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E-2 Visa

What is the E-2 visa?

The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals from certain treaty countries to enter the United States for the purpose of investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. This visa is designed to promote foreign investment and facilitate the movement of individuals who contribute to the American economy.

Comparison to Other Common U.S. Visa Types

Other investment-related visas:

  • EB-5 - has no nationality requirement and is an immigrant visa leading to green card, however has a minimum investment amount of $800,000 or $1 million USD and other specific investment requirements, takes much longer to process compared to the E-2 visa

  • International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) - no nationality requirement, but must be a part-owner of a U.S. startup that meets specific outside investment and growth requirements


Because the E-2 is granted on the basis of proving active management of a bona fide enterprise, the way that your application package is put together is extremely important in the rate of success. Each client has very different credentials and abilities and the Crimson team is solely dedicated to understanding every client’s and building a highly personalized and cohesive application package.

To qualify for an E-2 visa, you must demonstrate you have a substantial investment and actively manage a bona fide business in the U.S.

  • Nationality: The applicant must be a national of a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation or a bilateral investment treaty with the United States. Not all countries qualify, so it’s essential to check the list of eligible treaty countries on the U.S. Department of State’s website.

  • Substantial Investment: The applicant must invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. The investment must be sufficient to ensure the success of the business, and the specific amount considered “substantial” can vary depending on factors such as the type of business and its scale.

  • Active Management: The investor must typically play an active role in the management of the U.S. business. An active role could mean having control and ownership of at least 50% of the enterprise, being involved in making major decisions, and overseeing day-to-day operations.

  • Business Type: The investment must be in a bona fide enterprise, and the business should not be marginal. The enterprise must have the capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the investor and their dependents.

  • Source of Funds: Similar to proving the business is a legitimate and legal venture, the E-2 applicant must prove that the funds invested in the U.S. business have a legitimate source. This helps to ensure that the money used for the investment was obtained legally.

Timeline and Process

E-2 visas typically take up to 3+ months to process depending on the number of applications being processed at the time and the competency of the application being submitted. Therefore, it’s imperative to start working with us as early as possible to ensure a timely result.

Typical Process Steps:

  1. Determine Eligibility:

    • Confirm that you are a national of a country that has a qualifying treaty with the United States. The U.S. Department of State maintains a list of eligible treaty countries.

  2. Invest in a U.S. Enterprise:

    • Make a substantial investment in a U.S. enterprise. The investment must be enough to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise.

  3. Ownership Requirement:

    • Ensure that you have at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or have operational control through a managerial position.

  4. Develop a Business Plan:

    • Prepare a detailed business plan outlining the nature of the business, the investment amount, and the projected impact on the U.S. economy.

  5. File Form DS-160:

    • Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160) and pay the visa application fee.

  6. Schedule Visa Interview:

    • Schedule an appointment for a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Be prepared to provide documentation supporting your eligibility for the E-2 visa.

  7. Gather Required Documents:

    • Prepare a comprehensive set of documents, including:

      • Passport.

      • Form DS-160 confirmation.

      • Visa application fee payment receipt.

      • Business plan.

      • Proof of substantial investment.

      • Evidence of your nationality.

      • Proof of ownership or managerial position.

      • Any additional supporting documents.

  8. Attend Visa Interview:

    • Attend the visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. Be ready to discuss your investment, business plan, and intentions in the U.S.

  9. Visa Decision:

    • The consular officer will make a decision on your visa application. If approved, you will be issued an E-2 visa stamp in your passport.

  10. Travel to the U.S.:

    • Enter the U.S. with your E-2 visa. The visa generally allows for a stay of up to two years, with the possibility of extensions as long as the business remains viable.

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