E-2 (Treaty Investors) – nonimmigrant visa for investors from certain countries with which the U.S. has bilateral trade agreements (commerce treaty). Russia does not have such agreement with the U.S., and Russian citizens cannot use this visa program.
- Investor should be a national of a country with which the United States maintains has a treaty of commerce.
- Investor should either purchase or create a new enterprise by investing a substantial amount, and such enterprise should create new jobs.
- The investment amount is determined based on the type of business enterprise and its activities (minimal market value of similar businesses in the U.S., minimal price of similar businesses, operating costs). There is no minimum investment amount requirement for this program as it exists for EB-5. In average the minimum investment amount is around $200K, however, if the business nature allows to operate it with profit and successfully, an investor can probably start with as minimal as $50K investment amount. If it is not apparent from the business plan that the business venture can operate with the starting budget, the immigration service can deny your E-2 visa application.
- The enterprise cannot be currently or in the future marginal. This simply means that the business should have the potential to create sufficient minimal income for the investor and investor’s family.
- Investor should have at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.
- Investor should have the education and experience sufficient to manage the investments (Immigration authorities (USCIS) will closely look at the investor’s experience).
- Investor needs to show that the funds used for the E-2 investment were obtained legally.
- E-2 visa can be initially issued for up to 2 years if investor applies while in the U.S., and up to 5 years if applied outside of the U.S. at a local U.S. Consulate.
- Investor can apply for visa extension unlimited number of times.
- Investor’s spouse and children under 21 y.o. have a right to enter in the U.S. together with the investor. Investor’s spouse can apply for an employment authorization while in the U.S. Investor’s children cannot be in the U.S. based on the investor’s E-2 visa after they turn 21 years old.
- The areas for investment in the E-2 program are not limited. There are no requirements to the type of business, reputation or recognition. It can be a gas station, beauty salon, restaurant, etc.
- This type of visa can be issued by a local U.S. Consulate and does not require prior USCIS approval.
- This visa does not prohibit a dual intent.
- If you are in the U.S., it can be generally possible to change your status to E-2 if your current visa status allows (i.e., B-1, F-1, H-1). Attorney advice is recommended.
- The change of the status is done by filing I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker).
- If your I-129 is approved, you will receive an approval notice – Form I-797 in the mail. This notice will provide you with E-2 visa status, which authorizes you to be present in the U.S. legally in accordance with E-2 visa, but the Approval Notice I-797 does not provide you with a reentry permit in case if you leave the U.S. In order to be able to reenter to the U.S., you will need to apply for E-2 visa at the local U.S. Consulate.
- Form DS-160 and DS-156E should be filed with a local U.S. Consulate and visa interview needs be scheduled at the Consulate. The approval notice I-797 does not affect the processing times at the Consulate and does not speed up the process there.
- You would need to bring not only your approval Notice I-797 but all visa supporting application documents to the visa interview at the Consulate.
- Upon approval by the Consulate, E-2 visa will be stamped in your passport and this would give you a reentry permit.
- Your family members also need to file I-539 (Change of Nonimmigrant Status) if in the U.S. while you are filing for E-2 visa.
- Expedite processing is possible for I-129 (please see the state feeds below).
- If you file outside of the U.S., DS-160 and DS-156E is filed with your local U.S. Consulate and includes all supporting documents.
ALTAVIAM LEGAL SERVICES
- ALTAVIAM attorneys will review all documents and facts, and only then we can make an evaluation of your case. It is our ethical standard to ensure that each of our potential clients takes only educated decision about his/her case.
- You can request a personal meeting with ALTAIAM attorney in Moscow, Los Angeles or New York or a Skype teleconference can be scheduled.
- We will contact your employer and assist with drafting the required peitions and documents: I-129: Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker / I-539: Application to Extend / Change Nonimmigrant Status (if applicable).
- We will advise on every step and every document that you are required to submit with your petition.
- We will assist in submission of the visa application to your local U.S. Consulate (DS-160/DS-156E) if you are applying outside of the U.S., and prepare you for the interview.
- We will work with you on all supporting evidence and documents.
- We will contact the immigration authorities about your case.
- We will be in receipt of all immigration mail correspondence in the U.S.
- State Fee:
- USCIS Fee for I-129 Petition with E-2 supplement: $460
- USCIS Fee for I-539 (Application to Extend / Change Non-Immigrant Status): $370 or USCIS Fee for I-160: Local Consulate Fee (usually around $160-200)
- USCIS Fee for Expedite Processing (Optional): $1,225
- Attorney Fee: we determine our fee only upon careful consideration of all individual facts and documents.
* The list of the state fees above is not limited until an evaluation of your case is completed. USCIS / U.S. Consulates may change their fees from time to time. USCIS Fees Schedule.