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The 21st century has seen the rise of the global economy, and it is now rare for a large company to not owe at least some of its financing to investors from other countries. As such, these investors have a right to keep an eye on their money and even to some degree direct the actions of the companies that accept it.

The proliferation of overseas investors in the United States led the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to develop the E-2 visa program. A holder of an E-2 visa may enter and remain in the United States for a set period of time for the purpose of working for the benefit of his or her investee. However, only citizens of certain countries may obtain an E-2 visa, and the rules concerning the acquisition of these visas are strict.

An Aurora E-2 visa lawyer could help potential investors explore their E-2 visa options. This includes both situations where you may be personally investing in the business enterprise and where you are an employee of another treaty investor. A knowledgeable visa attorney could work to gather the necessary documentation to change your legal status in the United States if you are already legally in the country, or to guide you through the process for filing an application if you are still in your home country.

The Role of an E-2 Visa

Foreign investment now comprises a significant portion of all capital in the United States economy. As such, Congress recognizes that this investment is central to continued economic growth. The advent of free trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and smaller specialized agreements with countries such as Australia, Israel, and Korea make the flow of goods and capital between the countries much easier.

Congress also recognizes the need for investors to be able to oversee how their money is used. As a result, an E-2 visa could allow these investors to legally live in the United States for an initial period of up to two years.

To qualify for an E-2 visa under 8 CFR 214.2(e)(12), an applicant must:

  • Be a national of a country with which the U.S. has a treaty of commerce and navigation
  • Have invested, or be in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a legitimate and recognized enterprise in the United States
  • Seek entry into the United States for the process of developing and directing that investment, which involves having at least a 50 percent ownership in the enterprise or some form of operational control

An Aurora E-2 visa attorney could help potential visa seekers to determine if they meet the required criteria under the E-2 visa program.

How a Non-Citizen Could Apply for an E-2 Visa

Applicants for E-2 visas must have one of two immigration statuses: they must either be living in their home countries or be legally in the U.S. on another form of visa. Someone not already in the U.S. must request more information from the Department of State through the U.S. embassy in his or her home country. An E-2 visa lawyer in Aurora could provide more information about this process and start you down this path.

Applicants already in the U.S. must file Form I-219 to request a formal change in their immigration status. This form requires detailed information about a person’s current living situation, proof of qualifications for an E-2 visa, and any supporting documentation that provides evidence of his or her status as an investor. Qualified legal counsel could help gather this information and submit it to the USCIS in a clear and convincing way.

Gain U.S. Entry as an Investor with an Aurora E-2 Visa Attorney’s Help

A person looking to invest significant capital into a business enterprise in the United States may be able to obtain the right to enter and live in the country under certain related circumstances. If you are a citizen of a free-trade agreement country who is putting money into a commercial project, an E-2 visa may allow you to live in the U.S. for up to two years while you manage your investment and may even allow your family to join you.

An Aurora E-2 visa lawyer could help make this dream a reality. Whether you are currently living in your home country and looking to take up temporary residence in the United States, or are already in the U.S. on a different visa, an attorney could help you to complete the necessary and complex paperwork to change your status. Call today to get started.

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