By: Darren Silver, Esq.

The E2 visa an important option to review for those entrepreneurs looking to purchase or invest in a Business in the United States.  It allows the flexibility of owning and managing a U.S business. As long as the business continues to be an ongoing concern, the E-2 holder will be eligible for extensions.  An applicant may apply for an E-2 abroad directly with the Consulate or within the United States as a change of status.

Investment.   There is no set minimum investment threshold requirement for an E-2. However, the applicant must make an investment that is not considered marginal.  Depending on the facts, a new enterprise might not be considered marginal even if it lacks the current capacity to generate income. In such cases, however, the enterprise should have the capacity to generate income within five years from the date that the treaty investor’s E-2 classification begins.

Business. The applicant may choose to set up a new business or purchase an existing business.  Where an applicant does not have a business in place, he or she may wish to consider purchasing a Franchise as an E-2 visa option.

A Franchise is a business system that typically includes the franchisor, who lends the brand and know-how via a business system. The franchisee, who pays a royalty and often an initial franchise fee for the right to do business under the franchisor’s name and utilize the demonstrated system. The most well-known Franchise is McDonald’s. Learn more about how a franchise can be your route to an E-2 visa by contacting Darren Silvers & Associates, LLP

Period of Stay. Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years.  Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted.  All E-2 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.

An E-2 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States.  It is generally not necessary to file a new Form I-129 with USCIS in this situation.

Family of E-2 Treaty Investors and Employees. Treaty investors and employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.  Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty investor or employee. Spouses of E-2 workers may apply for work authorization If approved, there is no specific restriction as to where the E-2 spouse may work.

The E-2 applicant must be a National of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.

Darren Silver is a managing partner of Darren Silvers & Associates, LLP.  The Law Firm has been dedicated to Businesses and Investment U.S Immigration for over 20 years. Mr. Silver can be contacted directly at