Temporary Visas

U.S. immigration policy supports investors and foreign commerce in a variety of ways. The E-2 visa is one way the U.S. ensures healthy commerce with the world. The E-2 visa is issued to individuals known as ‘treaty investors’. A treaty investor is defined as a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.

You should be coming to the U.S. to partake in a substantial investment. Your investment may be less than that required for the EB-5 ($500,000). However, if the investment becomes equal or greater than $500,000, you may petition for permanent immigration status. Your spouse and/or children under the age of 21 may accompany you under E-2 status. Your employees may also be eligible for the E-2 Visa.


You may apply for an E-2 visa at a U.S. Consulate in your country. We recommend you do not apply at a U.S. Consular Office outside of your permanent residence, since that process is more difficult.


To apply for an E-1 Visa, you must supply the following documents:

  • A filled-in visa application Form DS-156.
  • One recent photograph 1 & 1/2 inches square (37mm x 37mm) of each applicant, with the entire face visible. The picture should be taken before a light background and without head covering.
  • A passport, valid for travel to the United States for at least six months longer than your intended visit.
  • Documents that establish that your company is owned by foreign nationals.
  • A letter from your employer detailing your position and stating that you possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm.

You may also be asked to prove that:

  • Your company meets the requirements of the law.
  • The trade is substantial; there should be a continuous flow of trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.
  • You intend to leave the U.S. after the validity date of the E-2 Visa.
  • You have invested a ‘substantial’ amount.
  • The investment must be active.

You may also be asked to describe in detail:

  • What type of investment you are involved in.
  • The future prospects for the investment.
  • Other documents that establish your eligibility for the E-2 Visa.