Foreign nationals who are wanting to come to New Jersey to live and work might do so with E-2 treaty investor visas. These are nonimmigrant visas, which means they do not provide a path to lawful permanent residence or naturalization in the U.S. However, an E-2 treaty investor visa might provide the holder with a way to invest in an enterprise and live in the U.S. while growing the business.
What is an E-2 treaty investor visa?
The E-2 treaty investor visa is a type of visa available to foreign nationals from countries with which the U.S. government has a treaty of commerce and navigation or an agreement for the country’s citizens to come to the U.S. for work purposes. Treaty investors can be admitted to the U.S. by investing a substantial amount of money in a U.S. company. To be considered substantial, the investment must be sizeable in proportion to the total cost of buying the business or starting a new one. It must also be enough to demonstrate the investor’s commitment to the business and to increase the likelihood that the investor will be successful in developing and growing the company. E-2 treaty investor visas are good for two years and can be extended an unlimited number of times. However, as nonimmigrant visas, the investors must intend to return to their home country when their visas expire or are terminated.
Qualifying for an E-2 treaty investor visa
To qualify for E-2 treaty investor visas, foreign nationals must meet the following requirements:
- Be from a treaty country that appears on this list
- Invest or be in the process of investing in a bona fide U.S. business or enterprise
- Intend to direct the company as evidenced by having 50% or more ownership or holding operational control of the business through a management position
- Invest a substantial amount of capital
For those who qualify and want to come to the U.S. to start or buy a business, the E-2 treaty investor visa might be an option. However, potential investors will need to be prepared to invest a substantial amount of capital and meet all of the above-listed requirements to qualify.