The US has signed treaties with quite a few countries recently. Generally, treaties are signed to promote commerce, trade and investments between the US and the contracting state. The USCIS has signed navigation, friendship, and commerce treaties with the countries. Treaties encourage peace and good relations between the countries. Also, the US has entered and signed a number of Bilateral Investment Treaties with a few states, promoting investments but not trade related immigration benefits.
Local individuals and companies of different countries can obtain treaty visas with the US in order to establish a direct investments and business with the USA. If you ponder, ‘what is an E2 visa?’, you must know that these visas come under these treaties. Such treaties involve two types of visas i.e. E-visas including E1 and E2. Those who question, ‘what is an E2 visa?’, then they must read on in order to learn the core of this query.
What is an E1 Visa?
In order to understand ‘what is an E2 visa’, you must first know about the E1 visa. E1 visa is for the locals of qualifying treaty countries who undertake a subsequent amount of international trade with the US. Such individuals likely get qualification for this type of visa. In addition, the volume of such a trade and commerce must be adequate to rationalize the trader for being in the United Sates in order to manage the trade efficiently.
Also, these qualified individuals constitute large amount of trader’s international trade, i.e. minimum 50% of the Trader’s imports and exports should be from the United States. You must remember that there is no minimum requirement for the level of trade which is considered adequate for it. But of course, if the investment is less, there are very less chances to qualify for the treaty trader.
What is an E2 Visa?
If you want to know ‘what is an E2 visa’, keep in mind that an E2 visa permits an individual to enter and work inside the premises of the United States on the basis of the investments they will be controlling being in the state. The locals qualifying for the treaty countries who have already made a subsequent investment to the United States qualify for the E2 treaty visa.
Just like E1 visas do not have any minimum requirement and level of investment, similarly the E2 visa also does not have any specified minimum level of investment for the qualification of E2 status. But as mentioned previously, the lower the investment, the fewer will be the chances for qualification of E2 status. The level of investment is one of the chief factors and it should be sufficient in order to justify the treaty local presence in the United States.
The professionals qualified for E2 visa can invest in their operating business. On the contrary, buying of stocks, bonds and properties do not qualify for E2 status. Additionally, the individuals are required to submit specific amount of investment to the United States before applying for the E2 visa.
Key Features of E2 Visa
Those who want to operate their businesses in the United States, often question ‘what is an E2 Visa?’, so in order to know learn about ‘what is an E2 visa?’, you must understand the following key features associated with the E2 visa.
1. Primary Investor Visa
The E2 visa is a primary investor visa. Also, there is no annual cap or quota which is why the E2 visas are infinite in the number available.
2. No Immigration
Are you wondering, ‘what is an E2 visa?’ first understand about the immigration. In order to enter any country, you need to go through certain technicalities of immigration. But an E2 visa permits an individual to enter the USA without actually immigrating. But you do require an immigration lawyer to obtain E2 visa.
3. Time Limit
In order to learn, ‘what is an E2 visa?’, you should also know about its time limit and lasting status. Generally, the E2 status lasts for two to five years. But you can always get it renewed when it gets expired.
4. Renewal of E2 Visa
You can renew your E2 visa as long as you are investing and running te business in te United States. When the US authorities find that your business is going well, supports your family, and generate good revenues, they renew it.
5. E2 Coverage
If you want to learn the core of the question, ‘what is an E2 visa?’ see what it covers. The E2 visa provides the coverage to the investor as well as their spouse and children under the age of 21. As soon as the children turn 21, they lose the E-visa status and they are required to find another status.
With E2 visa, you can invest in anything and trade in anything. Your investment reserves and capital should sum up from at least $100,000 to $200,000. While, there are certain investments, less than $100,000 that are approved but it is safe to make investments within the specified range. Also, the investor must be prepared to start the project or business with minimum 3 to 4 persons.
7. Long-lasting Visa
Those who want to identify, ‘what is an E2 visa?’ remember that E2 visa’s lasting depends on the investments. The E2 visa lasts until the holder is able to maintain the investments. Investors must always ensure to place their funds in the bank or their agent who can release the funds upon visa approval or selling of the property.
