Qualify for E-2 Treaty Investor Visa For USA

Do the Employees of E-2 Treaty Investors Qualify for US Visas?

By Verdie Atienza, Senior Immigration Attorney, Head of E-2 Visa Practice, Davies & Associates

There is a wealth of information regarding the E-2 Treaty Investor visa, but not a lot of people know that the E-2 Enterprise may also file an application for a foreign national of the same nationality as the E-2 Treaty Investor to qualify for an E-2 Treaty Employee visa. The E-2 employee may be an executive or supervisory employee. The employee may also be employed in a lesser capacity provided  that he or she has special qualifications.

It should be noted that the E-2 Treaty Investor need not be an individual. The E-2 Treaty Investor may also be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons in the United States who have the nationality of the treaty country. 

More interestingly, these owners do not necessarily have to maintain nonimmigrant E-2 treaty investor status in the U.S. They just need to be classifiable as nonimmigrant treaty investors, if they were to seek admission to the U.S. In this regard, an E-2 enterprise may still bring E-2 treaty employees to the U.S. even if the E-2 Treaty Investor does not want to apply for the visa or if the E-2 Treaty Investor is actually an organization or an entity.

To qualify for E-2 treaty employee visa, the duties of the applicant must be executive or supervisory character, which means that he or she will have ultimate control and responsibility for the enterprise’s overall operation, or a major component of it.  If the applicant is seeking to apply as someone with special qualifications, the skills and/or aptitudes must make the employee’s services essential to the efficient operation of the treaty enterprise. 

There are several qualities or circumstances that could, depending on the facts, meet this requirement. These include, but are not limited to:   

  • The degree of proven expertise in the employee’s area of operations
  • Whether others possess the employee’s specific skills
  • The salary that the special qualifications can command
  • Whether the skills and qualifications are readily available in the United States.

It should be noted that knowledge of a foreign language and culture does not, by itself, meet this requirement. 

D&A recently obtained an E-2 Treaty Employee for a UK national to occupy a General Manager position of an E-2 company engaged in selling gold coins and bars through its user-friendly online platform. The company builds on the expertise of its highly successful affiliate in London, which operates in the same industry. The E-2 Company specializes in the sales of LBMA (London Bullion Market Association) approved gold and silver bars and coins to both national and international clients. 

The E-2 investment was made by a UK entity that is owned by a UK national who does not wish to enter the US on an E-2 Treaty Investor visa.

To find out more about the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, click here.


This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.


E-2 Visa approved for a Singaporean national during COVID-19

E-2 Visa: Change of Status approved for a Singaporean national amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

By Verdie Atienza

The client entered the US on a visitor’s visa and recognized the opportunity to set up a full-service business coaching and management consulting company with the goal of improving client’s profitability and increasing operational efficiency. He is the head of a private equity and capital markets firm in Singapore responsible for raising millions in sees capital from various investors and overseeing all aspects of business strategy, corporate governance and product development for global startups. 

The client decided to apply to change status to E-2 Treaty Investor Visa for the following reasons:

  1. He wanted to capitalize on the opportunity in the US;
  2. He was concerned about not being able to come back to the US as soon as he would like if he applies for the E-2 visa at the Embassy because of COVID-19;
  3. He wanted to immediately be able to develop and direct the US company.

With the assistance of D&A, the client was able to timely file an application to change status to E-2. As expected, he received a request for evidence. The challenges to his E-2 change of status application were as follows:

  1. He was required to provide for additional evidence to prove business viability since his company is a start-up;
  2. He was asked to prove his capacity to develop and direct the enterprise considering that the company is a service-oriented one. USCIS has been known to issue RFEs for service-oriented businesses with the treaty investor applicant  as one of the primary service providers.
  3. He was required to prove his non-immigrant intent.

D&A successfully overcame the RFE and obtained an approval for the client. Our team worked closely with our business plan team to prepare a strong response to prove the business viability of the E-2 company even if it is a start-up. COVID-19 made things more challenging because the lockdown and restrictions to gather in big groups will force the company to resort to online or virtual trainings.

We also had to prove to USCIS that our client has the ability to develop and direct the company. Since the company is a service-oriented business, demonstrating that the client will be performing work that is “solely” focused on developing and directing the E-2 company may be difficult, however, we were able to prove that the activities of the E-2 investor applicant are primarily focused on business management and development. We successfully demonstrated that the client’s performance of consulting activities are incidental to their job developing and directing the business. 

With the approval of the change of status application, the Company will now be able to organize corporate trainings that will lead to the professional development and improvement of the employees. The Company will provide strategic consulting services to businesses, enabling them to achieve sustained, profitable growth. This service segment includes strategic advice in the areas of general growth strategy, leadership development, performance improvement, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate portfolio design. In the area of leadership development, the Company’s team views employee engagement as a potential source of competitive advantage. The services of the Company become particularly relevant as the most US companies have to rise above the economic slowdown as a result of the pandemic.

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa offers the opportunity to invest in and own a business in America. Applicants must come from an E-2 Treaty country. Click here to find out if your country holds an E-2 Treaty with the United States. If your country does not have an E-2 Treaty with the United States, it is possible to quickly obtain citizenship by investment of an E-2 Treaty country which would make you eligible. Grenada Citizenship by Investment and Turkish Citizenship by Investment are the quickest routes to E-2 Visa eligibility.


This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.