What is the E-2 visa?


The E-2 is classified as a nonimmigrant treaty investor visa. An applicant, to be classified as an E-2 treaty investor, must:

  1. Invest or is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital into a bona fide enterprise in the United States, as distinct from a relatively small amount of capital in a marginal enterprise solely for the purpose of earning a living;

  2. Seek entry solely to develop and direct the enterprise; and

  3. Intend to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of treaty investor (E-2) status.

A foreign national employee of an E-2 treaty investor may be classified as such if the employee is in or is coming to the United States under the following conditions:

  1. To engage in duties of an executive or supervisory character; or

  2. If employed in a lesser capacity, the employee has special qualifications which make his services essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise;

  3. The employee must have the same nationality as the principal alien employer;

  4. In addition, the employee must intend to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of E-1 or E-2 status.

The principal foreign national employer, who is the same E-2 treaty investor, must be:

  1. A person in the United States having the nationality of the treaty country and maintaining nonimmigrant treaty investor status or, if not in the United States, would be classifiable as a treaty investor; or

  2. An enterprise or organization at least 50 percent owned by persons in the United States having the nationality of the treaty country and maintaining nonimmigrant treaty investor status or who, if not in the United States, would be classifiable as treaty investors.

Source: Santamaria, Marc, "Why Immigrants Benefit the United States Economy and the Legal and Tax Issues Chinese, Filipinos and Vietnamese Face When Immigrating to the U.S." (2016).

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