American Investor (E2) Visa Procedures to Know

American Investor (E2) Visa Procedures to Know

For many foreign entrepreneurs and investors, the American dream of starting a business or investing in the United States can only be realized through obtaining an E2 visa. The E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that is reserved for foreign nationals who intend to invest in the United States. This visa is not just a means of obtaining residency in the United States; it also gives the investor an opportunity to engage in business activities. If you are considering applying for an E2 visa, it is essential to have a good understanding of the procedures and requirements involved.

Here are some crucial E2 visa procedures to know:


To be eligible for an E2 visa, you must meet specific criteria. Firstly, you must be a citizen of a country that has an agreement with the United States allowing for E2 visas. Secondly, you must have invested or be in the process of investing a significant amount of capital in a U.S. business. Finally, you need to own at least 50 percent of the business or hold a managerial or executive role.

Investment Requirements

The investment you make in the United States to qualify for the E2 visa varies depending on the type of business. For instance, a service-based business may require a smaller investment compared to a manufacturing plant. The U.S. Consulate or Embassy will assess the investment to determine if it meets the E2 visa requirements. It is also important to note that the investment must be made with legally acquired funds, and there must be a commitment to the success of the business.

Application Procedure

The application for an E2 visa involves several steps. Firstly, the investor must file a Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) and pay the application fee. Secondly, they will need to schedule an interview with a U.S. Consulate or Embassy in their home country. During the interview, the investor must present all relevant documents, including proof of the investment, their business plan, and a comprehensive description of the company. If the interview is successful, the investor will receive the E2 visa, which is typically valid for two to five years.

Mandatory Requirements

To maintain eligibility for an E2 visa, the investor must meet certain mandatory requirements. The investor must primarily rely on the income generated by the investment to support themselves and their family. They must also continue to work in the managerial or executive capacity for the business. Finally, the investor must file annual tax returns and comply with all U.S. laws and regulations.


Q: How long does the E2 visa process take?

A: The processing time for an E2 visa varies depending on the consulate or embassy and the workload at the time of the application. However, the average processing time is usually two to four weeks.

Q: Can I apply for an E2 visa if I am not a citizen of a treaty country?

A: No. The E2 visa is only available to citizens of countries that have a treaty with the United States.

Q: Can my spouse and children accompany me on an E2 visa?

A: Yes. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 can apply for derivative E2 visas to accompany the primary visa holder to the United States.

Q: Can I travel in and out of the United States with an E2 visa?

A: Yes. E2 visa holders can travel in and out of the United States as long as their visa remains valid.

In conclusion, obtaining an E2 visa is a complex process that requires careful consideration, planning, and attention to detail. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements, make a substantial investment in a U.S. business, and comply with all mandatory requirements. Engaging the services of an immigration attorney can help streamline the process and improve the chances of success.

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