E2 Visa

Benefits of the E2 Visa: All You Need to Know

The E2 visa is a non-immigrant treaty visa that allows foreign nationals of certain countries to enter the United States to invest in and manage a business. The visa is typically valid for one, two, or five years depending on the applicant’s nationality, and can be renewed indefinitely.  

The E2 Visa is a treaty visa, meaning it is open to selected nationals that hail from a country within the treaty list. People from countries not on the list cannot apply, making it somewhat exclusive in its nature.

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To qualify for an E2 Visa, the foreign national must have invested or be actively in the process of investing a noteworthy amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States. The investment must be substantial enough to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. There is no minimum amount for the E2 investment, as the qualifying investment must logically correspond to the size of the business.  

 To qualify, the investor must: 

  • Have control of the funds and the ability to direct their use in the enterprise.
  • Be from a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States.
  • Must be entering the United States solely to develop and direct the enterprise. 

It is important to note that people who are not nationals of one of the eligible countries can qualify for the E2 if they become citizens of a treaty country. However, as per the new legislation by the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) which was signed by President Joe Biden in Dec 2022, CBI-origin citizen treaty countries will only qualify for the E2 Visa if they have resided in that country for more than three years after obtaining the citizenship. 

Nations such as Turkiye, Grenada, Jordan, and Egypt all have Citizenship by Investment Programs, meaning investors can obtain the citizenship of these countries in order to apply for the E2 Visa as a qualifying national.

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However, potential investors must understand the restrictions on the E2 Visa for each given nationality, as they may differ in visa validity and entry restrictions.  

For example, nationals of Turkiye and Grenada are eligible for five-year, multiple entry visas, whereas nationals of Egypt only qualify for a three months visa, and Jordan qualify for one year, single entry E2 Visas, meaning they have to apply for renewal or a new visa anytime they leave the US.


The E2 Visa comes with a host of benefits, such as: 

Easier Access to the US

The E2 Visa allows citizens from select countries to enter the US and stay for up to five years without applying for a work visa. This is especially important because of the US’s high visit visa rejection rate. For instance, the US government rejected 35% of all visit visa applications in Egypt in 2020, 65% in Nigeria, and a staggering 88% in Iran. The E2 visa helps people who need to get to the United States do so easily as residents.

Ability to Work

The E2 Visa allows the holder to work for the business they are investing in, as well as perform other activities related to the business venture. The E2 doubles as a residence permit and a work permit.

Route for Permanent Residency

The E2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning it does not directly lead to permanent residence (green card) or citizenship. However, if an applicant’s business continues to grow and they hire enough people, they can apply to switch for an EB5 from within the United States and then get a green card. This route allows investors to live in the US without having to wait outside for their EB5 application to be approved, a matter that could take several years depending on their nationality.

Adding Family Members

The E2 Visa allows the holder’s spouse and dependent children below 21 years of age to accompany them to the US.

Tax Benefits

E2 Visa holders may be able to take advantage of certain tax benefits.


The E2 Visa is renewable and can be extended if the holder continues to meet the requirements of the visa. 

Access to the US Market

For entrepreneurs, the E2 Visa is a simple route to one of the world’s most exciting markets and the globe’s leading economic power.

Study Opportunities

The E2 gives investors a chance to provide the best educational opportunities for their children in the US. While technically non-immigrants, E2 family members have the right to study and apply for US educational institutes, allowing investors to forge a path for their children to fulfill their potential.

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E2 Treaty Investor

E2 is a Non-Immigrant Visa for Investors and Entrepreneurs who want to Start, Acquire or Invest in a Business in USA.

Investor Visa is designed for alien who wish to make a business investment in the United States (US). An Example of such investment can be purchasing or opening a business in the US. Visas are normally issued for five years with an option to extend it indefinitely, for two years at a time, as long as the company is still in business and all the above requirements are met. Alien may pursue a Green Card application in any other category. Alien’s spouse and unmarried children less than 21 years will be entitled to a Derivative status and Alien’s spouse issued work authorization Card (can work for any employer).

Requirements & Benefits of E2

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There are seven main criteria’s for obtaining an E-2 Principal Investor visa (status):

Eligibility Criteria

A treaty trader or employee may only work in the activity for which he or she was approved at the time the classification was granted.  An E-1 employee, however, may also work for the treaty organization’s parent company or one of its subsidiaries as long as the:

