E2 Visas - A New Bill In Congress

by Zoe Adams

The E2 Treaty Investor Visa was originally introduced in 1952, as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The visa was meant to stimulate the US Economy by creating investment opportunities to infuse new capital into the US.

Now, many politicians are looking at ways to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to bring investment to the US and create jobs. This is what E2 Treaty Investor Visa holders have been doing for 60 years and hopefully we are now being recognized.

The E2 Treaty Investor Visa is a Non Immigrant Visa, which can be granted to a national of a treaty country, of which there are around 75 all over the world - just recently a new Bill extended this visa to citizens of Israel, although this is not a Treaty country - H.R.3992. There must be a substantial investment made and the business must provide significantly more than just an income for the investor and family. In other words there must be employees.

The visa must be renewed every few years, by attending an Interview at a US Embassy outside of the US and showing continued growth and job creation.

Upon research, it was found that the E2 Treaty Investor Visa is the only Non Immigrant visa that requires a substantial investment without leading to Legal Permanent Residency.

We are convinced that there would be so much more development of these businesses, if a pathway to Legal Permanent Residency was available. The current situation leads to these visa holders not having a secure platform on which to make business decisions and plan beyond their next renewal. With expansion would come the opportunity to offer more jobs to more US workers.

E2 Treaty Investor Visa holders pay taxes, buy houses and vehicles, spend their hard earned money here and contribute to their local communities.

We believe there is anything between 30,000 and 100,000 E2 Treaty Investor businesses in the US. This is based on Data from the Department of State that shows between 25,000 and 30,000 have been issued each year for the last 5 years. However we do know this includes renewals, E2 Manager and E2 Essential Worker visas, as well as original applications for E2 businesses. There is currently no official data of the individual breakdown.

Life can be very tough for the E2 Treaty Investor Visa holder. We cannot retire on this visa, even though many have been here for 20 years or longer, paying into the Social Security and Medicare Fund. Our children stop being E2 Dependents at age 21 and have to be given other visas in their own right. The only real viable options are an International Student visa, having their own E2 business, with all of the same issues, or marriage. These children are not entitled to Social Security Numbers and therefore are unable to work and learn the worth of money or of a job well done.

From E2 Treaty Investor Visa holders known to us, we have collated the following Information:

From 240 E2 Businesses

  • Number of Employees - 3248
  • Original Investment - $68,573,886
  • Turnover (Sales) 2010 - $186,994,052
  • Turnover (Sales) 2011 - $220,070,665
We believe this shows we are a group contributing to the US Economy.

Please help us to get the Message about E2 Treaty Investor Visa holders being great for the US out there.

About The Author

Zoe Adams is one of co-fouders of www.E2VisaReform.org.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.