E-2 Visa

This memorandum briefly outlines the formal and substantive requirements for obtaining an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa (commonly referred to as an E2 Visa).

Formal Requirements For An E2 Visa

  • Treaty and nationality:
    • Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between the United States and the applicant’s home country
    • Applicant and/or business possess the nationality of the treaty country
    • If a business entity, it must be at least 50% by treaty country national

Substantive Requirements For An E2 Visa

  • Applicant has invested or is actively in the process of investing:
    • Evidence of establishment of business in the United States (articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, organization and staffing charts, shares, titles, contracts, receipts, licenses, leases, etc.)
    • Evidence of investment in the United States (titles, receipts, contracts, loans, bank statements, etc.)
    • Evidence of possession and control of investment funds (bank records, financial statements, loans, savings, promissory notes, etc.)
    • Evidence of remittance to the United States (bank drafts, transfers, exchange permits, receipts, etc.)
  • Enterprise is a real and operating commercial enterprise:
    • Evidence that the business is a real, operating enterprise (annual reports, catalogs, sales literature, news articles, and other evidence as appropriate)
    • Business licenses, professional licenses, etc.
  • Applicant\’s investment is substantial:
    • Evidence of   substantiality   in   relation   to  total  investment   (financial statements, audits, U.S. corporate or business tax returns, etc.)
    • Will be met if applicant acquires or funds 100% of the enterprise
  • Investment is more than a marginal one solely for earning a living
    • Evidence that the enterprise is not marginal (payroll records, employment contracts, personal tax returns, evidence of other personal assets and income)
    • Five-year business plan
  • Applicant is in a position to “develop and direct” the enterprise:
    • Evidence of at least 50 percent ownership of the enterprise (articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, shareholders’ agreement, etc.)
    • Evidence that the applicant, through ownership or by other means, develops and directs the activities of the enterprise (partnership agreement, shareholders’ agreement, management agreement, etc.)
    • Curriculum vitae of the applicant
  • Applicant intends to depart the United States when the E-2 status terminates:
    • Statement from the applicant is sufficient
    • Does not preclude visa extensions or later adjustment of status


If you need to form a business, contact an attorney at The Sterling Firm. We have an attorney experienced in preparing E2 Visas. We can help! Call (310) 498-2750 now to speak with an attorney! Learn more by visiting the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.  

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