E-1 & E-2 Visa Application Representation
Assistance from our Immigration Lawyers
Our firm regularly handles E-1 and E-2 cases for small, medium and large companies across many industries (construction, mining, agriculture, real estate, engineering, software, staffing, architecture). Only nationals of countries that have a treaty of trade and commerce with the U.S. can apply for an E visa. Generally, E visa applicants are executives, managers, supervisors or essential employees from a foreign company who are issued five-year nonimmigrant visas to work temporarily in the U.S.
Once an E registration for the company is achieved with the first visa issued, the company can request visas for persons with the same nationality as the majority owners of the company. E visas are very helpful for persons who do not otherwise qualify for L-1 or TN status and also for contractors with foreign companies who are useful in the U.S.
E-2 Visas for the Business Investor
In order to qualify for an E-2 visa, it is necessary to demonstrate that you have made or are in the process of making a substantial investment into an active company (real and operating) owned at least 50% by treaty nationals. The business must not be too weak to hire people outside the investor's family (marginal), and the investment funds must be fully committed (at risk) and from a legal source.
If you are granted an E-2 visa, your dependent spouse can also get a visa and may live and work in the United States, with subsequent work authorization known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Dependent children under 21 can be issued E visas and may live in the U.S. but cannot work.
There are many nuances to the E visa category, and we have years of experience handling complex cases. We can advise on avoiding common pitfalls and overcoming complications.
E-2 Visa holders must have invested or be actively in the process of investing.
The E-2 investor must show that he or she has either made a substantial investment or is actively in the process of making a substantial investment in the enterprise. Where an enterprise is in the process of formation, it must be show that the funds have been committed and are at risk. The funds must be irrevocably committed to the business.
A qualifying investment must be a real and active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking, producing some service or commodity. An investment is the treaty investor's placing of capital, including funds and other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit.
E-2 visa holders must have a controlling interest in the enterprise.
An interest of less than 50 percent usually will mean that the E-2 visa applicant does not have the requisite control, particularly in smaller enterprises. However, an equal share of the investment in a joint venture or equal partnership of two partners generally does give controlling interest, if the joint venturers and partners each retain full management rights and responsibilities.
The E-2 investment must be substantial.
No set dollar amount constitutes a minimum amount of investment to be considered “substantial” for E-2 purposes. This requirement is met by satisfying the “proportionality test.” The test is a comparison between two figures: the amount of qualifying funds invested and the fair market value of the established business, or, if a newly created business, the cost of establishing such a business.
The E-2 enterprise must be more than marginal.
The E-2 visa applicant must not be investing in a marginal enterprise solely for the purpose of earning a living. An E-2 visa applicant is not entitled to E-2 classification if the investment, even if substantial, will return only enough income to provide a living for the applicant and family. The enterprise must have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family or the capacity to make a significant economic contribution.
An applicant for an E-2 visa need not establish intent to proceed to the U.S. for a specific period of time. Although an initial two-year period of admission is granted to persons coming to the U.S., this period can be extended indefinitely. Extensions of temporary stay, however, may be granted in increments of not more that two years.
It is important to remember that an E-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, and that the U.S. government requires individuals in E-2 status to maintain the intent to depart the U.S. when the status expires or is terminated.
Spouse and Children
There is no derivative E visa category. Therefore, the spouses and children (unmarried and under age 21) of a principal E nonimmigrant are admitted in the same category as the principal.
E spouses are eligible to apply for work authorization. E children do not have authorization to work in the U.S.
Investor Green Cards
An EB-5 visa can directly get an applicant a green card through investment – to learn more about EB-5 visas, PRESS HERE .