The E-2 Visa, or Investor Visa, is a non-immigrant visa for citizens of countries that have signed a trade agreement with the United States. Learn all about the E-2 investor visa application requirements, application process, benefits and working in America with an E2 visa!
E2 investor visa

The main topics to be covered in this article:

What is an E-2 investor visa?

The E-2 visa, or Investor Visa, is a non-immigrant visa issued to citizens of countries that have signed a trade agreement with the United States. The agreement signed between Turkey and the US in 1990 allows Turkish citizens to invest in the US. Foreign investors can start a business in the US thanks to the investor visa.

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Who can apply for an E-2 investor visa?

Business people who want to invest in the US and qualified employees of the investing business person, such as senior executives, can apply for an E2 investor visa. The investor must be a citizen of a country that has a treaty with the US, and Turkey is one of the countries that has a treaty with the US. In addition, the investor must have sufficient capital and resources for the business he or she wants to invest in the US. 

What are the requirements for an E-2 investor visa?

There are different requirements for business people who want to invest in the US and for qualified employees of the investing business person.

Business people for:

Skilled Workers for:

How to get an E-2 investor visa?

The E2 investor visa can be obtained from within the US through Change of Status or outside the US through a consulate.

Applying for an E-2 Visa through Change of Status within the United States

STEP 1: I-129 Form

First, the "I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker" form must be completed by the U.S. citizen employer or applicant and submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The form can be physically completed and mailed to the USCIS office as a package with the required documents.

STEP 2: Biometric Appointment

After you apply for a visa, USCIS sends you a document (form I-797C) with the date and place of your appointment. When you attend your appointment, your fingerprints will be scanned, your signature will be taken and your photo will be taken.

STEP 4: Interview (if deemed necessary)

If USCIS decides that you need to attend an interview, it will send you interview appointment information by letter or online.

STEP 5 Application Result

USCIS will send you its decision on your visa application by letter or online.

Applying for an E-2 Visa through the US Consulate

STEP 1: Apply for E-2 Visa with DS-160 Form

DS-160 over the Internet You can apply for a visa by filling out the form.

STEP 2: Interview

After submitting your E-2 visa application with the DS-160 form, you will receive an interview date from the same page at the end of the application. We recommend that you collect the necessary documents until the interview date. The questions to be asked in the interview may be related to the information you filled in the form, or they may be related to your business and investment plan.

STEP 3 Application Result

If your interview is successful and the consular officers decide that you are eligible for a visa, your E-2 visa will be printed on the passport and sent to your address. You may receive an acceptance immediately after the interview or you may receive an email later on informing you that your visa has been approved.

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What are the documents required for an E-2 investor visa?

NOTE: For up-to-date information about the documents required for E-2 visa application, you can review the US Consulate's website .

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What is the investment required for an E-2 visa?

There is no minimum investment amount required to obtain an investor visa. The amount of investment required depends on the business plan submitted, which must be sufficient. In addition, the investment is expected to contribute to the US economy, meaning that it is not enough for the investor and his/her family to make a living in the US. At this point, for a successful E-2 visa application, we recommend that you do not take risks by getting professional help in areas such as accounting and law.

How long is an E-2 visa valid?

The E-2 visa can be issued for up to 5 years in the first instance. After the E-2 visa expires, it can be renewed through the consulates. The visa is required for entry into the US, so the important thing is the length of residence allowed by your status. Investor visa holders have the right to reside in the US for a maximum of 2 years, and it is possible to extend this period by applying for an extension at the end of 2 years. There is no limit to the extension, meaning that you can apply for an extension at the end of every 2 years. Investor visa holders can stay in the US as long as they continue their business activities in accordance with their status.

 

Which citizens of which countries can apply for an E-2 visa?

In order to apply for an E2 investor visa, the investor's country of citizenship must have an agreement with the United States. Currently, the following countries have an E2 visa agreement with the US: 

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China (Taiwan only), Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Vietnam.

How long does it take to apply for an E-2 visa?

If you are applying for the visa through the US Consulate, the time varies depending on the processing speed of the consulates in your country. The US consulate in Istanbul finalizes E2 visa applications in approximately 2-3 months.

If you are applying for a visa from within the US, the time varies depending on the processing intensity of the USCIS office where you are applying and many other factors. You can track current application processing times on the USCIS website. As of 2023, the average time for the USCIS California Office to process E visa applications is 5.5 months.

 

IMPORTANT: Although approximate times are given, we would like to point out that these times may vary considerably from time to time.

Can family members travel to the US with an E-2 investor visa?

Yes, the investor's spouse and children under the age of 21 can also travel to the US with an E2 visa.

