FAQs About The E-2 Investor Visa
What Is The EB-2 And E-2 Investor Visa?
The E-2 investor visa is a non-immigration visa, which means it’s a temporary visa to come into the United States. The E-2 investor visa is for nationals of certain countries that have signed treaties with the U.S. It allows them to remain and work in the country as investors who have either purchased an existing company or established a new company and invested their funds into the venture. The EB-2 is in a category for permanent residence and that’s a little confusing because EB-2 refers to people who have a master’s degree and do a permanent resident through someone else’s company.
Does An E-2 Visa Lead To A Green Card?
An E-2 Visa does not lead to a green card, though that is a very common question asked by people. They often are of the thought, “I’ve had my investor visa for 15 years or so. Shouldn’t I get a green card?”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. The E-2 is a non-immigrant visa only. It is not an immigrant visa and it does not lead to a green card. You can, however, keep the E-2 renewed for as long as you maintain the commercial enterprise but, again, it does not lead to an actual green card.
Who Can All Apply For The E-2 Investor Visa? Who’s A Good Candidate?
First and foremost, applicants for the E-2 visa have to be citizens of countries that have signed a treaty with the United States. Traditionally, many European countries have those treaties. There are also some countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa that are included as well. Again, it is basically any country that has a signed a treaty with the United States. The Department of State maintains a list so that people know if they qualify or not. There are certain countries that don’t have diplomatic ties to the U.S., such as Iran, and those nationals can still apply for an E-2 visa as well.
If Someone Was Born In A Non-E-2 Visa Country And They Are Now A Citizen Of A Treaty Country, Can They Still Apply?
If someone was not born in an E-2 visa country but they do hold citizenship from a treaty country, they can definitely apply so long as they are, in fact, a citizen of that country. They can’t be a permanent resident of the treaty country; they have to be a citizen. The only caveat is if you do hold citizenship and you enter the U.S. using one nationality or one passport, is that the passport happens to be not the one that’s a treaty country. You cannot do a change of status in the U.S. through the E-2 investor visa. You would have to depart in counselor process through the U.S. embassy so it’s a limited exception.
However if you do have two nationalities and you have two passports and you want to come to the U.S. and do a change of status through an E-2, then you want that to be processed in the U.S. The requirement for that is that you actually present the passport of your treaty country upon admission to the United States.
What Are Some Privileges That Someone Would Enjoy On The E-2 Visa?
The E-2 visa allows you to remain and be employed in the U.S. It allows you to travel in and out after you’ve done the initial visa in your passport. Also if you have dependants, a spouse or children, they can apply for employment authorization that would allow them to work and study as well. It’s a very versatile visa and it’s not kept, there is no lottery, there is no maximum amount of visas like there are in other categories like the H1B, for example. The E-2 basically gives you mobility and employment authorization and good benefits for your family members as well.
What Would Be Some Limitations Of The E-2 Visa?
The limitations would be that it doesn’t really lead to permanent residence. If for some reason, you are trying to retire here and maybe step away from managing the actual investment that might be difficult to do. Even if the company remains profitable but you no longer manage it and you’re no longer having a role, then that could mean trouble for extending the visa. That’s another downside if your investment doesn’t go well; it’s very much tied to your visa. If you’re a permanent resident, you’re a permanent resident whether or not your business exceeds. They are not going to take away that status. However, if you are on an investor visa and your business doesn’t do well, then it’s very much tied to your legal status.
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