Congress has an ongoing interest in regulating the immigration of professionals, managerial and skilled foreign workers to the United States. The workforce is seen as a catalyst of US global economic competitiveness. The challenge is to balance the foreign skilled workers with the US workers and students entering the labor market.
Aliens who are treaty traders enter on E-1 visa and those who are treaty investors are on E-2 visas. The focus of our discussion is E-2 visa. An E-2 treaty investor can be any person who comes to the United States to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is in the process of investing a “substantial amount of capital.” The business enterprise must be a bona fide enterprise which can be established by providing Employer Identification Number, tax returns, financial statements, lease agreements, and escrow documents. You can also provide a detailed business plan, financial statements, and payroll summaries. Further, you must be able to show that you are on possession of the funds for your investment, source of the funds and that these funds can be tied to the business. Another prong of E-2 Investor visa is that the applicant must be entering the United States to specifically develop and direct the enterprise. This can be established by showing the applicant’s ownership of at least 50% or possession of operating control through a managerial position, or even an alternate corporate device.
There are other list of terms and conditions that the E-2 visa holders are held to. This includes only working for the activity for which you were approved for at the time you received your visa. You may also work for the organization’s parent company or subsidiary as long as the relationship between the two are clearly established, the subsidiary employments requires executive, supervisory, and/or essential skills, and the terms/ conditions for employment have not changed or been altered.
The E-2 Investor visa is valid for two years and renewable in two-year interval. There is no maximum number of times an extension can be granted. However, the applicant must maintain intention to depart the United States when and if their status expires or is terminated. As an E-2 visa holder, you may also bring dependents (spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21). It is not required for them to be of the same nationality of the treaty investor. The spouses also have the option of working, without restrictions, by filing the form I-765, the Employment Authorization Document.
For additional information and requirements of the E-2 visa, please contact our office.