8. Non-Immigrant Visas
One of the elements to learn, ‘what is an E2 visa?’, is to keep in mind that E2 visas are considered non-immigrant visas as they do not require individuals to involve in any immigration procedure. Once an investor qualities for the visa and enters the US, they are able will be able to look for other enchanting opportunities such as applying for green cards and permanent citizenship.
9. E-Visa Enterprise
E2 visa holders are required to work for themselves only or for the E-visa enterprise.
Those who worry and ask, ‘what is an E2 visa?’ may also be interested in knowing about the extension of E2 visa. The E2 visa can be extended as long as the E-visa enterprise operates.
Generally, the E2 visas are issued in five years increments.
The E2 visa holders and investors are allowed to study in the US.
13. Residence and Taxation
Are you pondering about the query, ‘what is an E2 Visa?’ you may be interested in knowing about the residence and taxation in the US. The E2 visa holders do not have to reside in the US and hence are not required to submit world wide taxation.
Who Uses E2 Visas?
Usually people who question, ‘what is an E2 visa?’, also want to know about the ones who use it. So let’s identify who uses it.
- E2 visa is used by the people who want to purchase a franchise or a small business in the US.
- E2 visa helps people who want to retire in the United States.
- E2 visas lend as a helping hand to the real estate investors also.
Qualifying Countries for E2 Visa
Now that you know ‘what is an E2 visa?’ you must also understand that there are certain countries that qualify for the E2 status. The people or companies belonging to the following countries can apply for E2 visa.
- Bosnia Herzegovina
- China (ROC)
- Costa Rica
- The Czech Republic
- The Slovak Republic
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
- The Ukraine
There are some more pending treaties that have to be signed in a few years. Also, some do not have legal authorization but have been signed include Azerbaijan, Albania, Haiti, Jordan, Russia, and Nicaragua. If you are concerned about, ‘what is an E2 visa?’ you will also require checking whether your country has such a treaty or not. So, in order to check it and see if it really exists, you can check it at Volume 9 of the U.S. Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), $41.51, Exh. 1.
The specified countries can apply for an E2 visa to ‘Develop and Direct’ their investments. The individuals of these qualifying countries can also apply for specialist employees and key managerial. Also, there is no requirement to work for the investor for minimum one year in the last three years, like L1 visas. In addition, it is not necessary for the investor to continue their operations outside the US.
Demonstration of the Treaty
Wondering what is an E2 visa? You should also consider understanding about the E2 visa registration application which centers on the volume of trade between the USA and the treaty country. The following should be the demonstration of the treaty country.
1. Substantial Capital Investment
There has been a subsequent capital investment between the US and the treaty country. Though, there is no specific cash threshold specified but it is safe to invest at least $40,000. Any cash investment below $100,000 will require a very strong case to support it.
2. Risk Capital
The investment entails certain risk for the investor which is why risk capital is given to them. At a minimum, the investor must be given some long-term lease of an office in the US.
3. Investment Control
The investor controls their investments. Due to this, al least 50% of the US enterprise is entailed din the name of the investor.
4. Cash Equity
When compared to the total investment, the cash invested is not marginal. There should be at least 51% of the investment in the form of cash equity because the debt is secured against other assets and they are at stake and should be considered as a part of equity invested.
5. Directing and Developing Investment
The investor will require an active enterprise having active management. An active enterprise directs and develops the investment.
6. Employment Opportunities
Like any other business, this treaty allows the foreigners to hire employees. The treaty encourages job and employment opportunities for jobless people. There is as such no specific requirement to employ people, but large numbers of employees are favorable.
7. Successful Trading
The principal investor or the business enterprise has a past history of successful trading/. This usually happens when an investor is experienced in a particular field and chooses to form their business in that industry.
The investor forming the business enterprise must have subsequent knowledge and skills to develop and direct the investment and business enterprise.
9. Termination of E2 Status
Upon the termination of the E2 status, the principal investor and other E2 staff should leave the United States. Otherwise, there can be penalties on them by the US immigration authorities.
