Houston E-2 Visa Lawyer
As a foreign national of a country that maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States, you are eligible to enter the U.S. for the purpose of investing in a business or enterprise. Texas, one of the ten largest economies in the world, is a great place to invest and develop a new business or manage an existing one. The business immigration attorneys at BBA Immigration are here to advise you and guide you through every aspect of the process of obtaining your visa. Learn more below, and contact our experienced Houston E-2 Visa lawyers today to discuss your needs and find out how we can help.
How to Get an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
This nonimmigrant visa offers an initial stay of up to two years, which can be followed by an indefinite number of two-year extensions, so long as the visa holder maintains an intention to depart the U.S. when their status expires or is terminated. To be eligible, you must be a national of a “treaty country” (most countries qualify as treaty countries for this purpose), and you must be willing to invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Certain employees of treaty investors can get E-1 visas as well, provided they are of the same nationality as the treaty investor and are employed in an executive or supervisory capacity or have special qualifications that make them essential to the enterprise. The immigration attorneys at BBA Immigration have particular expertise in asking the right questions and gathering the right evidence to build a strong case that supports a visa application.
The process for gaining status as an E-2 treaty investor is different depending on whether the applicant is currently inside or outside the United States. If already in the U.S. on a different lawful nonimmigrant status, the proper approach is to file Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker to change status to E-2 classification. For individuals currently outside the United States, they should apply for an E-2 nonimmigrant visa through the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. Treaty investors can also petition on behalf of their employees. Treaty investors and their employees can both be accompanied or followed by their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old, and spouses can often get permission to work in the U.S. during their stay.
To be a treaty investor, the individual must meet the following criteria:
- Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
- Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States; and
- Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.
Several additional criteria go into determining what equates to a “substantial amount of capital”; there is no set dollar figure. Instead, the amount must be substantial in relation to the total cost of purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one. The investment must be sufficient to ensure the investor’s commitment to making the enterprise a success, and it must be large enough to support the likelihood the investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher the investment should be to be considered substantial.
The enterprise itself should be an actual, operating business producing goods or providing services for a profit. It should have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide at least a minimal living for the investor and their family.
Contact BBA Immigration Today
The business-based immigration attorneys at BBA Immigration excel in putting together strong applications with the right kind of persuasive documentation to support a successful petition. We are here to advise you and guide you through every aspect of the E-2 visa process. For help immigrating to the U.S. to invest in a Texas business, contact our experienced Houston E-2 treaty investor lawyers today.