Treaty Investor (E-2) Visas

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Investor Visas for persons from certain countries with treaties with the U.S.

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation. For a list of participating countries please see below.

You must be coming to the United States to:

  • engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities, principally between the United States and the treaty country;
  • develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which you have invested a substantial amount of capital; or
  • be a national of Australia working solely in a specialty occupation.

For more information on business investment in the United States, see the U.S. Department of Commerce website SelectUSA.

TRADE FOR TREATY TRADER AND TREATY INVESTOR PURPOSES – EXAMPLES

These are some examples of types of enterprises that constitute trade under E visa provisions.

  • international banking
  • insurance
  • transportation
  • tourism
  • communications
  1. The investor, either a person, partnership or corporate entity, must have the citizenship of a treaty country.
  2. If a business, at least 50 percent of the business must be owned by persons with the treaty country’s nationality.
  3. The investment must be substantial, with investment funds or assets committed and irrevocable. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise.
  4. The investment must be a real operating enterprise, an active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking.
  5. A paper organization, speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
  6. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to you and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
  7. You 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.
  8. You must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise. If you are not the principal investor, you must be considered an essential employee, employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.

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