investor visa lawyer

Investor visa

Maximize your chances of success with a dedicated investor visa lawyer by your side.

The United States entered into mutual treaties with many other countries in which overseas national business individuals can have an E-1 or E-2 visas for business purposes. These visas are very appealing for foreign business individuals.

The immigrant can come to the United States to work as a manager, executive, or any other indispensable position. The applicant needs to have the same nationality as the owners of the enterprise or firm. The ownership of the business must also be held by the treaty country nationals. Trade or investment is required. This is classified as the amount needed to effectively run the business, borrowed funds are allowed in specific cases. Those foreign nationals setting up new enterprises are issued E visas valid for about 5 years but it’s common for one to two-year visas to be issued by the consul as well.

Choosing an investor visa Lawyer

An investor Lawyer from Gallardo Immigration Law can help prepare and file the required applications and supporting documentation on your behalf. Our lawyers are skilled in both law and business and have many years of experience practicing immigration law. They can walk you through the entire process of obtaining an investor visa. In other words, we will work very hard to on all the pertaining details in order to make a smooth transition to U.S. for you and your loved ones. Our firm is comprised of dedicated professionals who constantly exceed our clients’ expectations.

General overview of Investor visa

The E-2 nonimmigrant classification lets a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the U.S. when investing a significant amount of money in a United States business. A qualifying organization and some specific employees may also qualify for this classification. If the chosen employee is currently in U.S. in a lawful nonimmigrant status, the employer may file a form called I-129 on the employee’s behalf.

What are the Investor Visa requirements?

In order to qualify for an investor visa, the treaty investor must:

  • Be a national of a country the U.S. keeps a treaty of navigation and commerce with.
  • Having either invested or being in the process of investing a significant amount of capital in the United States.
  • Looking to enter the U.S. exclusively to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is proven by showing at least fifty percent of the enterprise ownership.

An investment is the treaty where investors place capital such as funds and other assets in order to generate a profit. If the investment fail, the capital must be subject to total or partial lost and the investor has to show the funds don’t come from any criminal activity. Ask one of our immigration lawyers at Gallardo Immigration Law to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your investor visa.

Regulations of the Employee of a Treaty Investor

The main qualifications an employee of a treaty investor must have include:

  • Have the same nationality as the principal alien employer.
  • Being able to meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law.
  • Have duties of supervisory or executive character or possess special qualifications when employed in a position of lesser capacity. Special qualifications are those skills that make the employee essential to the company’s development.

Some circumstances that may meet the special qualifications requirement include:

  • The amount of proven expertise in the employee’s specific area of work.
  • If other individuals possess these particular skills.
  • The salary these especial qualifications generate.
  • If these skills are common in the U.S.

Family of an E-2 petitioner and employees

Treaty investors and employees can be accompanied by their spouses and children who are unmarried and under 21 years of age. Their nationalities don’t have to be the same as the employee or treaty investor. This category of family members may seek nonimmigrant E-2 as dependents and when approved they can stay in the United States the same amount of time the employee stays. When the family member is already in the U.S. and seeks to modify the status or extend their stay in an E-2 dependent classification, they can file the Form I-539. Spouses of the employee can also apply to work in the U.S. without restrictions.

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Treaty Trader Visa (E-1)

This category of work visa is for a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States. Treaty trader (E-1) is only for citizens of countries that keep treaties of commerce and navigation with the U.S. Applicants must come to the country business or investment purposes.

Qualifications for E1 Treaty Trader Visa

Foreign traders or investor applicants have to meet specific requirements in order to qualify from an E1 treaty trader under immigration law. It will be determined by the consular officer whether or not the applicant qualifies for a visa depending on the following requirements:

  • The individual needs to be a treaty country national.
  • The trading firm of the foreign employee is required to have the nationality of the treaty country.
  • There should be a substantial volume of trade.
  • The trade must be essentially between the United States and the treaty country where the applicant is from.
  • Trade means there was international exchange of goods, services, and technology.
  • The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive position or have highly specialized skills crucial in the business operation.

Contact an investor visa lawyer from Gallardo Immigration Law to determine if you qualify for the treaty trader or investor visa.

Requirements of the Employee of a Treaty Trader

In order to qualify for an E-2 classification, the employee of a treaty trader must:

  • Have the same nationality as the principal alien employer. In other words, the nationality of the treaty country.
  • Meet the requirements or definition of “employee” under the applicable law.
  • Being engaged in executive or supervisory responsibilities or being employed in a special skills position.

