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E-2 Visa: Potential Bridge to EB-5

An E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs or investors to enter and work in the United States based on a substantial investment in a U.S. business. It is also known as the "treaty investor visa" as it requires the investor to come from a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States.

Once the investor has established the E-2 business and meets the necessary requirements, they can then apply for an EB-5 visa by investing additional capital in the business and meeting the requirements of the EB-5 program. The additional funding can also be used to create jobs and meet other eligibility requirements of the EB-5 program.

E-2 visa requirements

There is no specified investment amount, but it must be “substantial”—meaning enough to successfully run the business, provide income for the investor and their family, and create American jobs. Some immigration lawyers have estimated the minimum amount to $150,000-$400,000.

The investor must develop and run the business and have at least 50% ownership or operational control.

E-2 visa highlights

  • Can be acquired in as little as 3 months but can also take up to one year.

  • Allows petitioner to live and work anywhere in the U.S.

  • Valid from 3 months to 5 years, depending on country of origin, with potentially unlimited extensions.

  • Free public education for children in the U.S. and tuition savings at many universities.

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