E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

E-2 Visa Lawyer NYC | Feiner & Lavy Law Firm

What Are the Requirements to Qualify for an E-2 Visa?

In order to qualify for an E-2 Visa you must demonstrate the following:

  • You are a citizen of a Treaty Investment Country. This means that your country of citizenship has a relevant treaty with the U.S. for commerce and navigation. The USCIS website maintains a list of countries with these types of treaties.
  • You are coming to work for a company which is either at least 50% owned by nationals of your home country, or that you own.
  • Your position in the company will be as an Executive, Supervisor OR Essential Employee. You can also be the owner of the company.
  • The Investment of the company is substantial. While there is no minimum requirement when it comes to the investment amount, you must establish that you or the company are putting assets or capital at risk, and that you are trying to earn a profit. Finally, the investment amount needs to be substantial (when taking into account the type of business it is.)
  • You intend to depart from the US when the business is completed. You are not required to maintain your foreign residence abroad during this time. However, you will most likely be asked to show some kind of evidence of your plans to eventually leave the United States, since this type of visa does not allow dual intent.
  • Finally, the U.S. company must meet all of the legal requirements necessary to do business in its region or state. The company is also required to be actively engaged in commercial activities. The primary goal of the treaty investor visa is to help the United States by creating jobs for U.S. workers—so the company also cannot be merely just a means to support the investor.

Visas are normally issued for two years with an option to extend it indefinitely, for two years at a time, as long as the company is still in business and all the above requirements are met. You may pursue a Green Card application in any other category. Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 will be entitled to an E-2 Derivative status and your spouse is also permitted to work. An E-2 visa lawyer NYC can help make sure that you are eligible for this type of visa before you begin the application process.

Am I Able to Bring My Family with Me on an E-2 Visa?

If you are considering applying for an E-2 visa, you might be wondering how this visa might impact your family. Since there is not a visa class dedicated to dependents when it comes to E-2 visas, spouses and unmarried children who are under the age of 21 are eligible for derivative E-2 visas, which allow them to go with the principal applicant to the United States.

In situations in which the principal applicant’s family member is of a different nationality, the duration of the visa is set by any reciprocal agreements between the United States and that family member’s country of nationality. If there is no reciprocal agreement between the countries, then the duration will be the same as that of the principal applicant. An E-2 visa lawyer NYC can help you learn more about how these issues will impact your family’s immigration status.

Can My Dependents Work in the United States?

If your children under age 21 moved to the United States with you based on your E-2 visa, they cannot apply for work. However, your spouse does have the ability to apply for work in the U.S. legally.

In order to begin the process of seeking employment, your spouse will need to apply for employment authorization. The form your spouse must file is called Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

How Do I Apply for an E-2 Visa?

In most cases, someone interested in applying for an E-2 visa to come to the United States should apply at either the U.S. Embassy or the Consulate accredited to their home (place of permanent residence). Generally, an interview is one of the next steps in the E-2 visa application process.

All visa applications aged 14 through 79 are required to submit to an interview as a standard part of the visa application process. Individuals younger than 14 and age 80 or older typically do not need to sit for an interview—although they will need to if the embassy or consulate requests this step. At some point during the visa application process, a digital fingerprint scan will be taken of the applicant.
If applicants need additional screening, they will be notified when they apply for the E-2 visa. Since the E-2 visa application process can vary from Consular Posts in one country to another, it is beneficial to speak with an E-2 visa lawyer NYC to ensure that you are following the proper steps. Different countries have different visa processing procedures and policies.

What Documentation Does the Embassy Require?

The embassy requires that each applicant for an E-2 visa provides certain forms of documentation to prove their eligibility. In addition to the required documentation, visa applicants must also pay a nonimmigrant visa application processing fee of $205. This fee is nonrefundable.

For certain countries, a visa issuance reciprocity fee must also be paid. An E-2 visa lawyer NYC can help you ensure that you pay all of the required fees and submit all of the required documentation.

The documents that are required include the following:

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160
  • A completed and signed Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application DS-156E (for managers, executives, and essential employees)
  • A credible business plan that shows the U.S. business will bring in enough money to support the applicant throughout their stay in the United States (also including their dependents)
  • One 2×2 inch photograph
  • A passport that is valid to travel to the U.S. that also has a validity date six months or more beyond the applicants planned period of stay in the United States. If there is more than one person included in the passport, they are each required to complete a Form DS-160 application.
  • A business registration for the applicant’s U.S. business
  • Proof of source of income
  • Proof of wire transfer
  • Proof of the applicant’s intent to return to their country

What Are the Terms and Conditions of an E-2 Visa?

