Treaty Investor (E-2) Visas - Process to Obtain

The United States has various treaties of commerce and navigation with other countries. When nationals of these countries visit the US to invest a substantial amount of capital in an enterprise that they will develop and direct, they are given an E-2 treaty investor visa.

Applying for E-2 Visa

To obtain an E-2 visa, you need to apply with the US Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction over your area of permanent residence. The application must be accompanied by a showing that you meet all of the requirements of the classification, including the nature and extent of the investment, the nationality of the owner of the company, and, if you are an employee, the character of the duties involved.

When applying for an E-2 visa, you must present the following

  • General nonimmigrant visa application form
  • Photographs
  • Valid passport
  • Comprehensive letter describing the critical information and whatever documentation is needed to show eligibility

Personal Appearance

Your personal appearance will be required as part of the application process, unless waived, and you will probably be interviewed.

Proficiency in English isn't required of a treaty investor. It's assumed that the treaty investor will arrange to communicate well enough to oversee the investment.

Intention to Depart

Treaty investors, as nonimmigrants, must intend to depart when their status ends. Generally, it's enough for you to demonstrate that intent by a statement, unless there are indications of intent to the contrary.

However, an applicant doesn't have to establish an intention to remain in the US for a specific temporary period of time or the existence of a residence in a foreign country that the applicant doesn't intend to abandon. You do have to show such intent for other types of visas.


In addition to a standard visa fee, E-2 visa applicants from some countries have to pay an additional fee.

Application Kept on File

Your application and other items are kept on file and may later assist, or possibly frustrate, issuance of E-2 visas to other employees of the same company.

Processing Time

Allow several weeks for processing your application. Although the time it will take to process your application can vary depending on how complex your case is, how much documentation you submitted and how busy the office is at the time, several weeks should be sufficient time for processing.

Duration of E-2 Visa

E-2 visas are generally issued for a five-year period and can be reissued for an unlimited number of times. Since there is no limit on the number of extensions you may obtain, you may be able to stay in the US indefinitely.

Expiration of E-2 Visa

An E-2 visa bearer should seek reissuance of the visa at a consular office abroad prior to its expiration.

Questions for Your Attorney

  • What documents to I need to submit when I apply for an E-2 visa?
  • Can I apply for an E-2 visa as a self-employed professional?
  • Does an E-2 visa expire?
  • Which visa should be used for the family members of someone with an E-2 visa?
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