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E-2 Visa Extension and Renewal Requirements

Who qualifies for an E-2 visa?

What does “substantial investment” mean, and what makes a business “bona fide”?

The State Department’s definition of substantial capital refers to funds and assets that are 

The U.S. wants to ensure that its foreign investors are making serious commitments to the success of their business enterprises in the country. Part of that means making sure the capital being invested is going into a bona fide business, or one that is determined by the U.S. government to be real and active in producing goods or services for profit. 

Many of these industries leverage their own cultural exchange items and services, such as restaurants, bakeries, and food suppliers. Others offer opportunities for foreign investors to benefit from their expertise in fields like education, tourism, and manufacturing. 

Sometimes treaty investors dream of sharing their cultural capital with the world; other times, their dream is to live and work in the U.S. Either way, the E-2 visa can be a great way for foreign entrepreneurs with enough capital to live and work in the U.S. and bring their families with them.

Employees of a treaty investor must

A bakery specializing in traditional Turkish sweets may be able to demonstrate that it needs to bring in employees under the E-2 classification in order to produce its delicious lokma or kunefe. However, speaking the language or understanding the culture of the treaty country is not enough to qualify as a special skill, and the assumption is that ultimately the E-2 employees will be training workers in the U.S. to learn the skill. 

When is someone eligible for an E-2 extension?

The period of stay for both treaty investors and qualified employees is a maximum initial stay of two years. Extensions are granted in increments of two years with no maximum to the number of extensions or renewals allowed. However, the E-2 classification is a non-immigrant visa, which means that the visa holder must continue to show they do intend to leave the U.S. when they have completed their necessary work. Until that happens, extensions may be filed for non-immigrants who 

Under some conditions, a person who entered the U.S. with E-2 classification may invalidate their status but can reapply for E-2 status renewal, which is covered more in-depth below.

How does someone apply for an E-2 visa extension?

How does someone apply for an E-2 visa renewal?

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