1 – What is an E-2 visa?
The E-2 Investor Visa allows an individual to enter and work inside of the United States based on a substantial investment he or she will be controlling, while inside the United States. This visa must generally be renewed every two years, but there is no limit to how many times one can renew.
2 – Who is eligible for E-2 visa?
There are three (3) main criteria the person applying for E-2 visa must meet before getting into any other details:
- The applicant must be a national of a country who has a treaty with United States.
- The applicant must have invested, or actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in an enterprise in the U.S.;
- The applicant must be seeking a U.S. visa solely to develop and direct this investment enterprise. This can be proven by proving that the alien owns at least 50% of the enterprise, or that he/she possesses operational control of the enterprise through a managerial position, etc.
3 – What is considered “substantial investment” when it comes to E-2 visa?
There is no bright line rule as to what is considered a substantial amount of capital. The USCIS defines a “substantial amount of capital” with consideration to these factors:
- The cost of investment compared to the total cost of either purchasing an existing enterprise or establishing a new one;
- Whether the investment is large enough to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise
- Whether the investment is large enough to make it likely that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise.
4 – Can an employee of a treaty-investor (the main applicant) qualify for E-2 visa?
Yes. To qualify for E-2 classification, the employee of a treaty investor must:
- Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country).
- Meet the definition of “employee” under the law
- Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications, meaning special skills that make the employee essential to the functioning of the trade.
5 – Can the family members of the treaty investors and employees travel to U.S. with them and thereafter work in U.S.,?
Yes. Treaty investors and employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty investor or employee. Furthermore, their spouse can apply for work permit and work in any field so long the applicant has a valid E-2 visa.
6 – I am currently living in Texas but your offices are only located in California and New York. Can you handle my E-2 case?
Yes. Since immigration is based on federal law, Eikon Law attorneys handle U.S. immigration cases anywhere within or outside the U.S. by using the latest technology that seamlessly provide professional services to our clients.
7 – How much does it cost to apply for an E-2 visa?
If the beneficiary is applying for an E-2 visa from outside the United States through consular processing, they must pay all the associated Department of State fees. The fee for an E-2 visa is $270.00. Additionally, the beneficiary will be charged a visa reciprocity fee, if applicable to their home country.
An E-2 petition with the USCIS (for those changing status from within the United States) includes a $325 for Form I-129 filing fee.
If you choose to retain Eikon Law for your E-2 visa, Eikon charges $6,000 in attorney’s fees for a successful E-2 application. So far we have been incredibly successful with our E-2 petitions and we strive to maintain that record.
8 – Who is eligible for the Premium Processing Program?
Premium processing services for E-2 applications are available to those who are already present in the United States on another type of non-immigrant visa and are changing status to E-2. Once the petition is filed, USCIS will decide on the petition within 14 days of filing it.
9 – What is the premium processing fee?
If you decide to apply for premium processing, the fee for this service is $1,225. This is considered part of your government filing fee and it may not be waived. In addition to the Premium Processing fee, all filing fees related to the Form I-129 (Petition for Non-immigrant worker) must also be submitted.
10 – Can I get a Green Card with an E-2 visa?
No. The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa and does not lead to a green card for the visa holder. But on the bright side, the visa holder is able to renew the visa for period of 2 years (sometimes 5 years) without any limitation, so long as the business is in operation and profitable.
If you are not a citizen of U.S., and don’t have a green card, but you are thinking about either starting a new business in U.S., or investing in an existing U.S., business, E-2 visa might be a suitable option for you. Please contact Eikon Law Immigration Attorneys and speak to one of our expert E-2 visa lawyers to find out if you are qualified.