The benefits of the E-2 visa include the ability to stay on a prolonged basis with unlimited two year extensions as long as the individual maintain valid E-2 status and the U.S. enterprise remains viable and active. The individual may be accompanied by a spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age, and spouses may apply for work authorization to be legally employed in the U.S.To qualify for E-2 classification as the principal investor, the treaty investor must:
- Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
- Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States
- Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate arrangement.
To qualify for E-2 classification as an employee, the employee of a treaty investor must:
- Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country)
- Meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law
- Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory nature, or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.
- If the principal alien employer is not an individual, it may be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons in the United States who have the nationality of the treaty country. These owners must also be maintaining nonimmigrant treaty investor status.