Executive or supervisory responsibilities are those duties which essentially qualify the employee to lead the organization or company’s overall operation or fundamental part of it.

Family of an E-1 petitioner

Spouses and children 21 years of age or less are granted the same status to accompany the E-1 petitioner. Family members of a foreign national who qualified for E-1 status are classified in the same subdivision as the primary alien. Family members don’t need a separate subcategory designated for them, which often happens in several other nonimmigrant categories. You can count of benefiting from Gallardo Immigration Law expertise. Contact one of our lawyers today who personally understands the process.

Allowed Time Periods for Stay with an E Visas

Treaty investors who qualify will have a maximum initial stay of two years. However, they can request for an extension of stay which is generally granted in amounts of two years each time. There is no limit to the amount of extensions that can be requested. E-2 nonimmigrants, however, must keep their intention to leave the U.S. when their status is either terminated or expires. Immigrants, who wish to travel abroad, are commonly granted an automatic two-year readmission period when coming back to U.S. Situations like this generally don’t require filing a new I-129 Form with USCIS. Ask us about this or any other questions or concerns you may have about your trader or investor visa.

List of countries with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of navigation and commerce.

Among the countries with which the U.S. keeps a treaty of commerce and navigation are:

E-1 Treaty Trader Visa:

  • Africa: Togo, Liberia, Ethiopia
  • Asia: Republic of China (Taiwan), Singapore, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea , and Thailand
  • Australia: Australia
  • Central America: Honduras and Costa Rica
  • Europe: Austria, Croatia, Estonia, Belgium, France, Bosnia Herzegovina, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland, Macedonia,
  • Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, and the United Kingdom
  • The Middle East: Brunei Darussalam; Jordan, Pakistan, Oman, Iran, Israel, and Turkey
  • North America: Mexico, and Canada
  • South America: Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Suriname and Paraguay

E2 Investor Visa:

  • Africa: Cameroon, Morocco and the Egypt, Congo (Cloth) and the Congo (Jin), Togo, Liberia and Ethiopia, Tunisia, and Senegal
  • Asia: Bangladesh, Japan, SouthKorea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Republic of China (Taiwan), Singapore, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Thailand
  • Australia: Australia
  • Central America: Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama
  • Europe: Belgium, Austria, Albania Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Azerbaijan
  • The Middle East: Pakistan, Jordan, Iran, Turkey Bahrain, and Oman
  • North America: Mexico, and Canada
  • South America: Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Suriname, Paraguay, and Bolivia
  • The Caribbean: Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Grenada

Questions and Answers about Investor Visa

What is the purpose of the E visas?

The E-1 visas are offered to Treaty Traders, whereas E-2 visas are offered to Treaty Investors. Both classifications involve the U.S. keeping treaties of commerce and navigation with the overseas country, also having the possibility of trade and/or investment in the U.S

How long is the E-visa valid?

This visa is issued for a period of validity and amount of entries to the U.S. based on exchange between the U.S and the foreigner’s homeland. For most treaty countries the visa is valid for 5 years, just like the multiple entry visa. The maximum periods of validity for this visa category are listed by country in the Foreign Affairs Manual, included in volume 9.

Can the E-visa authorize me to work?

The E-visa holder can be employed or engage in activities related to the nonimmigrant’s classification terms and conditions. There are limitations of the approved employment activities, which will be noted on the alien’s E visa.

What is the meaning of “trade “for the treaty trader visa purpose?

This term includes the purchase, exchange, or sale of things and service. Trade is understood largely and may include design and engineering, tourism, consulting services, transportation, communication, banking, and insurance.

What is the required amount of cash to meet the substantiality test?

The minimum amount of cash required is $100,000 U.S. Investment of less than this amount may seem unsubstantial by most U.S consuls. However, everything is analyzed according to the type of business, investment, proportion of capital, rate of return, etc.

Are there any other restrictions on the investment for the E-2 visa besides the substantiality test?

The type of investment needs to also be active, besides passive investment like for example in real estate or stock. It must include assets and funds for which the person investing is individually at risk; loans protected by the enterprise assets are not accepted.

Is it possible to extend the E-visa?

If you don’t travel during the two years the visa is valid for, you will have to apply to extend your nonimmigrant stay by mail to the USCIS. Family members are not included on Form I-129 and they are required to submit supplementary applications, Form I-539.

Where is the Form I-129 filed?

Regardless of where the individual is employed, he or she must file I-129 forms with the California Service Center and also accompanying forms for any dependents.


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