E-2 Treaty Investor

An E-2 Treaty Investor is a nonimmigrant visa classification for a national of a country that has an existing treaty of commerce and navigation, or a Bilateral Investment Treaty, with the United States. An E-2 applicant must be coming to the United States to:

• Develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the national has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.


In order to qualify for an E-2 Treaty Investor visa, the following requirements must be met:

• The investor must be a national of a treaty country

• The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. Such an applicant must establish that he or she controls the enterprise by demonstrating ownership of at least 50 percent of the enterprise, by possessing operational control through a managerial or executive position.

• The investment must be substantial and not marginal.

1. Sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise.
2. Must have a present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family.
3. Projected future income-generating capacity should generally be realizable within 5 years from the date the investor commences the normal business activity of the enterprise.
4. The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment and uncommitted funds do not qualify. The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.

• An employee must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm.

E-2 status can be initially granted for up to two years and renewed indefinitely in two-year increments as long as the applicant intends to depart the United States when the E-2 status terminates.


Dependents regardless of their nationality, including spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old, are eligible for derivative E status. Spouses are also eligible to apply for work authorization.

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