Treaty Investors Visa

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Overview

To qualify for Treaty Investor (E-2) visas applicants must be coming to the United States either to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise in which the applicant has invested a substantial amount of capital. Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation. Slovakia is one of these countries. For a list of all treaty countries, click here.

The spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of treaty investors, or employees of enterprises may receive dependent E visas in order to accompany or follow to join their spouse or parent. They are not required to have the same nationality as the principal applicant to obtain an E visa.

E visas permit the investor and his or her family to live in the United States during the period of stay authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). E visas are nonimmigrant visas; consequently, visa holders are allowed to live in the United States only so long as the conditions under which the visa was granted remain valid. Dependents are not authorized to work in the U.S. unless they receive explicit authorization to do so from DHS-USCIS in the United States. Dependents of trader investors may apply for work authorization must be applied for after their arrival in the United States.

Qualifications for a Treaty Investor (E-2) Visa

  • The investor, either a person, partnership or a corporate entity, must have the citizenship  of the treaty country. If a business, at least 50 percent of the business must be owned by persons with the treaty country’s nationality;
  • The investment must be substantial and the funds have to be "irrevocably" committed. The investment must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise;
  • The investment must be in a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or mere ownership of undeveloped land are not considered an investment;
  • The investment may not be marginal. Based on 9 FAM 41.51, the enterprise must either show a financial return that significantly exceeds what is necessary to support a living for the investor or else the enterprise must have the capacity, present or future, to make a significant economic contribution;
  • The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in a commercial sense. If the funds are not subject to partial or total loss if business fortunes reverse, then the investment is not an investment in the sense intended by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 101(a)(15)(E) and in 9 Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) 41.51. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise do not qualify;
  • The investor must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify. Please note that a detailed explanation of why the applicant's skills are essential for the enterprise in the U.S. or why the applicant possesses qualifying “executive or supervisory: experience may be required.
  • The applicant must intend to depart the U.S. when his/her E-2 status ends.

How to Apply

Step 1

Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 2

Pay the visa application fee. The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fee in U.S. dollars and local currency.

To pay your visa fee, read the Bank and Payment Options page. This page explains how to make your visa fee payment. You will create a profile and must keep your receipt number to book your visa appointment.

Step 3

Schedule your appointment on this web page. You will need the following information in order to schedule your appointment:

  • Your passport number
  • The CGI reference number from your Visa Fee receipt. (Click here if you need help finding this number.)
Step 4

Read carefully the instructions. After entering the receipt number you will be able to schedule an appointment. However before scheduling the appointment please be sure to have the following documents prepared.

There are three different categories of E visa submission:

  • If this is your first E visa, and you are either applying to work as an employee for a new E visa enterprise or you yourself are the investor, you must submit following documentation: Forms DS-160 and DS-156E; the statement about your intent to return upon termination of your E status; and the full E visa documentation package. Full instructions to build an appropriate E visa package are available here: Instructions for Applying for Nonimmigrant E1/E2 Visas.
  • If you are renewing your E visa, provide the following documentation: Forms DS-160 and DS-156E; the statement about your intent to return upon termination of your E status; a letter from your employer/the U.S. enterprise containing a detailed description of the enterprise’s past and planned activities; proof that the enterprise is still operating, such as copies of the last available U.S. corporate tax returns/updated profit and loss statement/balance sheet/W-2 forms for employees and/or payroll documentation and, only if there has been a change in the enterprise’s ownership, the new ownership documentation needs to be submitted as well.
  • If this is your first E visa, but you are applying to work as an employee for a previously- qualified E visa enterprise, provide the following documentation: Forms DS-160 and DS-156E; the statement about your intent to return upon termination of your E status; a detailed resume or CV and documentation of your professional qualification (such as copies of education degrees, job training certificates and/or letters from previous employers); a letter of support from your prospective U.S. employer containing a detailed position description; proof that the enterprise is still operating, such as copies of the last available US tax return/updated profit and loss statement/balance sheet/W-2 forms for employees and/or payroll documentation and, only if there has been a change in the enterprise’s ownership, the new ownership documentation needs to be submitted as well
Step 5

Schedule your appointment on this web page.

Step 6

Visit the Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview.

Formal adjudication of the case begins with the in-person interview. If, after the interview, the case should require additional documentation, you will receive clear guidance from the Consular Officer on what to submit, and by what method.

Supporting Documents

Instructions for Applying for Nonimmigrant E1/E2 Visas

Please assemble your documentation according to these guidelines.

Tab A (Table of Contents)
Tab B (Forms)
  1. Completed DS-160 for all applicants (to include derivatives)
  2. DS-156E for primary applicant only
Tab C (Applicant Information)
  1. Certificates that demonstrate proof of family relationships and the marital status for each applicant (marriage certificate for spouse and/or birth certificate(s) for minor child/children)
  2. The principal applicant’s résumé or curriculum vitae/CV
  3. A signed statement of intent to depart the U.S. upon termination of status for the principal applicant
Tab D (Cover Letter and additional documents)
  1. The cover letter must describe how the enterprise qualifies for E-2 status and must include a description of the beneficiary’s specific skills and qualifications, if not addressed in the resume or CV. The letter must address all the requirements for E-2 visa eligibility.
  2. Documentation that supports the applicant’s expertise and underlines his/her essential skills. This may include any relevant diplomas, job training certificates and/or letters from previous employers.
  3. Include the first two pages of U.S. corporate tax returns, showing IRS reported sales for the two years immediately preceding the application and the current year’s profit and loss statement.
  4. Evidence that the enterprise has the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income for a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family. (The projected future capacity should be realized within 5 years after business start-up.)
Tab E (Ownership)
  1. Proof of at least 50% treaty country nationality for the principal investor/owner
  2. If the firm has several owners or subsidiaries or if the chain of ownership includes intermediary entities, please include the following (as applicable):
    1. An organization chart with names showing the full ownership structure of the entity
    2. Legal proof of ownership (such as incorporation certificate, shares certificate, excerpt from the trade registration) within a respective chain
    3. Photocopies of only the bio data page of the passports and the percentage of each unit holder of the definitive parent company
  3. If the firm is publicly traded with many shareholders (none of which own more than 50%) include:
    1. A written declaration justly authorized by a corporate official stating all of the stock exchanges on which the firm is traded
    2. A copy of recently issued trading information concerning the nationality of the stock's owners
  4. For an E-1 visa, if the firm is an incorporated entity outside of the US, include a chart of ownership of the enterprise and a certificate of existence/registration from the state/province in which the company is incorporated.
TAB F (Proof of Investment or Trade)

Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor applicants are encouraged to provide the following documentation:

INVESTMENT (E-2):

Invoices; Cancelled checks and wire transfers, along with matching invoices; Bank statements showing matching debits; Escrow agreement, escrow account statement in the U.S., and escrow receipt (as applicable).

TRADE (E-1):

Sales invoices; Purchase invoices; U.S. Bills of lading, issued by DHS/CBP; Inventory data; Insurance papers documenting commodities imported into the U.S.

No further processing, including appointment scheduling, will occur until we have received definitive proof of investment or trade.

More Information

For more information about E visas, visit the Department of State's Treaty Trader and Investor Visa webpage.