Nonimmigrant Visa


E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor Visas

Investor Visas are established through a treaty between the investor’s country and the U.S. Not all countries have both E-1 and E-2 treaties with the U.S. The U.S. Department of State provides a current List of Treaty Countries on its website.

An E-1 Treaty Trader Visa allows an individual to come to the U.S. to establish a business which is international in scope, with the majority of the trade (more than 50% of the volume) being transacted between the U.S. and the treaty country.

An E-2 Treaty Investor Visa allows an individual to come to the U.S. to invest in an enterprise which he or she must direct and develop. The individual must have invested a “substantial” amount of capital. The funds utilized for the investment must have been in the possession and control of the individual. Also, the funds must be “at risk” and the investment must not be “marginal,” that is, made solely for the purpose of providing a living for the individual and his family. Passive investments do not qualify.

In obtaining SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS for the E-2, the essential element is to prove the source of the investment funds -- that the source was legal and ultimately transferred from the investor’s account.

Initial supporting evidence to document the requisite elements includes:

  • Documentation to establish the source of your funds for U.S. investment, including but not limited to: bank statements, brokerage account statements, income tax records, employment records.
  • All executed Closing documents including Settlement Statement/Purchase Agreement for the U.S. business.
  • Copies of cancelled checks (front and back) showing purchase of business.
  • Proof of transfer of funds from your foreign bank account to the U.S. (e.g., bank wire confirmations FROM ABROAD AND RECEIVED IN THE U.S.).
  • U.S. business bank account reflecting sufficient funds for commencing business.
  • Articles of Incorporation or Organization of the U.S. business.
  • Stock Certificates reflecting control of the U.S. business.
  • Partnership Agreements or Joint Venture Agreements, if applicable.
  • Lease or Deed to the U.S. business premises.
  • Application or proof of issuance for Federal Employer Identification Number.
  • Federal, State, City Occupational Licenses.
  • Receipts for purchases of equipment, inventory, improvements, supplies and/or machinery, if applicable.
  • Insurance policies.
  • Projected Profit and Loss Statement for the business for the next five years prepared by an accountant.
  • Photographs of the interior and exterior business premises.
  • Comprehensive five year Business Plan for the U.S. company.
  • Organizational Chart (or proposed) for the U.S. company.
  • Occupational licenses (current and valid at the time of filing) for the U.S. business premises.
  • Evidence of payroll for past 12 months, if applicable. (E.g., for a purchased U.S. business.)
  • Personal Financial Statement with proof of assets therein.
  • Curriculum Vitae including proof of information stated therein, such as letters of professional recommendation confirming your position, term of employment and responsibilities, written on the author’s business letterhead, and identifying their position and how they know you.
  • Proof of your permanent residence abroad, such as your current lease or home ownership, most recent pay stubs, recent school transcripts for children, etc.

Upon detailed review of your documents, this office provides appropriate guidance. E-1 and E-2 Visas are also available to “key employees.” The spouses and children of E visa holders may also be admitted in E status and E2 Spouses may later apply for Employment Authorization through the USCIS.

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