The Treaty Investor (E2) Visa is a non-immigrant visa based around treaty agreements America maintains between certain countries. The E2 Visa is issued to the foreign nationals of these treaty countries on the basis the visa holder is entering America for the sole purpose of developing and managing business enterprise with which they have a vested interest in.
As such, to qualify for this visa the applicant must have invested or plans to invest in the near future a substantial amount of capital within America.
Be planning to establish an active business enterprise;
Be in a role which is managerial or supervisory in nature; and
The investment must be committed.
For the purposes of this visa, a substantial amount of capital or investment is:
Substantial in the proportional sense, that is, in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or creating the type of enterprise under consideration;
Sufficient to ensure the visa holder's financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise; and
Of a level to support the likelihood the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise.
The funds used for investment must be the visa applicants own funds, and documentary evidence will be required to prove this. These funds, however, may be in the form of loans (as long as the loan is not collateralised by the acquired assets) and other assets such as equipment, fixtures, inventory, patent rights, royalties and other contract rights so long as they can be objectively appraised.
In addition, any business undertaken as part of the investment must not be marginal in nature. That is, to be legitimate, the business must have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income for the treaty investor and their family. The projected future income-generating capacity should generally be realisable within 5 years from the date the E2 Visa holder commences the normal business activity of the enterprise.
The E2 Visa initially allows a stay of up to 2 years, although there is no limit to the total time the visa holder may remain in America providing they continue to meet all visa extension requirements. A spouse of an E2 Visa holder and any dependent children are also granted this visa status.