The E-2 Visa Option

With the minimum investment amount for EB-5 raised to $900,000, and H-1B and L-1 petitions facing heightened scrutiny from USCIS, our office has received many inquires on alternative options for individuals looking to come to the United States.

The E-2 Treaty Investor visa is an amazing alternative option available to those who are not willing or able to pursue the EB-5 visa; while the E-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, there are pathways for obtaining a green card available for both the investor and their spouse. Our team has over 22 years of experience in filing E-2 visa application, and we would be happy to find options that fit your needs and desires.

What is the E-2 Visa?

The E-2 visa is available to nationals from certain “treaty countries”; a full list of treaty countries can be found on the Department of States’ Website[1]. The visa is essentially for foreign investors looking to start a business in the United States; the visa has traditionally been popular amongst startup founders and small business owners. The visa requires the investor to invest a “substantial amount” of capital and the business operations must produce more than a “marginal” income; this means that the E-2 enterprise must create jobs for U.S. workers. Unlike the EB-5 visa, there is not minimum number of jobs that must be created for each investment.  

What is considered a “Substantial Amount” of Capital?

While there is no minimum investment amount prescribed in the law (as there is with the EB-5 visa), investors should realize that the more money invested into the business, the better. We have received approvals for E-2 investments as low as $80,000; however, the amount invested will be weighed against the total cost of purchasing or creating the enterprise. The Department of Homeland Security will take numerous other factors into account, and it is best that you speak with a licensed immigration attorney to determine the best course of action in pursing your investment.   

What if I am not from a “Treaty Country”?

There are some notable absences in the list of E-2 treaty countries, including China, 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.

The Darren Silver & Associates team is proud to announce that we now work with professionals in Turkey to provide a relatively swift path to Turkish citizenship, which in turn can lead to an E-2 visa. For instance, a Chinese national is not eligible for the E-2 visa based on their Chinese citizenship. However, they can apply for Turkish citizenship (through Turkey’s citizenship by investment program) and then apply for an E-2 (as Turkey is an E-2 eligible country).  It should be noted that this route is still relatively inexpensive compared to the $900,000 needed for the EB-5 visa. We can also provide a path for Grenadian citizenship, which can lead to an E-2 visa. 

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 in 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 without adjusting their status.  

How can Darren Silver & Associates Help with the E-2 Process?

Our firm was founded in 1997, and much of our initial business consisted of representing investors in their E-2 visa applications. We have continued this representation for the last 22 years, and we are experts on the nuances of the E-2 visa. Our office can provide pathways for individuals who are nationals of both E-2 eligible countries and non-E-2 eligible countries.

We also have an established network of professionals that can help you obtain or create the business that fits your needs. If you are looking to establish a startup or small business, our team works with business plan writers and corporate attorneys to ensure that all aspects of your business are in sync with the immigration requirement of the E-2 visa; furthermore, we prepare a detailed attorney memorandum along with supporting documentation in order to ensure your application has the best chance of approval.

If you are an individual looking to purchase an existing business or franchise, then our team can provide options for you as well. Our team works closely with reputable companies that will find, vet, and perform a due diligence analysis on potential E-2 businesses; they will then match potential investors with a business that fits their needs. Our team works in conjunction with these companies to provide a strong application and business plan.  Our experience in the industry is unparalleled, and you can be in the United States within the next year with the right immigration attorney!