Guide to the E2 Visa: A Pathway for Investors and Entrepreneurs in the United States

E2 Visa | FranchiseVisa

1.Understanding the E2 Visa

The E2 visa is an opportunity for investors, entrepreneurs, and individuals seeking to manage a business venture in the United States. This non-immigrant visa permits its holders to initiate a US-based enterprise or invest in an existing one.

The eligibility for an E2 visa hinges upon making a substantial investment in a US business and assuming a role in its management and development. Whether launching a new venture or contributing to an established one, applicants must demonstrate their commitment to the enterprise’s growth and viability. It is important to mention that the E2 visa is accessible only to nationals of countries that maintain E2 treaties with the United States.

The renewal of the E2 visa is unlimited and contingent upon the continued operation of the business and adherence to the visa’s requirements. This flexibility allows E2 visa holders to sustain their presence in the US while actively contributing to the nation’s entrepreneurial landscape.

2.Advantages of the E2 Visa:

  • Establishment of a business in the US with the freedom to work within it.
  • Inclusion of spouse and unmarried children under 21 in the visa application.
  • Unlimited work permit for the spouse incident of status.
  • Access to education for children in the US.
  • No fixed minimum investment threshold, with investments as low as $50,000 qualifying for E2 status (Schaffert Law recommends at least $100,000).
  • Unlimited extensions of the E2 visa, enabling prolonged stays in the country.
  • Exemption from the requirement to maintain a foreign residence.

3.Key Requirements for the E2 Visa

To qualify for an E2 visa, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Nationality of a country with an E2 treaty with the US. The full list of countries can be found here: Treaty Countries
  • Intent to depart the US upon expiration of E2 status.
  • Substantial investment in a US-based enterprise.
  • Operation of an active, for-profit business.
  • Investment in a non-marginal enterprise.
  • Direct involvement in the management and development of the E2 business.
  • Lawful source of investment funds.
  • Irrevocable commitment of investment capital to the enterprise.

4.E2 Visa Processing Timeline

The E2 visa application process involves three main stages:

  • Document Gathering.
  • Legal Preparation.
  • Consular Processing or Change of Status.

Timelines vary, with consular processing typically taking 2-3 months and change of status ranging from 2 to 3 months, with expedited processing options available.

5.Choosing Between Change of Status and Consular Processing an E-2 Application

Factors to consider when deciding between Change of Status and Consular Processing include:

  • Current legal presence in the US.
  • Urgency of obtaining the E2 visa.
  • Need for international travel.
  • Amount of investment.
  • Stringency of consular requirements.

Consulting with an immigration attorney is recommended to navigate this decision effectively.‌

6.Duration of Stay on E2 Visa

The validity period of the E2 visa ranges from 1 to 5 years, depending on the issuing country. Each entry grants a two-year status, with the ability to renew indefinitely, provided the business remains compliant with E2 visa requirements.

7.Immigration Benefits for Family Members

Principal E2 applicants can sponsor their spouse and unmarried children under 21 for E2 visas, granting them similar immigration benefits, including spousal work authorization and access to education for children. Children and spouse do not need to be nationals of the treaty country to qualify (only the principal applicant).

8.E2 Visa for Employees

Employees of E2 business enterprises, categorized as executive, supervisory, or possessing special skills essential to the enterprise, may also obtain E2 visas.

9.Transitioning from E2 Visa to Green Card

While the E2 visa itself does not directly lead to a green card, transitioning options include EB-5, family-based sponsorship, spousal sponsorship, employment-based sponsorship, EB-1A for individuals with extraordinary ability, and EB-2 National Interest Waiver.

Consulting with an immigration attorney is recommended to navigate this options effectively.‌


By delving into this guide, you’ve gained a comprehensive understanding of the E2 visa, its requirements, benefits, and transition pathways. Should you require further clarification or assistance, feel free to reach out for guidance. It will be a pleasure to assist you!