Martin J. Lawler, is an expert in facilitating the immigration to the United States as well as assisting, migrates new to the United States with visa issues. Martin Lawler is also recognized as one of America’s leading immigration lawyers. With 30 years of specializing in immigration law, he has also secured temporary visas, permanent residence, naturalization, and passports for thousands of people from around the world.
Martin Lawler has written a book named “Immigration Law Book”, and has also has created many online materials in the form of blogs and articles.

His book, Professionals: A Matter of Degree, is a leading treatise on employment-based temporary visas and permanent resident status.

We are very experienced with E-2 visas since we file about 2 visas per month worldwide. We can walk the applicants through the process and assist them with precision in dialing the type of business they are willing to launch and analyzing the possibilities of their E-2 visa applications, despite whether or not it matches the E2 visa criteria.

Are you trying to get a green card or permanent resident status?

E2 Visas are the solution for any entrepreneur looking for creating a business in the United States or even for individuals purchasing businesses (owners, executives, managers or basically people with essential knowledge about the company’s processes as well as its products and technologies). Otherwise, this visa is also available to non-investors individuals; you could just be one of the employees of a business funded by an investor of the same nationality as you.

E2 Visa is much cheaper than the EB5 Immigrant Investor Green Card

For investors who are not able to invest $500,000 under the EB5 immigrant investor Green Card Program, the E2 visa category (and even the L1 visa) is worth your consideration. You will normally need to launch a business in the US under the E2 treaty investor scheme, and luckily, unlike the EB5 immigrant investor visa scheme you do not have to launch employment for at least ten people, and there is also no visa quota.

In opposition to the L-1 visa, there is no obligation for the employee to work for the business abroad for a precise period of time, and there is no requirement for the business to continue operating outside of the US.

How and where to get the E-2 visa?

In order to get this temporary work visa, there are some criteria. First, there must be a treaty between the United States and the home country of the visa applicant. The good news is that today there are approximately 82 countries on the list who have reciprocal treaties with us and that could allow foreign entrepreneurs and businessmen to obtain the E2 visa.

Another thing is that at least 50% to 51% of the company must be owned by the citizens of that treaty country. There also must be a substantial adequate investment of capital whether it is cash or even intellectual property in certain circumstances, as well as a detailed and clear business plan.

In other words, substantial investment or trade is required: this is defined as the amount necessary to run the business or in investing a high percentage of cash. Borrowed funds are permissible under certain circumstances.

An additional important detail is that local employees should be hired or will be hired in the future and the business should be held in local offices in the United States.

One can apply for an E2 visa directly at the American consul in the home country and the processing time usually takes a few weeks to a couple of months in most cases.

The approximate invested amount goes from $150,000 to $250,000, after that it usually depends on the business itself, certain businesses require more capital while others can sometimes require less (such as consulting companies).

The good thing is that E-2 visa is available for any type of business, ranging from the technological field, hotels, and restaurants.

The length of the visa depends on the home country of the applicant; most countries have a 5-year visa which is enough to allow the entrepreneur to work on their enterprise.

For example, in Norway, it lasts 5 years, for Sweden for 2 years, in Mexico for 1 year and in Canada for 5 years. The length of the E-2 visa is usually extendable. With multiple E-2 visas, one can run his business for even 20 years in some cases.

What about new startups?

For new startups, the investment must be important enough to start and launch the business. The USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) will use an “Inverted Sliding Scale” (ISS) in order to know whether the investment is substantial in comparison to the general costs of the enterprise.  Foreign nationals setting up new startups may be given E-2 visas valid for up to 5 years, but it is possible that the consul provides a one to two year extension for a new business.

Spouses of E-2 visa applicants may be able to work in the US. Actually, since there is no dedicated dependent visa class for E-2 visas, spouses, as well as unmarried children (under the age of 21), may have the possibility to accompany the principal immigrant. The duration of visa for a family member who is not from the same country as the principal visa applicant depends on the reciprocal agreements between their home country and the United States.

Upon conclusion of the business, applicants should return to their home countries, or substitute their status. The United States Department of State does not allow dual intent for this type of visa, although it is possible for E-2 visa holders to adjust their status to immigrant status. The holder of an E-2 visa may leave the United States at any time.