If you are approved for an E-2 visa, you should be aware of the terms and conditions that apply to this particular type of visa. For example, a treaty investor or an employee can only work in the activity for which they were approved when their E-2 visa classification was granted. However, E-2 visa employees are allowed to work for the parent company of the treaty organization or one of its subsidiaries—as long as the following conditions are met:

  • The relationship between the organizations has been established;
  • The subsidiary employment sought requires supervisory, executive, or essential skills; and
  • The terms and conditions of the visa holder’s employment have not otherwise changed.

Additionally, any substantive change in the terms or conditions of your E-2 status must be approved by USCIS. A substantive change is considered any fundamental change in the basic structure or characteristics of the employer that would impact your eligibility for “E” classification. Some examples of these types of substantive changes include:

  • A company merger;
  • An acquisition;
  • The sale of the division of the company in which you are employed; or
  • Any other event that has an impact on the treaty investor or employee’s relationship with the treaty enterprise that had been previously approved.

If you are unsure about whether you need to have a change approved by USCIS, contact an E-2 visa lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you navigate the next steps to be taken, if any.

What Happens If There Has Been a Substantive Change That Could Affect My Eligibility?

If there has been a substantive change, then the treaty investor or enterprise must notify USCIS by filing Form I-129 and paying the associated fee. At this time, they can also request an extension of stay for the treaty investor or an employee who has been affected.

When filing a new Form I-129 for this purpose, evidence must be included that demonstrates that the treaty investor or employee still qualifies for the E-2 classification. If an employer chooses to terminate an E-2 nonimmigrant’s employment, they should notify USCIS of this change as soon as possible.

Do I Need an Attorney to Obtain an E-2 Visa?

The short answer is no. You do not necessarily need an attorney in order to apply for and obtain an E-2 visa; however, hiring an attorney to handle this process can be beneficial for many reasons. First, you will save yourself significant time and effort that you would have to expend researching the process and completing it independently.

Next, an experienced E-2 visa lawyer NYC will thoroughly understand the process and all of the steps that must be taken for an applicant to obtain their E-2 visa successfully. Finally, if you run into a problem or your application is denied, your E-2 visa lawyer NYC will be able to help you understand what went wrong and help you correct any issues that could potentially be resolved.

Hire an E-2 Visa Lawyer NYC

The immigration attorneys at Feiner & Lavy, P.C. have decades of experience helping their clients obtain visas under a variety of different circumstances. We understand the importance of immigration-related matters, and we work hard to give our clients an excellent customer service experience.

We have chosen to charge fair and reasonable legal fees in order to be accessible to those in need of our services. In addition to E-2 visa matters, our firm also handles various other immigration matters. Give our office a call today to learn more about how we can help you with your legal needs.

Frequently asked questions:

How do I start a case?

To start a case you will have to provide us with all the documents and information regarding your business. We charge $275.00 to evaluate a case. The payment is non-refundable. However, If a decision is reached within 30 days to employ the services of our firm, the payment for the evaluation will be credited toward the additional legal fees expected to be paid for this service.

*Note that the above prices are subject to change at any time and without further notice. Prices do not include applications for dependents, business plans, dealing with Notice of Actions, out of pocket expenses and any unexpected circumstances we may have to address.

Do I have to come to your office in order to file the application?

NO. Almost every application to EXTEND / CHANGE a status for a Visa does not require a personal meeting in our office and can be made through mail, fax or email correspondence.

Can an E-2 holder work part time?


How long it takes for the USCIS OR the US Consulate to make a decision on my application?

A decision can take between two to four months. Sometimes, the USCIS OR the US Consulate issue a “Notice of Action” requesting additional documents and/or information to support your application and this procedure effects the processing time. If you apply for a change of your status in the US you may check your case status online.

I am in the US on an E-2 Status, can I change my employer?

Yes. You may file an application to change your employer. However, if you leave the US you will have to apply for a new E-2 Visa at a US Consulate in order to be admitted again in this status.

**This is general information and is NOT intended to provide legal advice.