The Treaty Investor Visa (non-immigrant E-2 classification) is intended for nationals of a foreign country with which a qualifying treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation, or a similar agreement exists with the United States. Nationals (individuals or companies) of countries with such treaties with the United States can obtain visas to work in the USA in order to develop and direct their investment with the USA. The E-2 visa is for individuals coming to the U.S. to invest a substantial amount of capital or to direct and develop the business operations of an entity in which the individual has already invested funds. A person may qualify as the principal investor or as an employee of an investor company having the same nationality. There are no numerical limitations on E-2 admissions.
The E-2 treaty investor visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the United States and carry out investment and trade activities. Investment activities include the creation of a new business. The investment must be significantly proportional to the total investment, that is, usually more than half the total value of the enterprise or, if a new business, an amount normally considered necessary to establish the business.
Foreign nationals from treaty countries who have made a substantial investment in the United States may qualify for E-2 Treaty Investor status. There is no set minimum level of investment, which may qualify for E-2 status, however the lower the investment the less likely one is to qualify. Therefore, the level of investment must be such that it is sufficient to justify presence of the treaty national in the United States. The investment must be in an operating business e.g. a speculative investment in undeveloped land would not qualify, whereas an investment in a real estate development project probably would. Also, a substantial part of the investment must have been made prior to applying for E-2 status.
The E-2 ‘investor visa’ is available to an applicant who invests a substantial amount of his own money into a U.S. business, which he can control and direct. The investment can be to purchase an existing business or to start up a new one.
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