E-2 CNMI or Treaty Investor


The E-2 nonimmigrant classification is available to foreign nationals of countries that maintain a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. The classification allows the holder to apply for admission to the United States to invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Certain employees of E-2 visa holders or qualifying organizations may also be eligible for this classification.  

Accompanying or following dependents are required to apply for an E-2 dependent visa. E-2 spouses (not children) may also apply for work authorization which is not limited to the investment enterprise.

Individual Eligibility Criteria

  • Be a national of a treaty country
  • Have invested or be actively investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business
  • Seek to enter the U.S. with the sole purpose of developing and directing the investment business (must be able to demonstrate at least 50% ownership or possession of operational control of the business).
  • Maintain the intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated

A substantial amount of capital is:

  • Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one
  • Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise
  • Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise.  The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.

Employee Eligibility Criteria

  • If the principal alien employer is an organization, at least 50% must be owned by a person(s) in the United States who is a national of a treaty country and maintaining their E-2 Status.
  • Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer
  • Meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law (i.e. be on a W-2)
  • Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character or have special qualifications
  • Maintain the intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated

Length of Stay

The maximum initial stay on an E-2 visa is two years. Extensions may be requested in increments of two years for an unlimited period of time so long as the E-2 holder always intends to depart the U.S. when their status is terminated. Principal E-2 holders who travel abroad may be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States.

What We Do

  • Provide assistance in the preparation of E-2 application and evidence required, including determining what a substantial investment is in each particular case and whether the business is a qualifying investment
  • Review applications to identify potential concerns that may affect the outcome of the application
  • Provide guidance in maintaining the E-2 status
  • Provide assistance to E-2 holders within the United States that wish to extend their visa, apply for a Change of Status or Adjustment of Status

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