In a previous blog post, I discussed how individuals from China, India, and other countries that do not have a trade treaty with the U.S. can still qualify for an E-2 Visa for Treaty Investors.
The process? Individuals from these countries just need to become a citizen of the Caribbean nation of Grenada, which offers a path to citizenship through investment. Here, I highlight the other countries where this process works as well.
Benefits of the E-2 Visa
An E-2 investor visa offers a quick option for foreign investors to live and work in the U.S. by starting a company or opening an office. The California Service Center of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes E-2 visas in as little as three weeks.
Although a temporary visa, the E-2 can be extended indefinitely every two years as long as the conditions under which it was granted remain in place. What’s more, the spouse of an E-2 visa holder is eligible for an Employment Authorization Document (work permit). What’s more, employees of the E-2 visa holder may also be eligible for E-2 visas.
Trade Treaty Countries
Foreign nationals whose home country has an investment treaty with the U.S. can live and work here on an E-2 visa if they are investing capital and creating jobs. However, many countries including China and India do not have qualifying treaties. The U.S. Department of State maintains a list of treaty countries.
Citizens of China, India, and more than 100 other countries that do not have a trade treaty with the U.S. can still petition for an E-2 visa after becoming a citizen of any of the countries below.
Please note: We only practice United States immigration law, so this list is a compilation of information that has been reported on websites and is not intended as legal advice. If you’d like to consult with an immigration attorney from one of these specific countries, please let us know and we can provide a referral.
Trade Treaty Countries that Offer Citizenship By Investment
|COUNTRY||INVESTMENT AMOUNT||QUALIFYING PERIOD|
|Australia||Invest A$1.5 million ($925,000) in a project or enterprise that will benefit the Australian economy. Need a personal net worth of a least A$2.25 million ($1.6 million) two years prior to permanent residency application.||Reside in Australia for a minimum of 40 days/year for at least 5 years, 12 months of which as a permanent resident|
|Bulgaria||Invest 1 million Bulgarian lev ($590,000) in a government bond for five years (the investment will be returned without interest) or|
Fast-Track Option: Invest 1 million lev in government-guaranteed bonds and an additional 1 million lev one year later. Both investments must be held at least two years following citizenship.
|5 years for minimal investment option or 1 year for fast-track option|
|Canada (Quebec only)||Invest at least $800,000 for five years in the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program and have a personal net worth of Can$1.6 million ($1.2 million) or more||Eligible to apply for citizenship after 5 years|
|Grenada||Donate $150,000 to the Grenada National Transformation Fund and pay $8,000 in fees or|
Invest at least $350,000 and pay $58,000 in fees in an approved real estate project
|No minimum qualifying period. Citizenship application review takes a minimum of 4 months|
At least €286,000 ($330,000) in a credit institution over five years or
At least €36,000 ($41,000) in equity capital and pay at least €28,600 ($33,000) the following year
|Reside in Latvia for at least 5 years before applying for citizenship, Must pass a language and history test.|
|Moldova||Contribute €100,000 ($115,000) to the Public Investment Fund + €46,300 ($53,000) in fees||No minimum qualifying period. Citizenship application review takes a minimum of 3 months|
€250,000 ($285,00) in a government-approved development project in the northern part of Montenegro (undeveloped area)
€450,000 ($515,000) in a government-approved development project in the southern part of Montenegro (developed area)
Plus €100,000 ($115,000) fee per application.
|Permanent resident status is granted within 3 weeks. Citizenship granted within 6 months of becoming a permanent resident.|
|New Zealand||Invest NZ$3 million ($2 million) over four years and have a minimum of NZ$2.5 million ($1.7 million) in available funds or assets, at lease three years of business experience, English language proficiency||Reside in New Zealand for a minimum of 240 days/year for at least 5 years|
|Singapore||Invest at least S$2.5 million ($1.8 million) over 5 years, have substantial entrepreneurial and business track record of at least 3 years including at least S$50 million ($37 million) in annual revenue or S$200 million ($148 million) for construction and real estate business for permanent residency||After 2 years living in Singapore as a permanent resident.|
€500,000 ($570,000) in real estate or
€1 million ($1.1 million) in shares of Spanish companies or
€1 million at a Spanish bank or
€2 million ($2.3 million) in government bonds
|After 5 years, can apply for permanent residency and citizenship after 10 years|
|Thailand||THB 500,000 ($15,500) fee for 5-year residence visa||10 consecutive years as a permanent resident|
Purchase a property valued at $250,000 and hold for 3 years or
Deposit $500,000 million into a Turkish bank or
Invest $500,000 in government bonds and hold for 3 years or
Invest $500,000 million in fixed capital or
Create 50 jobs in Turkey
|Eligible for citizenship once one of the options are met|
|United Kingdom||Invest £2 million ($2.6 million) into the UK economy (government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies)||After 6 years of living at least 185 days a year in the U.K. can apply for citizenship|
Sources: Business Insider, government websites
We Can Help
Reach out to us if you’re 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.