Are You Wondering ‘What is an E2 Visa?’ First See Whether You Qualify For It or Not!
The next step after identifying, ‘what is an E2 visa?’ is to see the requirements for obtaining the E2 status. The following requirements will help you in determining whether you qualify for the E2 visa or not.
1. Person, Partnership or Corporate Entity
The first and foremost requirement prior to signing a treaty is that an investor should either be a person, partnership firm or a corporate entity. They must have the citizenship of the country. The 50% of the business must be owned by the persons with the nationality of the treaty country.
2. Irrevocable Funds
The business investment must be subsequent and the fund should also be irrevocable and ensure about the successful operation of the enterprise.
3. Real Operating Enterprise
The treaty does not allow uncommitted funds in a bank account, ownership of undeveloped and any speculative or idle investment. The investment should be done in a real operating enterprise or business.
4. Marginal Investment
The 9 FAM 41.51 will either show a financial return to what is necessary for the support of the living for the investor. If not this, then the enterprise must have the capacity to make significant economic contribution to the present and future. But the investment must not be marginal.
Since the investor has control over their funds, as a result the investment is at risk from a commercial point of view. Also, if the funds is not subject to total or partial loss, then the investments of the investor will not be considered as investments for the Foreign Affairs Manuals (FAM) 41.51 and Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 10 1 (a) (15) (E). The debts and loans secured also do not qualify in case of losses.
The investor or applicants must immediately leave the US state as soon as the E2 status expires. If they wish to renew it, they should get it done soon because once it is expired the United States do not allow individuals to reside after the expiry of the E2 status, if they do, USCIS levy heavy penalties.
7. Direct and Develop Enterprise
The investor has to reside in the US to direct and develop the business enterprise. If the applicant is not a principal investor, they must be employed on an executive or supervisory position because ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify. This is because; you need to have to subsequent experience to develop and direct your potential business enterprise in the United States.
Terms and Conditions of E2 Visa
Now that you have identified the answer to the query, ‘what is an E2 visa?’, you may also want to identify the terms and conditions of the E2 visa. A treaty investor or an employee is only required for the activity for which they were qualified at the time of classification was granted to them. They can work for the treaty organization’s subsidiary or its parent company until the following conditions exists.
- A relationship between the organizations is formed.
- The terms and conditions remains the same for the employees.
- The investor has the supervisory, executive or essential skills.
Those who worry ‘what is an E2 visa?’ should always consult CFR 214.2 (e) (8) (ii) for modifications and changes in the terms and conditions. The USCIS has all the right to make amendments in the terms and conditions of the E2 status. Usually, the conditions for the investors remains the same as they were at the first place even if they change, But if the investor finds the modified terms and conditions suitable, they can file a new form 10129 with a fee and request for the qualification of the new term and conditions.
Here are a Few Benefits of E2 Visa
People who are concerned about, ‘what is an E2 visa?’ should remember that it is for the foreigners who reside in qualifying countries. They can form a business entity in the US using E2 visa. On its expiry, they can also get it renewed. In order to obtain this visa, they need to invest a substantial amount into an active US business in order to develop profit. The business must have an important effect into the community and economy. Also, that business should create job opportunities for employees. Let’s have a look at a few benefits of the E2 status.
- Investors from over 75 countries (qualifying countries) can establish their business within the United States.
- There is no minimum requirement for the investment. It is permissible as long as the investment is enough to operate, develop a lucrative business.
- Spouse is the dependent of the investors, as a result they will be granted E2 dependent visa permitting spouse to apply for work authorization on the basis of the E2 dependent visa.
- Also, the children under 21 will be issues E2 dependent visa permitting to attend school of their choice in the US. But the children do not qualify for work visa.
- The E2 visa holders have the choice, to either residing in the US or operate their business living outside the US.
We hope that now you must have identified, ‘what is an E2 visa?’ Always consult a local immigration lawyer that guarantees a fault-free immigration process prior to obtaining E2 visa. Good Luck!