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Treaty Investor (E-2)

Certain temporary and permanent U.S. visas are available to foreign nationals who invest in the United States.  Contrary to a common misconception, an investment of $500,000 is not the minimum investment amount to obtain any U.S. visa.  The amount of investment varies by visa type.  Certain investors may obtain a U.S. visa through investments of a much lower amount than $500,000.

The E2 visa allows admission to the United States to nationals of Treaty Countries who invest a substantial amount of capital in a United States business. Certain employees of Treaty Investors or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification. The general requirements for E-2 eligibility are as follows:


  • The investor, either a person, partnership or business, must have the citizenship of a Treaty Country (if a business, at least 50 percent of the business must be owned by nationals of Treaty Country);

  • The investment must be substantial, with irrevocable investment funds or assets. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise;

  • The investment must be a real operating enterprise, not a paper organization, or speculative or idle investment;

  • The investment must generate significantly more income than that sufficient to sustain a living for the applicant and his/her family;

  • The applicant must have control of the funds and the investment must be at commercial risk;

  • The applicant must develop and direct the enterprise from within the United States;

  • If the applicant is not the principal investor, the applicant must be an essential employee, who is employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity.


Persons who qualify for E-2 status are allowed a maximum initial stay in the U.S. of two years. These persons may then be eligible for an unlimited number of two-year visa extensions.




Spouses and minor children (under the age of 21) of E-2 visa holders may seek E-2 visa classification as dependents. This classification generally allows spouses and minor children to accompany E-2 visa holders during the entirety of their stay in the United States. Spouses of E-2 visa holders may also apply for work authorization.  There is no restriction as to the type of work they may perform.

How We Can Help

We have significant experience working with sophisticated business entities to prepare  filings which describe highly complex operations. Our  background in engineering and business is a significant asset, as it enables us to accurately describe the trade activities of our investor clients' technical enterprises.  In addition, our fluency in Portuguese and Spanish make us particularly helpful to our clients from Brazil and the rest of Latin America.

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