The E-2 investor visa allows individuals from countries with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce to enter the U.S. to start a new business or purchase an existing one. An applicant for an E-2 investor visa must generally meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must be a national of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce. A full list of countries can be found here.
  • The applicant has invested or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide U.S. enterprise. A bona fide U.S. enterprise is defined as one that is real, active, and engaging in commercial or entrepreneurial activities that generate services or goods for profits and that is legally permitted to conduct business.
  • The applicant intends to enter the U.S. solely to develop and direct the enterprise. The applicant can demonstrate this by showing that he or she owns at least 50% of the enterprise or by showing operational control through a management of similar position.
  • The applicant intends to depart the U.S. upon expiration of his or her status.

Employees of E-2 Investors

An employee of a treaty investor may qualify for an E-2 visa if the following requirements are met:

  • The employee will engage in executive or supervisory duties or the employee has special qualifications that are essential to the efficient operation of the company
  • The employer’s nationality is the same as that of the principal employer. If the principal employer is an enterprise, the enterprise must be at least 50 percent owned by individuals in the U.S. who have the nationality of the treaty country and who are maintaining lawful treaty investor status.
  • The employee must intend to depart the U.S. upon expiration of his or her E-2 status.

Spouses and Children of Treaty Investors

 Spouses and children of E-2 investor visa holders may accompany or follow to join their family member without regard to their nationality.  Therefore, even if the spouse and children of a principal applicant may not be a national of a treaty country, they still may receive the E-2 non-immigrant classification as the principal applicant.

Period of Stay in the U.S.

E-2 investor visa holders may be admitted to the U.S. for a maximum initial period of two years. Extensions of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years. There is no specified maximum number of extensions that may be granted; however, E-2 investor visa holders must intend to depart the U.S. upon expiration or termination of their status.

Further Information

VisaZip helps individuals and businesses find more efficient solutions to their immigration needs. With over two decades of combined experience handling thousands of immigration cases, our attorneys will help you navigate the complex landscape of U.S. immigration law to find the solution that is best for you. Please contact us to learn more about the E-2  visa and to schedule a consultation.


Written by Farid Masoud Esq. Mr. Masoud previously served as an Assistant Chief Counsel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and as an Immigration Officer with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Mr. Masoud is currently a partner at VisaZip LLP, an immigration law firm that serves individuals and companies throughout the U.S. and globally.

Please note: This article is for general information purposes and should not be construed as legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact an experienced immigration attorney for your specific immigration issue.