To qualify for an E-2 visa, a treaty trader must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The individual must invest a substantial amount of capital into a U.S. business and must be seeking to enter the United States to develop and direct the investment. The individual may invest into a new enterprise, purchase an established enterprise or invest in a franchise.
There is no minimum investment amount. However, the investment must be substantial, meaning that the investment: is substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing or establishing an enterprise; is sufficient to ensure the E-2 nonimmigrant’s commitment to the success of the enterprise; and of a magnitude to support the chance that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise.
A treaty investor may petition for his or her employees. The employee must be of the same nationality and must either be engaging in executive or supervisory duties, or have special qualifications. If the employer is not an individual, the enterprise or organization must be at least 50 percent owned by persons who have the same nationality of the treaty country.
Treaty investors are allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. They may request extensions in increments of up to two years each. Unlike many visas, there is no limit to how many extensions one may request. However, one must be able to show intent to return to his or her home country.
Treaty investors and their employees may be accompanied or followed by a spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. Spouses may apply for work authorization and may seek employment without restriction.