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FAQ - Investor / Business Visa

How many types of business visas are available for foreigners in the U.S.?
There are several types of business visas for foreigners in the US. The E1 Treaty Trader visa and the E2 Treaty Investor visa are for foreigners investing substantial funds in a business enterprise in the US. There are also short-term business "B1" visas. Additionally, there are various employer-sponsored visas including H, L, O and P visas.

Who is eligible for the E1 Treaty Trader visa?
Foreign citizens belonging to countries which possess a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation with the US and are coming to the US to engage in substantial trade between the US and their respective countries are eligible for the E1 visa. The E1 visa has a validity of two years and may be extended indefinitely.

What are the requirements for obtaining an E1 Visa?
To qualify for a non-immigrant treaty trader (E1) visa, the foreign citizen must show that he/she:
1) Will be in the US solely for trade purposes of a substantial nature between the US and his/her country. He/she must be an employee of a foreign person or organization engaged in trade principally between the United States and the treaty country of the foreign national.
2) Intends to leave the US upon the expiration or termination of his/her treaty trader (E1) status.

Is the family of the E1 visa holder eligible for E1 status?
Spouses and children of E1 visa holders may enter and remain in the US holding the E1 status. In some cases, E1 visa spouses may apply for working permission in the US.

Who is eligible for the Treaty Investor E2 visa?
An investor of foreign nationality whose home country maintains a treaty of commerce, navigation or bilateral investment with the United States is eligible if he/she: 
1) has made a "substantial investment"(normally at least $25,000 or more) in a U.S. business
2) The business is 50 percent owned by citizens of that treaty country 
3) Intends to come to the United States to direct the operations of the enterprise in a capacity that is either executive, supervisory, or involves specialized skills 
4) intends to leave the US upon termination or expiration of his/her E2 status.

Can the spouse and children of an E2 visa holder accompany him/her to the US?
Yes. The spouse and unmarried, minor children of an E-2 visa holder may accompany him/her to the US on E-2 visas status. This visa, however, does not automatically grant the spouse and children the right to work in the United States.

Is an E2 visa holder able to apply for permanent residency in the US?
Yes, an E2 visa entitles its holder to apply for permanent residency in the US.

How long are E2 visas valid?
The E2 visa is valid for two years and is renewable indefinitely so long as the visa holder continues in the same capacity and the business is actively engaged in trade or services.