The E-2 Treaty Investor visa exists for citizens of countries that maintain treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States. In order to qualify for an E-2 visa the applicant must be coming to the U.S. to oversee the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested.
The applicant's spouse and children under age 21 may apply for derivative E-2 visas. The spouse is eligible for work authorization, children are not. The duration of E visas is governed by the treaty, and by diplomatic reciprocity tables.
A qualifying E-2 company can also apply for E-2 visas for specialized essential employees, executives, or managers who are nationals of the treaty country and whose services are required in the US.
Curran & Berger LLP works directly with Matthew Roy, a former U.S. Consular Officer and the founder of the New Atlantic Management Group for business plan development. Please see his article on E-visas and/or the New Atlantic Management Group website for more information.
E-2 investments are not formulaic. There is no minimum investment, number of employees, and no required size or type of business. There is a great deal of flexibility on how the investment funds are deployed.
At the same time, some of the requirements can be very restrictive. There is no flexibility on the nationality of the business or owners, or on the ownership percentage or role of the investor applicant in the business.
If you have an idea and the entrepreneurial drive to execute, along with access to a modest amount of capital (and are a national of an E-2 treaty country), you can potentially build an E-2 case.
Strong E-2 cases tell a compelling story – it is as much a sales pitch as it is a legal case. The business plan must convey the entrepreneurial spirit of the investor and the positive local, regional, or national economic impact. Presentation is important. The business plan and analytical cover letter must be concise and organized.