The E Visa category is intended to encourage trade and investment by extending special immigration opportunities to foreign nationals from Treaty Countries. Those eligible for immigration through an E Visa usually fall under the categories of “Trader” or “Investor,” but E Visas can also be granted to essential employees.

If you have invested substantially in a company from a Treaty Country, or if you plan to do so, you may be a candidate for an E-2 Investor Visa.

If you work for a company from a Treaty Country and have a special, essential role in promoting trade, please visit our page on E-1 Trader Visas.

Holders of E-2 Visas can stay in the United States indefinitely, as long as their trade activities continue. Spouses and unmarried children (under 21 years old) may accompany an E-2 Visa holder as derivative beneficiaries.

To be Eligible for an E2 Visa:

  • You must be a citizen of a country that is party to the E Visa Treaty
  • The sponsoring company must be primarily owned or controlled by nationals of the same Treaty Country

To qualify under the E-2 Treaty Investor category, you must be coming to the United States to “develop and direct” an enterprise in which you have made a real, substantial investment. The company must have a presence in the United States but be controlled by nationals from your country.


Successfully applying under the E Visa category requires the preparation not only of documents to comply with State Department regulations but also substantial documentation regarding corporate relationships, investments, trade, applicant duties, etc. Though this may seem simple in principle, in practice gaining an E Visa can be complicated. We invite you to contact us for a free consultation to discuss your situation with our experienced immigration attorneys in Reno and Las Vegas, NV.


Often in immigration law, certain terms have precise legal meanings beyond their usual meaning. Below we explain a few of the key terms in the E-2 Visa category, but for an analysis of your unique circumstances you should meet with an experienced immigration lawyer who can help you understand whether or not an E-2 Visa is right for you.

“Real” investment means that the funds are committed. Speculative or potential investment, or even investment pending transfer of funds, does not qualify.

“Substantial” investment means that the investment is “sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise.” The determination of what is a substantial investment is related to the scale and cost of the business, such that a higher percentage is required for a low-cost venture than for a high-cost one. The investment must also be large enough that it provides the company with income beyond that necessary to support the investor and his/her dependents. The investment should have “a significant economic impact in the United States.”

The investment must be at risk; in other words, someone who loans money to an enterprise, where the debt is secured by the real property of the company, has not invested in the company but merely become its creditor