An E-2 investor visa offers a relatively quick option for foreign investors to come to the U.S. to live and work by starting a company. It enables foreign nationals whose home country has an investment treaty with the U.S. to live and work here if investing capital and creating jobs.
The problem is that many countries—such as India and China—don’t have qualifying treaties. So, what’s a committed individual from a non-treaty country to do?
Citizens of China, India, and the more than 100 other countries without a treaty with the U.S. can petition for an E-2 visa using this unique maneuver: Become a citizen of the Caribbean nation of Grenada. Read more about getting an E-2 investor visa via Grenada citizenship.
Grenada is the only country that has both an E-2 treaty and a citizenship-by-investment program. By going through the roughly five-to-seven-month, $500,000 process of obtaining Grenadian citizenship and establishing a residence there, individuals born in non-treaty countries are eligible to apply for U.S. E-2 visas.
Advantages of the E-2 Investor Visa
The E-2 investor visa does not lead to permanent residence (a green card) or U.S. citizenship like the EB-5 green card. The EB-5 has become a popular option among many foreign investors, particularly those from China and India. Still, the E-2 visa offers some big advantages over the EB-5:
- Currently, the process for a foreign investor to become a Grenada citizen takes about five to seven months. The processing time for an E-2 is usually four months or less. That means the whole process of obtaining Grenada citizenship and an E-2 visa will take far less time than the two years or more foreign investors currently face waiting for an EB-5. Chinese investors face an even longer wait to obtain EB-5 because of a backlog.
- The EB-5 Regional Center Program faces an uncertain future. It is set to expire on Sept. 30, unless Congress reauthorizes it.
- An E-2 visa offers unlimited extensions, as long as the conditions under which the visa was granted remain in place.
- The spouse of an E-2 visa holder is eligible for an Employment Authorization Document. That means a spouse of an E-2 visa holder may work in the U.S.
- Employees of the E-2 visa holder may also be eligible for E-2 visas.
We Can Help
Interested in pursuing an E-2 visa? The Alcorn Immigration Law team can help whether you are a citizen of an investment treaty country or not. We can also help identify other options that may be available to you, your employees, or your family to live and work or attend school in the U.S. Contact us to set up a strategy session.