The United States’ E2 visa is one of the most highly sought-after visas as it grants the holder a wide range of benefits that are quite unique. Besides the unique advantages granted, the E2 visa is unique in that it’s only available to foreign nationals from countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. Essentially, if you’re not from a nation that holds a treaty investor status then you cannot apply to the E2 visa.
Before we explain the processing time it takes for an E2 visa, we’ll speak about its concept and the requirements you must meet to successfully apply for it.
The E2 Visa Explained
Sometimes called the “investor visa”, the E2 visa is available as a way for citizens of countries with a commerce treaty with the U.S. to expand or open a business in the United States. The visa holds a non-immigrant classification, which means that it isn’t a path to immigration although there is a way in which you can move from holding an E2 visa to permanent residency: Turning an E2 Visa into a Green Card – Range Developments
The visa’s central purpose is to allow foreign nationals to invest in a U.S.-approved commercial enterprise or open a business that will hire U.S. citizens. The E2 visa can be renewed after five years and includes other benefits to the visa holder, such as:
- Unlimited re-entry privileges for the duration of the visa
- Free education in public schools and in-state tuition costs at universities
- Spouses are able to work anywhere in the U.S.
- Children under 21 are included on the visa and the allotted benefits
- Visa holders can sponsor specialized employees from their nation and can work in their E2 business
- E2 Visa holders can live in the U.S. for up to 120 days without being subject to worldwide income taxation
- The visa can be renewed indefinitely so long as the business maintains operations
Treaty Investor Visa Requirements
As with any kind of visa, there are strict requirements for applicants to fulfill beyond holding citizenship in a treaty country. To prove that, the applicant must have a current passport from a nation that holds a treaty of navigation and commerce. Other requirements an applicant must meet include:
- The applicant should own at least 50% of a company in the US.
- The applicant or the company they own must have made a substantial investment in a U.S. business. The investment must be enough to establish and operate a profitable business in the U.S., though there is no legal minimum.
- The investor must be seeking travel or temporary residency in the United States for the sole purpose of directing, developing, or overseeing the approved investment
- The applicant must be actively engaged in commercial activities that meet the legal requirements in its state or region. It cannot exist for the sole purpose of supporting the investor.
The business must be legitimate and offer tangible goods or services. To read more on what types of businesses are permitted under the E2 visa, we strongly encourage you to read here: What Type of Business is Eligible for E2 Visa | Range Developments
E2 Visa Processing Time & Avoiding Delays
As it stands, the processing time for the E2 visa is between two weeks to four months, terms and conditions apply. As with any application process, how long it takes depends on several factors:
- Standard issues beyond an applicant’s control can increase the processing time, such as an embassy’s workload or a backup at the consulate from the volume of applications.
- Unprepared or missing documentation. Before you apply for the E2 visa, make sure you have all the legal and financial documentation organized for review. If anything is missing or incorrect, it will make for a longer processing time.
- Having a poor or disorganized business plan. The plan you include with your E2 application is a significant part to get your application approved. It needs to be comprehensive and detail your investment proposition, market information, insights into your industry, and strategies for marketing, finance, and how you plan to operate it.
Start the Investor Visa Processing & Get Citizenship
The issue a lot of people face on their path to expanding or opening a business in the United States is not being from a country that has the necessary treaty. As a Grenadian citizen, you are eligible to apply for the E2 visa and enjoy many of the other advantages that come with holding a Grenadian passport, such as visa-free travel to over 140 countries.
We at Range Developments have successfully completed two luxury resorts under the Citizenship by Investment programme, and have two currently being built under Grenada’s CBI programme:
- The Six Senses La Sagesse (opening 2022)
- The Intercontinental Grenada Resort (opening 2025)
To apply for the E2 visa and benefit from the extensive advantages given to Grenadian citizens, we encourage you to speak with one of our Citizenship by Investment consultants and begin expanding your business into the United States without taking the long road there.