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E2 Visa Requirements Explained

Updated on March 25, 2024

Hey there, aspiring investors and entrepreneurs! In our previous blog posts, we’ve covered the basics of E2 visas. Today, we’ll take a deep dive into the specific requirements you’ll need to meet to qualify for this exciting investment opportunity in the United States.

30 Second Recap:

To qualify for an E2 visa, you must first be a national of a country with a U.S. trade treaty. A core requirement is a substantial investment in a U.S. business, generally regarded as $100,000 or more, though this varies. This investment must be in an active, operational enterprise, excluding speculative ventures. The business must not be marginal, meaning it should generate sufficient income beyond just supporting the investor and their family. A detailed business plan is crucial, outlining the investment’s use, the business’s nature, income projections, and potential for job creation. While not required, job creation for Americans significantly bolsters an application. Applicants must actively manage the business and demonstrate an ability to effectively operate within the U.S., including potential English proficiency for smoother operations and dealings with officials. Finally, applicants must prove their investment funds are from legitimate sources, showcasing their financial history and the funds’ legal acquisition.


Nationality Requirement

First and foremost, to be eligible for an E2 visa, you must be a national of a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. This is a fundamental requirement, so be sure to check if your country is on the list before proceeding with your investment plans.

Substantial Investment

One of the key requirements for an E2 visa is making a substantial investment in a U.S. enterprise. While there’s no fixed minimum amount, the investment must be significant in proportion to the total cost of the business. As a general guideline, an investment of $100,000 or more is often considered substantial, but this can vary depending on the nature of the business.

It’s important to note that the investment must be irrevocably committed to the enterprise. This means you can’t just have plans to invest; the funds must be actively invested in the business.

Bona Fide Enterprise

Your investment must be in a real, operating commercial enterprise. Speculative or passive investments, like purchasing undeveloped land or investing in stocks and bonds, won’t qualify for an E2 visa. The business should have a physical premises and generate services or goods for profit.


To qualify for an E2 visa, your business must have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for you and your family. In other words, it can’t be a marginal enterprise that only provides a means of support for you.

Business Plan

Having a solid business plan is crucial for E2 visa approval. Your plan should detail the nature of your business, your investment amount, how the funds will be used, projected income, and job creation potential. A well-crafted business plan not only demonstrates the viability of your enterprise but also shows your commitment to its success.

Job Creation

While not a mandatory requirement, creating jobs for U.S. workers can significantly strengthen your E2 visa application. Demonstrating that your business will generate employment opportunities for Americans is a big plus in the eyes of the U.S. government.

Involvement in Business Operations

As an E2 investor, you must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. This means you’ll need to have a central role in the day-to-day operations and decision-making of the business. You can’t be a passive investor; active involvement is key.

English Language Ability

While there’s no formal English language requirement for E2 visas, being able to communicate effectively in English can greatly benefit your business operations and interaction with U.S. officials during the visa application process.

Proof of Funds

You’ll need to provide evidence that your investment funds come from legitimate sources. This can include bank statements, tax returns, and other financial documents. Be prepared to trace the source of your funds and demonstrate their lawful origin.

Final Thoughts

Meeting the requirements for an E2 visa takes careful planning and preparation, but the rewards of investing in the United States can be substantial. By ensuring you meet the nationality, investment, business, and personal criteria, you’ll be well on your way to securing your E2 visa and realizing your American dream.

Remember, while this blog post provides an overview of the E2 visa requirements, it’s always best to consult with a qualified immigration attorney for personalized guidance on your specific situation.

Happy investing!

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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