What Are E1 and E2 Visas?
The E-1 and The E-2 Visas Explained
In this article, you will discover:
- Important information concerning E-1 and E-2 Visas
- Why there is no minimum amount of investment capital or trade required
- Options available if one does not qualify
The E visa category is reserved for citizens of countries that have an economic treaty or some sort of economic reciprocity in place with the United States and will be coming to the United States to engage in trade or oversee an investment. The E-1 visa is for traders, and the E-2 visa is for investors. An initial enquiry will determine if a potential E visa candidate’s country has a qualifying economic treaty with the United States. E-1 treaty traders can be defined as merchants who import or export goods from and to the United States. E-2 treat investors are those people coming to the United States to open a new business or take over an existing business. They invest foreign capital into the United States economy and then use that monetary investment as a vehicle for the E-2 visa application. In contrast, the treaty trader is operating a business within the United States that shows substantial trade (import and/or export) between the United States and foreign countries.
How Long You Can Stay In The US On An E-2 Or An E-1 Visa
The E-2 and E-1 visas are usually granted in increments of up to 2 years. Normally, for new applicants opening a new business, the E visa is issued for one year. After the business is established, visa renewals and extensions are normally granted for up to two years.
A Possible Minimum Amount Of Trade Or Investment Needed To Qualify For The E1 Or E2 Visas
There is no minimum amount of trade or monetary investment needed to qualify for E visa status. For the E-1 applicants, immigration officers will look at the applicant’s business dealings to determine if there is substantial trade between the United States and a foreign country. E-2 applicants are not required to show a minimum level of investment. Rather, immigration officers use a proportionality framework to measure the appropriate level of capital needed to open and operate the applicants potential E-2 business. The broadness of qualifying enterprises in many industries makes defining specific investment standards impossible. Every business is going to have, by nature, a different kind of starting capital. A robust business plan and analyzing economic data can be beneficial to determine a range of staring capital for any particular E-2 visa enterprise.
Alternatives If My Employees Or I Do Not Qualify For The E-2 Or E-1 Visa
Other strategies may be appropriate if an applicant does not qualify for E visa status for any number of reasons. For example, an applicant may be a citizen of a country that does not have a qualifying economic treaty with the United States. In certain situations, an Applicant may apply for E visa status via a third country as long as that applicant has status in that third country. If an applicant fails to qualify for E visa status for lack of substantial trade or investment the applicant should revisit their business strategy to fine-tune their application, inject more money, hire more employees etc. If qualification for a E status is not possible, other visa categories such as L, H-1, or TN may be appropriate. An attorney will evaluate the applicants business or investment and make an initial determination if there is enough business activity or capital to make a viable application.
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