US E2 Treaty Investor Visa

US E2 Treaty Investor Visa


What is an E-2 Visa? A type of US Treaty Visa available to foreigners from specific countries, the US E-2 Visa enables non-immigrant business investors (and their eligible employees from the same country) to enter the United States for the purpose of investing money in an American company. 

Validity and Duration of Stay

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa duration of stay is traditionally two years, while the validity period varies from 3 months to five years, depending on the applicant’s nationality.

E2 Visa Eligibility

The first qualification for a US E-2 Treaty Visa is that the applicant (partners/corporation) be a national of one of the “Treaty Countries.” If you are not from one of the below Treaty Countries, you will not be eligible to apply for the E-2, even if you meet the rest of the E-2 Visa requirements:

Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

  • Please note that if a company/business is the object of the E-2, at least half of the ownership of the trade venture you are working for must share your nationality (i.e. be nationals of the Treaty Country). Additionally, non-investor E-2 applicants should be from the same Treaty Country as the original investor in order to qualify for the visa.
  • If the applicant is not providing the majority of the financial capital for the project, they  cannot simply be a laborer or basic employee; they must have a leadership role in the venture, directly responsible for it’s shaping and growth. Non-main investor applicants (i.e. those pursuing the E-2 Visa for employees) must therefore demonstrate the exceptional nature of their work for the company, as emphasized partly by either their demonstrable, unique expertise (which the company is shown to rely upon to an unprecedented degree) and/or high ranking within the company.
  • If the amount of money generated by the venture is just enough to cover your financial responsibilities in the US, the venture will need to have a considerably larger positive financial effect in America for the applicant to be considered eligible for a E-2 visa.
  • The funds going toward the venture will need to be entirely at the applicant’s disposal. Whatever money you put into the venture must have commercial risk. Please note that investors are prohibited from taking loans deriving from the venture itself.
  • The amount of money you invest in the venture should be significant in nature, with all funds incapable of being removed once the investment is made. The given capital should be significant enough to guarantee venture’s ongoing prosperity. 
  • In order to be considered a proper investment under the terms and conditions of the E-2, the monies must go toward an enterprise that is legitimate as well as a business or commercial in nature. Passive investments or monies kept in accounts do not qualify.

E2 Visa Purposes

The E-2 Visa is for employees as well as investors; you can therefore come to the United States on an E-2 Treaty Investor Visas for the following purposes:

  1. To invest money in an American business venture
  2. To work for an American business venture (on behalf of the main investor)

Required Documents for E2 Visa

The following documents are required for US E2 Visa applicants:

DS-160 application form

To be filled out in English. This is the main application form


To be valid, the expiration date should cover your duration of stay plus six months

Payment (and confirmation of payment)

Complete payment (and payment confirmation) of the Treaty Visa E2 Investor Visa USA fee (to be paid  either online or during your visa appointment)

Applicant Photo

In colorized, the size of a passport, and taken recently. To be submitted electronically (or sometimes  in paper copy at visa appointment)

DS-156E Form

Required for employers who are applying for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

Additional documents

Other forms and materials relating to the venture you are investing in/working for which you may be asked to submit are: an official written explication (on company stationery) outlining the nature of your venture (including their address) and your specific named position within it, any financial compensation deriving from your employment, and how you fulfill the eligibility criteria for the position.

E2 Visa Application Steps

Apply for a E-2 Investor Visa to the United States by following the below steps:

  1. Determine when you need to travel 

    One of the main tips for E-2 Visas is figuring out when you need to travel. Once you know when you need to be in the US, you will be able to plan so that you receive your visa in time to travel.

  2. Find where to apply   

    Locate the US Mission (American Embassy or Consulate) where you live, and find out which entity is processing US Visas. This is where you will apply for your visa. E-2 Treaty Investor Visa (i.e. meet the in-person E-2 Visa requirements).

  3. Assemble your application

    The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa includes basic documents as well as the official forms outlined above

  4. Register company with E-Visa Unit

    Access the online US Trade Treaty Visa application, which consists of the DS-160 form. Please note that this form must be completely filled out and printed out in advance of your visa interview, where you will be asked to present a paper copy of the DS-160 confirmation page as well as other physical application materials.

    Assemble the rest of your application by gathering the rest of your basic required materials, such as your passport.

  5. Schedule a visa appointment

    Contact your local US Embassy or Consulate to set up an interview, have your fingerprints taken, and pay for your visa (unless you have already paid for it online). 

  6. Attend your visa appointment

    Attend to fulfill the above mentioned in-person Trade Treaty requirements

  7. Get your decision 

    Most (not all) E-2 applicants are notified of their application status at the end of their appointment.

E2 Visa Interview

What is an E-2 Visa Interview? Most E-2 Visa applicants are required to go for a visa interview at the US Embassy/Consulate they are applying through. Interviews are conducted with the goal of determining whether an applicant meets the E-2 Visa application requirements. In addition, interviewers are looking for evidence that, if approved, the applicant will obey all US laws post-entry and leave the US before their visa expires. In addition to being asked how you intend to pay for your life in the US, you will also likely be asked detailed questions about your reason for travel, including specific questions about how much money you intend to invest (if you are a Treaty Investor) or the work you intend to do for the venture (if you are working on a Treaty Investor’s behalf). As an applicant, you should be prepared to answer these and other biographical questions.

E2 Visa Fees

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa fees include the application cost of $205 (whether you must pay more tends to depend on your nationality).

Where to apply for E2 Visa

Would-be Treaty Investors are directed to apply for their visa at the American Mission (US Embassy or Consulate) where they live. While the application has a major online component, there are also essential in-person aspects to the visa-seeking process, which can only be done at US Embassies/Consulates.

When to apply for E2 Visa

Of the various stages of the E-2 application processes, the processing time is often the quickest, with a decision rendered almost immediately upon the conclusion of a visa interview. In contrast, scheduling a visa appointment can take weeks or even months. Because you cannot get a visa without first sitting for a visa interview (at a visa appointment) it can take months (or even longer) to receive a visa (even if your E-2 Visa processing time is ultimately quite short). For these reasons, one of the major tips for E-2 Visas is to apply for your E-2 Visa months in advance of when you need to travel—if at all possible.

FAQ about E2 Visa

There are a number of alternatives to the E-2 Visa…how do I know which Treaty Investor Visa to apply for?

Simply put, if you are the main investor in a company you should apply for the E-2 (rather than one of the alternatives to the E-2 Visa). If you are an Australian who is considering taking a job that falls under the auspices of a “specialty occupation” (as defined by the US visa code) you should apply for the E-3. If you are not the main investor in a venture, but are looking to participate in significant trade, you should apply for the E-1.

Can I extend my E-2 Visa?

E-2 Visa holders may apply to extend (renew) their visa, provided that the terms of their employment/the venture they are working for continues to meet their respective eligibility requirements.

Can I apply for Green Card while on E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

Anyone can apply for a Green Card to the United States. Transitioning from an E2 Investor Visa for USA immigration, while theoretically possible, is difficult in practice, given the strict eligibility requirements for US Green Card eligibility.

Can I take my children/spouse with me on an E-2 Visa?

Yes. Children who are unmarried minors (under the age of 21) and wives/husbands of E-2 Treaty Visa holders can qualify for the E-2 dependent visa. If they receive a visa, their visa duration and validity will typically match that of the E-2 Visa holder (2 years).

I am from a Treaty Country, but it is not the same Treaty Country as the person I intend to work for. Am I eligible for the E-2?

No. If you are trying to obtain an E-2 in order to work for a Treaty Investor, you must share his or her nationality in order to be eligible for the visa.

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