E2 Visa Requirements and Procedure

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The E2 visa is a great option for investors and entrepreneurs.

8 requirements to get an E2 visa

When you are finished reading, you should understand exactly what is needed to get an E2 visa.
Now let’s start . . .
There are 8 key requirements to getting an E2 visa:

Now that we’ve listed out each of the 8 requirements, let’s go over what each requirement means.

1: You must be a national of a treaty country with the United States.
To get an E2 visa, you must possess the nationality of a country with an E2 treaty with the US.

Be aware that 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

There must be a qualifying treaty between the US and your country of nationality.
For a list of all of the E2 treaty countries, see here:
2. Have the intent to depart the United States once your E2 status ends.
You must have the intent to leave the US once your status ends.

You can meet this requirement by including a statement in your E2 visa application which states that you intend to leave once your status ends.

You can still convert your E2 visa to a green card.
Even though you must have the intent to depart the US once your E2 status ends, you can still convert your E2 visa to a green card.

If done properly, converting your E2 visa to a green card will not conflict with the requirement that you intend to depart the US once your E2 status ends.
The E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, which means that it is temporary and does not directly lead to a green card.
In order to convert your E2 visa to a green card, you can “adjust status” to an immigrant visa status.
Some examples of immigrant visas are the: EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5 visa.

This process should be handled by an experienced immigration lawyer.
3. Invest a “substantial” amount of capital in a US business.
To get an E2 visa, your investment must be considered substantial.
The tricky part to this requirement is that there is no set minimum amount that is considered substantial.
To determine whether an investment is substantial, a proportionality test is used.

This means that the amount you invest will be compared with the total cost of a comparable established business.

For example, if you are investing in a restaurant, the amount of your investment will be compared to the total cost of the restaurant.

If you are investing in a brand-new business, the amount of your investment will be compared against the total cost to bring the business to full functionality.

- The proportionality test should be viewed as a sliding scale.
- For lower cost businesses, you should invest 100% of the total cost of the established business.
- For higher cost businesses, you may invest less than the total cost of the business.

To make things easy, as a rule of thumb, I recommend investing NO LESS than $100,000 for an E2 visa.

This is not a guarantee that $100,000 will satisfy the substantiality requirement. But you certainly should not invest less than $100,000.
4. 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 an entrepreneurial activity such as selling a product or providing a service, for profit.
5. The business is not “marginal.”
The business cannot be considered a marginal enterprise.
A marginal enterprise is a business that does not have the present or future capacity to generate enough income to provide more than a minimal living for the E2 investor and their family.

This means that to avoid being considered a marginal enterprise, the E2 business must either generate more than enough income to provide beyond a minimal living for the investor and their family.

You may also prove that the business is not marginal by showing that the E2 business will have a substantial positive economic impact on the area where it operates.

Hiring needed employees can also combat an inference of marginality.
6. You are coming to the United States to “direct and develop” the E2 business.
To get your E2 visa, you must show that you are coming to the US to direct and develop the E2 business.
You can prove that you direct and develop the E2 business by showing that you own at least 50% of the E2 business.

If you do not own at least 50% of the E2 business, you may still show that you direct and develop the business by showing that you have operational control of the business.
You can show operational control by showing that you have a managerial position within the business.
7. Lawful source of funds.
The source of your investment funds must be lawful.
This means that you must have lawfully obtained the funds you use for your E2 investment.
Examples of lawful funds include:

- Income earned from lawful employment
- Income from the sale of a property
- Income from the sale of a business
- A unsecured loan
- A loan secured by your personal assets
- A gift
- An inheritance
8. 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

Process Time:

Every business has different requirements and takes different timings, but as a general guideline, here is the time frame we are expecting:

Company Registration and Setup:                 8-10 Weeks

Business Acquisition:                                      6 – 8 Weeks

Client and Business Profiling:                         2 – 4 Weeks

Application Preparation:                                  2 – 4 Weeks

Interview Scheduling:                                     Depends on the Embassy 

As a complete process, business may take   5 – 6 Months

7 Step E-2 Process and Timeline

Step-by-step overview of the E-2 Investor Visa process & path to succeed

Business Investment Timeline – Approximately 3-6 months depending on the individual and business

1. Start Your Business

Receive step-by-step instructions on how to startup or purchase your business. You will know the steps to setting up and structuring your business to qualify for the E-2. The E-2 process can seem vague or overwhelming, which is why we provide detailed instructions that will help you get started immediately. We review purchase, lease, escrow, and franchise agreements to make sure they comply with E-2 visa requirements.

