E-1 and E-2 visas are non-immigrant employment based investor visas for foreign nationals who have citizenship with certain countries that have treaties with the United States The E-1 Treaty Trader visa is available to foreign nationals of countries which the United States maintains a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation, who is coming to the United States to carry on substantial international trade.
The E-2 Investor visa is available to foreign nationals of countries that have an Investor Treaty with the United States. The foreign national, or foreign entity, must make a substantial investment in the United States enterprise. While there is no black and white figure which is required to meet the “substantial” investment test, the required amount to be considered “substantial” depends on a variety factors including the type of the industry; the type of business and the location of the business. For example, if the business is a restaurant in New York, the E-2 investor would be expected to invest in premises, kitchen build out, supplies, raw goods, advertising, among other items. In comparison, a consulting business may be more hard pressed to justify a high enough amount of investment due to the low start up costs required for such an enterprise. Therefore, a lower amount of money will be considered ‘substantial’ for the second type of business. Our lawyers based in New York have extensive experience with this visa category and have successfully guided companies of all kinds with successful applications