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How to Get an E-2 Visa as the Employee of a New Investor

The E-2 visa for foreign investors is designed to promote investment in U.S. companies for people not looking to immigrate permanently. If your employer is in the U.S. on an E-2 “treaty investors” visa, you may also be eligible to travel on an E-2 visa for work in a new business enterprise or U.S. investment.

Your employer must already be a foreign investor with E-2 status living on a treaty investors visa in order for you, the employee, to also qualify for the E-2 visa. If you are looking to work in the U.S. but do not qualify for the E-2 visa, you may be eligible for other visas. Further, the E-2 visa is a non-immigrant, temporary visa. If you are looking to become a permanent resident of the U.S., look into information on the green card process.

To qualify for the E-2 visa, you need to be the same nationality as the employer who holds E-2 status. Your position in the enterprise should either hold some seniority or your skills should be considered irreplaceable to the firm. Things to keep in mind about this requirement can be whether or not you will be performing a unique or individual skill in the job, whether or not these skills are found elsewhere in the U.S., and whether or not your skills will garner a compensating wage.

If you think you are eligible for the E-2 visa, you can file for status as the employee of an investor. If you are not currently in the U.S., you should contact the state department for your visa and petition for E-2 status when you enter the country.

The E-2 visa lasts for an initial period of 2 years. If your skills are still necessary and your investor employer extends his or her stay in the country to grow the investment, your E-2 employee visa can also be extended. However, you should remember that skills considered necessary at one time may not be considered so at a later time. This means that there is no guarantee that you will be able to extend your E-2 visa performing the same job duties that got you that visa originally. The E-2 visa does allow for travel abroad and you are generally granted your 2 year stay upon returning to the country.

For more information and help about getting a visa, contact Immigration Attorney Phillip Kim.


Learn About the E-2 Investor Visa

The Investors visa can be a very broad category. If you are interested in investing a large sum of capital in a U.S. company you, your employees, and your family may be eligible for a visa of up to 2 years. When 2 years is up, your visa is eligible to be extended if your stay remains temporary. That means that the E-2 visa is considered non-immigrant and you should intend to leave the country in the future. If you are interested in fully immigrating to invest in a U.S. company and becoming a permanent resident, look into the green card process for investors.

To be eligible for an E-2 visa, you should see a list of countries from which investors have been approved for temporary stay in the U.S. These countries are called treaty countries, and the E-2 visa is also referred to as the treaty investors visa. If you are a national from an eligible country and are currently in the U.S., you can file for E-2 status as an investor. From outside the U.S., the U.S. state department can issue you a visa and you can declare investor status when you enter the U.S.

To be an eligible investor, you should own at least half of the commercial enterprise and plan to oversee, direct, and advance its further growth. The enterprise must present a substantial investment, meaning that it can financially sustain the investor and his or her family and aims to generate new jobs, goods, or services.

However, the investment should still meet traditional business standards of being at risk for loss and aimed at making profit. The investment should meet legal requirements and the investment capital must be gotten lawfully. That means that money flowing into the enterprise cannot have involved criminal activity on any level.

Spouses and children of investors can also travel on the E-2 visa, and they are not subject to the same nationality requirements as the investor. The children must be unmarried and under the age of 21.

If you are the family member of an investor already in the U.S. and would like to change your status to the E-2 visa, you can file to change your status. Immediate family members of investors are generally given an E-2 visa for the same amount of time as the investor and can usually be similarly renewed.

For more information and help with getting a visa, contact immigration attorney Phillip Kim.