All E-1 and E-2 visas require that a trade and investment treaty exist between the U.S. and the home country of the owners of the business. For a complete list of the investment treaties of the U.S., please see the Department of State’s web-site.
Treaty investor visas are known as “E-2 visas”. They are temporary work visas to the U.S. They allow an investor to launch, own and manage their business in the U.S. They also allow an investor to send employees from his or her home country to work as senior managers or specialists for the investor’s U.S. business. E-2 visas are useful for new businesses or already existing businesses.
E-1 visas require that the business be principally owned by citizens of the investor’s home country (at least 50%). Further, to qualify for an E-2 visa, the investment in the business must be substantial, with investment funds or assets irrevocably committed and sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the business. The investment must be an active commercial business and not a passive investment (such as simply owning investment bonds). The investment in the business must also have the likelihood that it will generate more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family.
The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa allows certain foreign national investors and their employees to obtain immigration status in the United States. The status is valid for two years, and can be extended indefinitely. The E-2 Visa holder’s spouse and children under the age of 21 are eligible to receive derivative E-2 visa status