Visas for Investors, the path of good choices.


By Margarita E. Hernández

he most important issue when dealing with applicants or beneficiaries of the different visas is the intention. If your intention is Nonimmigrant, the answer is E-2 for Treaty Investors and its Employees. If your intention is to Immigrate to the United States, the answer is EB-5 v for Regional Centers and Direct Investors. So, can people buy a Residence Card? I hear this question very often. Technically, yes. I will discuss only the visa E-2 in this article. These visas are very complicated, and if you are considering these choices, please contact a business immigration attorney to evaluate your case and determine if you qualify for these categories.


The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a citizen of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.  Certain employees of such a person may qualify for this classification too. You may visit the Department of State to see all the Treaty Countries. Remember, there are two different ways to apply for this visa: if you are the United States, in which you will need a Change of Status or abroad, in which you will apply at Port of Entry.

To qualify for E-2 category, the treaty investor must: 1) Be a Citizen of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty; 2) Have invested, or be in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital an 3) Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment bona fide enterprise, showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.

There are three challenges most of E-2 applicants confront. First, people get confused with being a Legal Resident of a treat country. The applicant must be a national, meaning a Citizen of that treaty country. Second, the substantial amount, because there is no amount defined; however, this amount must be in relationship with the total cost of the enterprise. Finally, probe that the business is real and operating commercial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit.

Most of the requirements for E-2 Treaty Investor follow the E-2 Employee. The most important is that the employee must be citizen of the same treaty country of the E-2 Treaty Investor.

If you need further information, please contact Margarita Hernández, Global Business Immigration Attorney at 832-464-4852.