The United States always strove to promote smooth and prosperous trade relationships with countries throughout the world. To this end, the E-1 and E-2 treaty investor visa program allows foreign nationals from designated countries to obtain temporary but long-term legal status and work authorization in the United States for the purposes of carrying out trade or investment. These authorizations can be renewed at two-year intervals for an unlimited maximum period. E-1 and E-2 visas can be substantially easier to obtain for those who qualify than other types of temporary and permanent work visas. Our attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP have worked with traders and investors from various treaty countries to help them take advantage of this valuable program.
To qualify for an E-1 treaty trader visa, a person must be a foreign national of a country with which the U.S. maintains a trade treaty and must carry on substantial international trade with at least half of its total volume being between the United States and that country. Employees of treaty traders may also qualify if they are of the same nationality as the principal and are working in an executive or supervisory capacity or have other special qualifications. Ancillary visas are also available for spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21.
The E-2 treaty investor visa program is similar to the E-B5 program in that it permits entry for those interested in investing in U.S. enterprises. It is, however; distinct in several ways:
To qualify for an E-2 visa, an investor must have invested or plan to invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. enterprise. The investor must also be at least a 50 percent owner of the enterprise or must maintain operational control of it. While there is no specific amount that qualifies as substantial capital, it must constitute a substantial portion of the enterprise’s total capital and be sufficient to ensure the investor’s commitment to the enterprise and create a likelihood of the enterprise’s success. Like E-1 visas, E-2 visas are also available to employees of treaty investors and the immediate families of both investors and their employees.
Our team at Bretz & Coven, LLP has served as a valuable resource for traders and investors throughout NY who have sought to enter the United States for commercial reasons. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers in New York City today at 212-267-2555 or online for creative solutions to your complex immigration problems. For an office appointment in Metro Park, New Jersey, call 1 (732) 313-0075.