When it comes to the E-2 visa, which is a non-immigrant visa category for individuals from treaty countries who wish to invest in and manage businesses in the United States, there are specific terms and conditions that must be adhered to. These terms and conditions are important to understand to maintain E-2 status and ensure compliance with U.S. immigration laws. Here are the key terms and conditions of E-2 status:
Treaty Country Eligibility: The E-2 visa is available only to nationals of countries that have signed treaties of commerce and navigation or bilateral investment treaties with the United States. Not all countries have E-2 treaty agreements, so it is essential to check the eligibility based on the country of citizenship.
Substantial Investment: To qualify for E-2 status, the applicant must make a substantial investment in a U.S. business. The investment must be at risk, meaning there is a risk of loss, and it should be proportional to the total cost of purchasing or creating the business. There is no fixed minimum investment amount, but it must be substantial enough to ensure the success and viability of the business.
Active Management or Direction: E-2 visa holders must actively manage or direct the business in which they have invested. This means being involved in the day-to-day operations and decision-making processes of the business. Passive investment alone is not sufficient to maintain E-2 status.
Non-Marginality: The business in which the E-2 visa holder has invested must not be considered marginal. Marginality refers to a business that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than a minimal living for the investor and their family. The business should have the potential to create job opportunities and contribute to the U.S. economy.
Intent to Depart: E-2 visa holders must demonstrate that they have the intent to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of their E-2 status. This means that the primary purpose of their stay in the United States is to develop and direct the business, rather than to immigrate permanently.
Treaty Investor Status: The E-2 visa holder must maintain their status as a treaty investor throughout their stay in the United States. This includes continuing to meet the eligibility requirements, investing in the business, actively managing the business, and complying with any reporting or documentation obligations.
Duration of Stay: The initial period of stay for E-2 visa holders varies depending on the reciprocity agreement between the United States and the treaty country. It can range from a few months to several years. E-2 visas can be renewed indefinitely, as long as the treaty investor continues to meet the eligibility requirements.
Dependents' Status: The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of the E-2 visa holder can accompany or join them in the United States under derivative E-2 visas. However, the spouse may apply for work authorization, while the children are generally limited to attending school.
It is important for E-2 visa holders to work closely with experienced immigration attorneys or professionals to ensure compliance with the specific terms and conditions of E-2 status. They can provide guidance on maintaining eligibility, filing necessary documentation, renewing the visa, and addressing any changes or updates in immigration laws and regulations related to E-2 status.
Immigrant Law-Terms and Conditions of E-2 Status
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