Is it possible to work in other jobs in the US with an E-2 visa?

Investors coming to the U.S. on an E2 visa must be in control and management of the company in which they are investing and must be operating in this field. Working outside the business activity approved for the E2 visa is against the E2 visa rules. In addition, investments can be made outside the company.

Important tips about the E-2 visa!

What is the E-2 visa application fee?

Filing an E visa application (form I-129) through Change of Status from within the US is $460as of 2023. Applying for an E visa from your country through the US consulate (form DS-160) costs $315as of 2023.

What are the benefits of the E-2 investor visa?

The E2 investor visa offers many advantages over other types of US visas:

 

Can I get a Green Card with an E-2 investor visa?

You cannot get a Green Card directly with an E2 investor visa, but you can get a Green Card in different ways. In order to obtain a Green Card through investment, an EB 5 visa can be obtained by investing over a certain amount in the US. After residing in the US for 2 years with an EB 5 visa, you can apply for a Green Card if the invested business meets the requirements. You can visit our article for detailed information about EB 5 visa.

Are there any English language and education requirements for the E-2 Visa?

The E2 investor visa does not require the applicant to be fluent in English or to have an educational qualification.

How many people are granted an E-2 visa?

The E2 visa is not subject to a quota, in other words, there is no limit to the number of visas issued per year. Therefore, the number of visas issued each year varies.

For example, in fiscal year 2022*, 50,701 people applied for an E2 visa. 45,878 received E2 visas, while 4,823 were rejected. In the same fiscal year, 253 Turkish nationals were granted E2 visas.

In fiscal year 2021** , 35,812 people applied for an E2 visa. 33,129 people were granted E2 visas, while 2,683 were rejected. In the same fiscal year, 79 Turkish nationals were granted E2 visas.

* October 2021-September 2023, ** October 2020- September 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Those who wish to obtain an E-2 Investor Visa can establish a new company in America or invest in an existing company. For those who want to invest in America, you can apply for a visa organized by the US government. SelectUSA program, we recommend them to take a look at the program.

There is no specific investment amount for the E-2 Visa in US Law. The investment to be made may vary according to the nature of the commercial activity. The investment for the E-2 Visa must be a significant investment. The investment must be sufficient to carry out an activity in that business area and to cover operational costs.

In order to apply for the E-2 Investor Visa, the investment must have been made or the investment process must be ongoing before the visa application. In other words, capital must have been irrevocably put at risk for trade. At the time of visa application, the capital must either have been paid in or held in an escrow account, the only condition for payment of which is acceptance of the visa application.

In order to apply for an E-2 Visa in the United States, many of the business activities you can carry out can be carried out with a B-1 Visa. With the B-1 Visa, you can attend business meetings, meet with customers, and perform other procedures to establish a business in the United States.

However, you cannot be involved in the day-to-day operations of the business activity. For this, you can hire any immigrant or American citizen with a work permit.

No. Although the E-2 Visa aims to contribute to the American economy by creating employment, you do not have to employ an American or Green Card holder immediately after receiving the visa. Depending on your business plan and commercial flow, you can hire after a few years.

Yes! Turkey is also on this list. You can also find out which countries are and which are not on the list Agreement Countries page for more information.

E-2 Visa holders have the right of residence for a maximum of 2 years, and it is possible to extend the residence period by applying for an extension at the end of 2 years. There is no limit to the extension, i.e. you can apply for an extension at the end of every 2 years. In other words; E-2 Investor Visa holders can stay in the US as long as they continue their business activities in accordance with their status.

If you are in the US with a legal status (B-1/B-2, F-1, etc.), you can apply to change to E-2 status with Form I-129.

No. The citizenship of the spouse and children of E-2 Visa holders may be different from that of the visa holder, and may even belong to a different country than the contracting countries.

Yes. The spouse can obtain a work permit by submitting a separate application. The I-765 form can be filled out to apply for the spouse to work.

The main activity of the E-2 Visa holder in the United States is to pursue the investment and trade subject to the E-2 Visa. In this context, the E-2 Investor Visa does not authorize the person to work for another employer. If certain conditions are met, it is possible to work in the parent company or subsidiaries of the company subject to the trade.

Unmarried children of E-2 visa holders under the age of 21 can also study on an E-2 visa without applying for a student visa.

The E-1 Trader Visa aims for regular trade between the United States and the treaty country, while the E-2 Investor Visa aims for investment in order to trade in the United States.

In order to obtain an E-2 Investor Visa, there must be a real and active commercial activity that produces any goods or services for profit. Passive investments that do not create employment, such as houses and land, cannot be considered as investments in this context.

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