The E2 Treaty investor visa is open to certain foreign nationals who are coming to the United States to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise.  The E2 treaty visa is only available to those countries in which the US maintains treaties of commerce and navigation, https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/fees/treaty.html. The E-2 Visa provides a fast track entry into the US by allowing applicants the opportunity to apply directly with a consulate abroad; no petition to USCIS is needed.  While there is no statutory or regulatory limitations on the number of times an E-2 visa maybe renewed, it does not in and of itself allow for permanent residency. 


1.      Nationality: The investor, either a real or corporate entity, must be a national of a treaty country and the entity must hold that same nationality.  Under the law, a U.S. entity may qualify as an E-2 enterprise if it is owned by 50% or more by treaty nationals.

2.      Substantial, at-Risk Investment:  An investment must be substantial enough to ensure the successful operation of the business.  Unlike the Eb-5 immigrant visa, there is no per se minimum threshold amount, rather the investment generally needs to be substantial in a proportional sense to the startup costs or purchase price of the E2 enterprise.  For example, an investor seeking to open a restaurant would have a lower minimum investment threshold than an investor seeking to open a manufacturing plant.

3.      Real, Active, and operating entity:  The E2 investment must be made in an entity that is already in active business operations, or will be able to commence operations immediately following issuance of a visa.  Certificates of incorporations, contracts, letters of intent, a business lease, and similar documentation is generally required for startups.  

4.      Marginality:  An investment must generate an income and employment for more than just the investor. A marginal enterprise is one that does not 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.


            The investor is not required to file a petition with USCIS.  The investor can file an application directly with a foreign consulate.  Each consulate has their own requirements for application submissions, but the visa is generally issued in a matter of weeks or months following submissions.  Interviews with a consular are required.  The consulate will issue a visa with a duration that varies based on the country of nationality’s reciprocity for US citizens.  Most nationals are able to obtain visas that are valid for up to five years. 

            Each E2 entry allows for admission and authorized stay for up to two years regardless of validity time remaining on the visa.  With a valid visa, a E2 visa holder may depart the US and reenter to secure a new 2 year admission.  Even if the visa has not expired, an E2 visa holder would need to depart the US and return prior to expiry of stay.  Alternatively, the E2 visa holder may file for an extension through USCIS.  Once the visa expires and the E2 holder departs the US, a new E2 submission is required at a consulate abroad.

           Spouses and children of E2 visa holders obtain their own E2 visas.  Spouses may apply for work authorization, which allows them to work for an entity in the US.  Children do not qualify for work authorization but they may attend public or private schooling without student visas until the age of 21.

Hiring an E2 Visa Attorney to Assist with your Application

Obtaining an E-2 Visa in Rhode Island or Boston can seem overwhelming, given the complexities of the procedures, the exact legal status of a non–permanent United States resident, and the documentation requirements.

Unless a person seeking an adjustment of status is prepared to educate themselves on the detailed nature of becoming a permanent resident, their best option may be to hire a qualified immigration attorney, who can do all the necessary work to make sure that the process runs smoothly and that the legal requirements are met without undue delay or confusion.

If you or someone you know is interested in obtaining an E-2 Visa in Rhode Island or Boston, the immigration attorneys at Barsom Law Group can help.  Furthermore, because immigration law is federal law, Rhode Island E-2 visa specialist, George Barsom can handle applications in many other states.

Mr. Barsom is fluent in Arabic and the Barsom Law Group has access to attorneys who are fluent in Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. 

Barsom Law Group can give you and your family members peace of mind in undertaking this difficult and potentially frustrating and time-consuming task. Once hired, Barsom Law Group will take over the application process from beginning to end, keeping clients informed, and taking the stress out of the process. If you need assistance, our specialist E2 visa attorney in Rhode Island can help you. Contact Barsom Law Group today.

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