1. Treaty Country:
The applicant must be a citizen of a country that has a relevant treaty with the United States.
2. Ownership:
The applicant must own at least 50% of the US business.
3. Develop and Direct:
The applicant must develop and direct the business (at least during its initial stage, until managers/supervisors have been hired) and demonstrate that he controls the enterprise.
4. Substantial Investment:
The applicant must have made a substantial investment or is actively in the process of investing in the US business (and show evidence of that investment before applying for the visa). There’s no legal minimum, but the applicant must be putting his capital or assets at risk, irrevocably committed to the business in USA, and the amount must be substantial relative to the type of business.
You will need to provide:
i. Business Plan: A detailed breakdown, or spreadsheet, of all funds invested into the U.S. venture.
ii. Proof of Investment. For example: Signed, dated, valid lease for business premises, including evidence of payments; Evidence of equipment and/or inventory purchases; Evidence of intellectual property or other intangibles invested; and Evidence of any other funds spent to acquire and set up the business;
iii. Evidence of how the funds invested into the U.S. venture were acquired in the form of documentation of the original source of the funds (sale of property, inheritance, loans, gift, earnings, sale of business, etc.) and evidence that the funds have been moved to the United States.
5. Real and Operating:
The US company must be actively engaged in commercial, for-profit activities and meet the applicable legal requirements for doing business in its state or region.
6. Marginality:
The US business must be more than just a marginal enterprise. The new business cannot be merely a means to support the investor. The underlying goal of the treaty investor visa is to create jobs for US workers.
7. Intent to Depart:
The applicant must intend to leave the US when his or her business in the US is completed, although the person is not required to maintain a foreign residence abroad. A statement of intent to depart will suffice.

Family of E-2 Treaty Investors and Employees

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.  These family members may seek E-2 nonimmigrant classification as dependents and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee.  Spouses of E-2 Investor may apply for work authorization by filing a separate petition with fee.  If approved, there is no specific restriction as to where the E-2 spouse may work.

There are 3 different ways where you can own a business in USA and qualify for an E2 visa.

Business Investment Category

Buying an Existing Business

You can buy and existing and established independent business or a franchise business and inherit a customer base and current financial situation of the business. In this case, you need to do appropriate due diligence to make sure that the business information provided by seller is actual and the business size satisfies requirements of E2 Visa.

Open a New Standalone Business

If you have a business idea and carry the skills and expertise to execute the idea, then you may establish your own business in USA. establishing your own business is more entrepreneurial and has potential for higher returns in future. For the entrepreneurs who have a limited small budget to establish a business in USA then in my opinion starting your own new business is the best idea. All the initial investment of the business can be controlled and regulated as per the business plan and hence can be justified as substantial to run the business.

Open A New Franchise Business

If you are afraid from the uncertainties and risks associated with opening a new business in a new country and specifically United States and prefer to minimize the risk of losing the investment by taking a more reliable route. Franchises are recognized as “already established business models” which most of the time has been “successfully tested” by the franchisor or through other franchisees in the U.S. There are hundreds of low or medium cost franchises available in US market which ranging between $80K to $120K which has tried and tested business model and perfectly matched with all E2 business investor visa requirements as well. However, in all the business options, it must be kept in mind that as one of the prerequisites of E2 program, major portion of the investment amount has to be invested or in the process of investing into the business and must be on RISK. Which means in case of visa refusal, if any, the investor has to be ready to bear the losses as the amount invested towards establishing the business up to the qualification criteria may not be recovered.

Nature of Business

Selecting the nature of business is a decision which the investor has to take very carefully. There can be various factors which can help to decide which business is most suitable for an investor to start;

Investment amount is absolutely depending on the nature of business. Officially there is no minimum amount required by govt. In general, if you choose to start any services business it can be around $80,000 – $100,000 and for any Retails or Consumer Businesses it must be around $150,000.00 or more.

Individual or Business Investment

There are 2 ways to make an E2 investment:
1. You can make the investment yourself as an individual
2. Your foreign business can make the investment

If you make the investment as an individual:

You are the E2 investor Your country of citizenship will determine your nationality

If your foreign business makes the investment:

The foreign business is the E2 investor
The individual owners of the business will determine the nationality of the business
The foreign business must be at least 50% owned by nationals of the treaty country.

US business must be a “bona-fide” enterprise

The business you invest in must be an active and for-profit business.
A passive investment will not qualify. You cannot invest in a piece of residential real-estate or a stock portfolio.
The business should be engaged in some kind of entrepreneurial activity such as selling a product or providing a service, for profit.

Your investment is at-risk and is irrevocably committed to the E2 business

To get an E2 visa, your investment must be “irrevocably committed” to the E2 business and must also be “at-risk.”

For this requirement, we will break it down into 4 parts:

  1. Investment
  2. Possession and control
  3. At-risk
  4. irrevocably committed


For an E2 visa, you must make an actual investment.

This means you must put capital at risk for the purpose of generating a profit.

Possession and Control

Investment At-risk

The investment funds must be subject to total loss.

There can be no guarantee that you will get any portion of your investment funds back.

Investment Irrevocably Committed

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