Overview and Considerations Related to the E-2 Visa

If you are willing to put up a substantial amount of capital to invest in an enterprise that will employ U.S. workers, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) might be interested in extending an E-2 visa to you, your spouse, and some key employees. However, many potential E-2 visa applicants are hesitant to apply because they have misconceptions about how much they actually have to invest in a U.S. business. This is but one consideration we will address in this blog, which will also help you decide whether or not the E-2 visa could be useful for your situation. 

Who Uses the E-2 Visa?

Nationals of a country with which the U.S. has a treaty recognizing mutual commercial goals are welcome to apply for an E-2 visa. Japan, Australia, Taiwan, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K. are just a few of the countries that have treaties recognizing E-2 visas. Japanese nationals account for a significant chunk of the E-2 visas issued each year. 

Those who fulfill the nationality requirement must then show they have invested or are in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a “bona fide enterprise” in the U.S. The investor must also show that he or she is seeking to come to the U.S. for the sole purpose of developing and directing the enterprise. 

E-2 visas are not reserved solely for the investors or owners. You may be able to bring along managers, supervisors and employees with specialized knowledge. Additionally, they must be of the same nationality as you, the investor. Remember, though, that the U.S. wants to see an E-2 business employ American workers and pump money into the U.S. economy. 

How Much Do Investors Need to Contribute?

There is no minimum amount of capital required for investors. The sufficient amount for your particular enterprise, though, depends on the size and nature of your company. The smaller the company, the greater the investment must be (in proportion to the company’s overall cost). For example, the amount for an E-2 investor who owns a consulting company will probably be much different than an investor who is seeking to open an automobile manufacturing plant. The key is determining the amount of your investment going towards operational costs. 

When you’re applying for an E-2 visa, the U.S. Embassy will look at your balance sheet and other financials to determine an acceptable investment amount. If, at first glance, it does not appear you will meet the requirements, our firm can advise you on optimal practices to present a more favorable financial position to federal agencies. 


Willing to take a financial risk in the so-called land of opportunity (U.S.)? The E-2 visa might also be a worthwhile investment for your business and your key employees. Valvo & Associates has extensive experience helping businesses and foreign business owners make their mark in the U.S. economy. We work on flat fees and are passionate about helping our clients make their dreams a reality. Get in touch with our team here to discuss your options. 

By Brandon Valvo