The E-2 visa category allows foreign nationals who are citizens of treaty countries to run, operate and manage their own Business / Franchise.
E-2 Visa Requirements:
The treaty investor must meet the following criteria to qualify:
Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States
Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.
USCIS provided guidance on extending and changing status during COVID-19. Because many countries have travel restrictions in place, it is likely that H1B laid-off employees cannot return to their home countries during the 60-day grace period. During those 60 days, laid-off H-1B employees can apply for a change of status or an extension of status. If you are a national of an E-2 eligible country, the E-2 visa may be one option to stay in the United States and to build your own business.
If you are an individual looking to purchase an existing business or franchise. We have seen tremendous success with our Franchise investment E-2s. Our team also works with reputable Brokers that will provide Franchise Options if desired, and perform an analysis on potential E-2 qualifying businesses.
What if I am not from a “Treaty Country”?
There are some notable absences in the list of E-2 treaty countries, including China, South Africa, Venezuela, India, and Vietnam. However, our office is working in conjunction with immigration professional throughout the world to provide innovative solution for nationals of countries that are not E-2 eligible.
Turkey and Grenada to provide a relatively swift path to their citizenship, which in turn will lead to U.S E-2 eligibility.
What about my Spouse & Children?
Your spouse and children under the age of 21 can accompany you to the United States; only the primary investor is required to have citizenship an E-2 eligible country. Furthermore, your spouse can receive Employment Authorization and legally work in the United States at the job of their choosing. Your child is free to attend school.
A current list of treaty countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce or navigation may be found at: U.S. Department of State Treaty Countries.
–Employee of a Treaty Investor (An Employee of a Foreign National Owned Business may qualify for an E-2)
An employee of a treaty investor must meet the following criteria:
Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country)
Meet the definition of “employee” under the relevant law
Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.