Non-immigrant individuals from countries that are under a treaty and wish to engage in industries that are involved with international trading can apply for an E2 visa. This non-immigrant visa is granted to investors to continue and enhance the friendship, trading, and navigation between the other country and the USA.
There are more than 80 countries where a resident can enjoy the benefits of an E2 visa when they come to the US for investments. Employees from businesses initiated by foreign nationals may also apply for the E2 work visa. Because investments and businesses are involved in E2 visas, getting US Immigration advice from experts is recommended.
An E2 visa has many benefits, especially if you are planning to bring your immediate family to the US. According to immigration law, E2 visa holders are allowed to stay in the United States as long as the visa is valid. At first, they will be given two years to develop the company where they have invested. Before it reaches the expiration date, the visa can be extended.
Dependents that hold an E2 spouse visa are allowed to work in the US and unmarried children under 21 years old are allowed to study as well.
Criteria for E2 Visa Eligibility
There are several criteria for which an individual can be eligible for an E2 visa. As mentioned earlier, an investor should come from a country where a treaty with the USA is established. Employees can also be sent by the company provided that the employee is under a supervisory or managerial role or a member of the executive department. They should also be the national of a treaty country.
The investor should be able to invest a good amount of capital in an existing or new business. Its company should meet the marginal profit requirement to retain the E2 visa. The investment amount shall be deposited and kept in a bank account until the visa application is approved.
E2 visas are not automatically approved. There are still application processes to determine if the investor can meet the criteria for eligibility.
How to Apply for an E2 Visa
The application can be done in the US or another country. If you are already a visa holder staying in the US, you may change your visa status by filing a form of Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker in the USCIS. Documents that prove your nationality, intent to return and your investment shall be included in the application. Companies may also process the petition filing for their employees.
For people outside the USA, an E2 visa application should be done through the US Embassy. The application should only be done through a non-immigrant visa application which includes questions about your intentions in going to the US. You are required to pay an application fee. Some countries require additional payments for visa issuance and reciprocity.
You will be asked to be scheduled for an interview in which you also need to bring the documentary requirements such as the completed non-immigrant visa application form, a valid passport, photographs, proof that you are coming back to your home country, documents of the legal business, and documents that the investment is real. During the interview, you need to prove that you will be coming back to your home country. Otherwise, your application may be rejected.
The same process goes for employees that are applying for this visa. It only differs from the other required documents such as an employment contract or job offer, proof of financial resources, and documents that can certify your skills and expertise.
Bringing Your Dependents
The primary visa holder may bring their dependents which include a spouse and unmarried children below 21 years of age. They may apply together with the primary visa holder or they may apply later on.
Spouses are allowed to work as long as they have an approved Employment Authorization Document. The validity of the visa is the same as the primary holders’. However, if they want to extend its validity, they need to apply for an extension or change of visa status.
If the primary visa holder has been approved of having a green card, the dependents are also qualified to have it.
With an E2 visa, you and your dependents will be able to enjoy living the American dream. However, getting this type of visa can be difficult since investments are involved and a lot of business requirements are required. The E2 visa is not available for a regular investor. However, it can be a good start to start a business in the USA if you are a foreign national of a country with an investment treaty with the USA.
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