E-1/E-2 Treaty Traders & Investors

Investor Visas

The Austin investor visa attorney of Lyttle Law Firm are renowned for their excellence in immigration law. We are devoted to helping foreign investors and companies do business in the United States. Our firm provides unparalleled legal representation to international businesses and clients throughout Texas and the country.

E visas are for foreign nationals who want to conduct substantial trade or invest significant capital in the United States. In order to be eligible, the applicant must be from a country that maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. This excludes certain countries against which the U.S. has declared economic sanctions or embargo. Only treaty participants qualify to do business under investor visas issued by the United States. The E-1 visa is issued to “treaty traders” who engage in substantial international trade with the U.S. The E-2 visa is for “treaty investors” who invest sufficient capital to ensure the successful operation of a business.

Applicants must meet certain criteria to obtain an E-1 or E-2 visa, including:

  • A large and consistent volume of trade
  • Over 50% of trade “principally” with the U.S.
  • Exchange goods, services, and/or technology
  • Hold supervisory or executive position in the firm
  • Substantial investment in a true, functioning enterprise
  • Generate income that “significantly impacts” U.S. economy
  • Investor control of funds and assumption of commercial risk
  • Principal or skilled investor developing and directing the enterprise

Treaty traders and investors satisfying these criteria can apply for investor visas at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. The applicant is required to provide a completed Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156, a valid passport, and the proper fees. They can also submit the visa application, Form DS-160, online. The consular officer may request additional documents that show that the trading or investment enterprise complies with the various requirements for the E visa classification. Family members, including spouses and unmarried children under 21, can derive E visa status and accompany the principal visa holder to the United States. Only the spouse may apply for authorization to obtain employment in the U.S.

It is important to note that investor visas are nonimmigrant visas. This means that the visa holder is coming to the U.S. with the specific purpose of conducting “substantial” trade or investment for a limited period of time. The E visa is not for intending immigrants or those who wish to remain in the United States and obtain legal permanent resident status. Upon entry into the U.S., the Customs and Border Patrol will issue investor visa holders an Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94, documenting their authorized period of stay. Visitors who wish to remain in the U.S. beyond the indicated date must apply for either an extension or change of status to another visa category. Those who fail to depart on or before the authorized date can fall “out-of-status.” This period of “unlawful presence” may adversely affect the alien’s eligibility for future relief.

If you require an E-1 or E-2 visa to come to the United States, the experienced Austin investor visa lawyer at Lyttle Law Firm can help. We have successfully handled all types of investor visas, helping treaty traders and investors establish businesses in the United States. Our seasoned immigration attorney and highly-trained staff work diligently to ensure your investor visa is properly prepared and timely filed the first time. For years, we have been providing honest, professional representation to clients throughout Texas and nationwide. Our firm understands the intricacies of immigration law and is dedicated to finding creative solutions for you and your business. Call (512) 215-5225 for a confidential consultation or contact us online.