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E-2 Investment Visa


E-2 Investment Visa

An E-2 visa is a visa for employees or individual investors of foreign companies who make significant investments in the United States. An E-2 investment visa is a non-immigrant visa that you apply for when you acquire a US business or start a business with personal investments. It is based on Korean and American investment treaties, and of course it applies to treaty countries with investment agreements with the United States. As agreed upon in the treaty, the United States guarantees the status of residence by creating opportunities for doing business without restrictions.

This is the most preferred visa for those who want to settle in the US, without having a relevant degree. While continuing to make substantial investments after obtaining an E-2 visa, unmarried children under the age of 21 in the United States, including spouses, will receive almost equal benefits as permanent residents. If you meet all the requirements while earning more than just living expenses, you can extend your status by renewing your stay every two years.

E-2 Benefits of an Investor Visa

The advantage of an E-2 visa is that it is relatively easy to get a status of residence with a small investment. The E-2 visa is valid for up to 5 years and you will be granted a two-year stay at the time of entry. Even if your visa expires, you can continue to extend your visa permanently for 5 years if your investment conditions are maintained. Because of this, those who want to stay in the US early and are looking for a long-term family or business immigrant prefer the E-2 visa.


Families of E-2 visa holders can also enter the public school with the same visa status and receive education from high school without paying the tuition fee. Your child can remain an E-2 visa status until age 21 and then change to a student visa or other visa independently. Also, unlike most non-immigrant visas, a spouse of an E-2 status holder can work legally in the United States by obtaining a Work Permit (EAD).

Investment Method

Although the immigration law does not specify the amount of investment, the amount of investment depends on the type of business and must be substantial enough to operate the business. The applicant must actually invest the funds in the business, You must show that you can contribute to employment expansion.

Investment Requirements

Acquiring an existing business

The price traded depends on the market price of the business when it is sold. If the business is purchased at a lower price than the market price, it should be attached to the official appraisal report or be able to prove the adequacy of the purchase price.

When establishing a new business

If you have a relevant degree from a university or have a background in the field, it will be advantageous to run a business. The founder must have the ability to manage the business well.

For joint venture or partnership

In the case of a joint venture, you must demonstrate that the applicant has at least 50% ownership and is authorized to control the operation of the business.

Specific Conditions

  1. You can apply for an E-2 visa with an actual investment. You must have already invested in the United States, have already acquired a business, created a specific business plan, and have invested in at least the escrow account.

  2. Investments must be invested in an active business. Buying real estate or investing in stocks is not an investment required by E-2. In fact, it should be an investment that invests in business by taking the burden of loss incurring, and is doing an active business that manages directly and creates a job.

  3. You must prove that the investment funds are your own assets. (Investor's own income, real estate sale, inheritance, gift, investment income, business income, etc.). However, if the investor's spouse is the fund, it is recognized as an investor.

  4. Participation in active management, investors should be directly involved in management such as commuting to work every day, directing and supervising the overall business, and have the ability to directly adjust the business.

  5. The income of an invested business should not be the basis for the livelihood of the family. If the business deteriorates, applicant must demonstrate the financial ability to maintain a family's livelihood and demonstrate the intention to leave the US at any time. In order to do this, family relations and financial status in Korea can be an important basis.

E-2 Employee Visas (Treaty Employees)

E-2 A person who has the same nationality as an investor and is an executive of a corporation that is essential for carrying out the E-2 business, a manager who is above the managerial level, or an essential employee who has the necessary ability to do business. Unlike E-2 investors, E-2 employee visas do not actually have to invest their own money in the business.

E-2 Employee Visa Eligibility Requirements

  1. E-2 Investor and nationality.

  2. E-2 A person who can prove that they have sufficient ability to handle the work of the business.

  3. Demonstrate that you are an essential employee, not an executive or manager, you must demonstrate your degree or proven professional skills in the field, possess the specific proven skills required for the
    E-2 project, the purpose of the job, and your remuneration.

E-2 Employee Visa Features

An ability to speak a third language other than English, understand the culture and national circumstances of the foreign country, and previous experience in the business do not sufficiently qualify as meeting the requirements for an E-2. The E-2 employee visa applicant needs to be persuasive about the necessity of why the applicant's ability or experience is necessary for what the US E-2 business does. In other words, what is more important than the applicant's career or ability is how necessary the applicant's ability is for the success of the company.


The E-2 employee visa can be issued for up to 5 years if you are at the Korean Embassy. Usually visas are issued for two years. The actual period of stay in the United States is from the date issued on the I-94 when entering the United States. For E-2 visas, we usually specify a period of two years.


Likewise, immediate family members (including children under the age of 21) may obtain a visa with the same status, and a spouse may work legally by applying for a Work Permit (EAD) to Immigration. You can continue to extend your status as long as the main applicant of the E-2 visa remains an E-2 employee.

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