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What Is An E-2 Non Immigrant Visa?


There are a wide range of different paths for foreign nationals to come to live and work in the United States. The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa through which nationals of “treaty” countries can apply to live and work in America. The E-2 visa is an important but sometimes misunderstood option. In this article, our Philadelphia immigration attorney provides a comprehensive guide to E-2 non-immigrant visas.

The E-2 Non-Immigrant Visa is Reserved for Certain Foreign Investors and Entrepreneurs 

As stated by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the E-2 category is a “non-immigrant” classification that allows certain qualified individuals to come to live and work in the U.S. Broadly defined, a non-immigrant visa is one that does not offer a direct path to permanent residency or U.S. citizenship. It is for those coming to the United States on a temporary basis.

Only Foreign Nationals from “Treaty” Countries Can Apply for an E-2 Visa 

While some immigration options are open to applicants regardless of their country of origin, the E-2 non-immigrant is restricted only to so-called “treaty” countries. The United States has entered into international agreements with a number of different countries to promote open commerce. You must be from a “treaty” country to apply for an E-2 visa. The State Department has a comprehensive list of each country based on their treaty status.

What are the Benefits of an E-2 Non-Immigrant Visa?

 The primary benefit of an E-2 non-immigrant visa is that it allows a foreign national investor or entrepreneur to live and work in the United States on a temporary basis. Notably, the spouse of the visa holder and their unmarried children under the age of 21 can join them in the U.S. It is a useful option for those who have business to do in the United States. Unlike other investment based immigration options that offer a potential path to a green card—such as the EB-5 visa—there is not a strict minimum mandatory investment for an E-2 non-immigrant visa. More people can qualify.

The Requirements to Get an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa 

To qualify for an E-2 non-immigrant visa, an applicant must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be a foreign national of an E-2 treaty country;
  • Make a “substantial” investment in the U.S;
  • Be involved in an active, for-profit business;
  • Enter the U.S. to manage/develop that business;
  • Demonstrate a lawful source of funds; and
  • Make an investment with an irrevocable commitment to a U.S. business.

If you have any specific questions about qualifying for an E-2 visa for a company in Pennsylvania, an experienced Philadelphia business immigration lawyer can help.

 Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Philadelphia Immigration Attorney

At Ellenberg Law Group, our Philadelphia immigration lawyer has the skills and experience to help clients navigate E-2 non-immigrant visas. We have thousands of questions commonly asked by the USCIS to better prepare our clients for the application process. Give us a phone call now or contact us through our website to set up your confidential case review. With an office in Philadelphia, we help clients with E-2 non-immigrant visas throughout all of Southeast Pennsylvania.


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