E Visas: Traders and Investors

U.S. Trade and Investment Visas

At Teplen Law Group, PLLC, we provide all of the advice, planning and assistance needed for foreign nationals to obtain both non-immigrant and immigrant investor visas. Our Immigration Attorneys at Teplen Law Group have very high success rates, and we provide additional immigration services to help bring employees and family members to the United States on derivative visas as well. To learn more, call our New York City offices at 212-401-4040 or contact us online.

E-1 and E-2 Visa Basics

The E-1 “treaty trader” and E-2 “treaty investor” visas are non-immigrant visas, which are not subject to annual caps and are most typically obtained through consular processing at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. However, they may also be applied for directly within the United States.

To qualify for the E-1 or E-2 visa, your home country must have a “qualifying treaty” with the United States. With an E-1 visa, your primary purpose is to carry on substantial trade, between the United States and your home country. To qualify for the E-2 visa, your purpose must be: to direct business operations in which you have invested; or active investment of a substantial amount of capital into your business.

Substantial capital is a term that is best defined by the unique business situation to establish a viable entity. NY Immigration Attorneys at Teplen Law Group, PLLC, have had significant success in drafting business models to qualify as “substantial” with minimization of risk capital.

Note: Physicians who are currently in the United States on a J-1 visa may be able to circumvent the two-year home-country requirement — without obtaining a J-1 waiver — by meeting the requirements of the E-2 investor visa.

Both the E-1 and E-2 visas are valid for three (3) and five (5) years respectively but may be renewed as many times as you would like as long as the trade or investment requirements are met in two (2) year increments.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor

Unlike the E-1 and E-2 visas, the EB-5 is an immigrant investor visa that confers lawful permanent resident status and does not require investors to oversee their investment on a day to day basis. Investors must only have involvement with management or strategic policy making. In addition, the qualified investor and his or her family may live or work anywhere in the United States. Spouses and minor children may also obtain employment. Sometimes mistakenly referred to as the E-5, the EB-5 investor visa is capped at roughly 10,000 visas each year.

Read more: How to qualify for an EB-5 investor visa


Guiding the Way to America Since 1983

To speak to one of our immigration lawyers about obtaining an E-1, E-2 or EB-5 visa, call our offices in New York City at 212-401-4040 or Toll-Free from the U.S. at 800-244-5266. You can also contact us online.


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