4. Attorney Engagement

Once all documents have been received by our office. We will prepare and assemble your E-2 application packet for submission to the U.S. authorities. Senior consultant’s prior experience as a qualified business consultant, gives him unique insight on how to prepare and present your documents for E2 visa. Once whole E2 packet is ready, we will forward the same to an Immigration Attorney hired by you and appointed on your case for petition filling. (we may recommend a qualified attorney as well based on our prior experience.)

7. Attend Interview & Receive Decision

Attend your interview. At the end of the visa interview, you should be informed by the visa officer whether you have been approved or not. Other outcomes can be receiving a Request for Additional Evidence (RFE). *You do not have an interview, if you applied for a change of visa status within the U.S. Instead, you will receive a decision by mail. Our office has the highest E-2 approval success rate. In a rare circumstance that you are not approved, we would need to follow the instructions and guidelines from the US authorities and overcome any objections rework and redo the case and resubmit to get the approval . Note that our high approval rate does not guarantee the outcome of your case.

2. Gather Documents

Collect documents while setting up your business. We will provide you with a detailed checklist of items to collect while you set-up. Our high concentration on E-2 cases gives us the advantage of providing you with specific and clear guidance on what crucial documents to collect and how to obtain them.

5. Submit Application

Attorney will submit your prepared E-2 application package to the U.S. Consulate abroad or to the Immigration Agency within the U.S. *There are major differences between applying for your E-2 visa at a U.S Consulate abroad versus applying with the Immigration Agency within the U.S. Visit the link below to discover more: We will monitor your case progress, liaise with the immigration attorney and keep you informed of any developments. We will communicate with the government agency to resolve problems for your case, if necessary.

3. Finalize Your Documents

Send your documents to our office when you finish or are nearly finished with your business set-up. We will review and evaluate your documents to prepare a strong E-2 case for you. If there are missing documents, we will instruct you accordingly. The review of documents also includes a detailed analysis of your lawful source of funds, essential to your E-2 visa approval.

6. Prepare for Interview

While your application is pending for review by the US embassy or consulate, you will have a meeting with our consultant to prepare you for the E-2 interview questions. *There is no interview requirement when you submit E-2 application to the Immigration Agency within the U.S. You will have a one-on-one meeting (Skype, Zoom, telephone, or in-person) with our consultant to prepare for your visa interview. Our consultant’s experience and concentration in the E-2 visa field will provide you with valuable insights about the interview process and techniques for success. It is our goal to minimize surprises, so that you can attend your interview with confidence.

Our Role in preparation of your business for E2 Visa


By now, you should know that to get an E2 visa, you must meet all 8 of the E2 visa requirements as stated above.

Now that you have read and understand the 8 E2 visa requirements, you are in a much better position to understand whether you will qualify for an E2 visa.


E2 visa requirements are complex. In addition to meeting the requirements, you must make sure that your application clearly shows that you meet all of the requirements.

This is not something that you should do on your own. There are many documents that must be carefully prepared and submitted properly for your visa application to be approved.

Many of the US Consulates of the E2 treaty countries have specific requirements for how they would like the E2 application to be submitted to them.

Some consulates want a comprehensive business plan while others want a very short and concise business plan.

And the order in which the documents are to be submitted is specific to each consulate.

If your application isn’t submitted properly, it may not even be processed.

The key to your success with an E2 visas it to work with a qualified business consultant and an immigration lawyer with experience handling E2 visa applications.

We would be happy to help you with your E2 business setup from start to finish.


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