribute their expertise to the success of an E-2 company.  E-2 Employees play a vital role in the operations and growth of the U.S.-based E-2 businesses. E-2  Employee’s specialized skills and knowledge not only enhance the company’s productivity but also add a  layer of diversity and innovation to the U.S. market.  

The requirements to obtain E-2 visa status as an employee differ from the requirements of an E-2  Investor.  

  • You must have the same nationality of the E-2 treaty company and the company must be 50%  owned by a foreign national that shares the same nationality as the E-2 treaty company.  
  • You must prove that there is an employer/employee relationship by establishing that the E-2  Employee meets the legal definition of employee. 
  • The E-2 employee position can be supervisor, manager, or executive level; or you can  demonstrate that, as an E-2 employee, you are an “essential employee” of the business.  


Attorney Alice Burgos is ready to guide you through the complexities of your case and provide  you with the expert counsel you need. Take the first step by contacting us today to schedule  your strategy session. With Attorney Burgos by your side, you can trust that your legal journey  will be in the hands of a dedicated and experienced professional who is committed to securing  the best possible outcome for you. Schedule your strategy session now!