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  • Article: E2 Visa: Countries Eligible for Treaty Investors By: Patrick Findaro

    E2 Visa: Countries Eligible for Treaty Investors

    by


    The E-2 visa was designed for individuals from certain treaty countries to make financial investments in U.S. businesses and come to the U.S. to direct and develop their businesses. These countries have a treaty of Commerce and Navigation with the U.S. The E-2 visa is an excellent option for U.S. franchises as visa applications based on these types of businesses tend to have a higher approval rate. The E-2 visa can be issued up to 5 years, though is determined by the consulate officer and the reciprocity schedule with the applicant’s country and the U.S.

    Consular Officer Determines E-2 Visa Length

    For the majority of countries, the visa may be issued for 5 years and most of the time the E-2 visa applicant receives the full 5 years. However, the consular officer may issue the visa for a shorter period (often 2 years). The consular officer might have doubts in the investor’s ability to follow through on the business plan and hire American workers. After 2 years, the E-2 applicant must return to the consulate and demonstrate he followed the business plan at which time the investor is generally issued a 5-year extension. Compared to franchises, startup businesses have more variables in the business plan which might make it difficult to secure the renewal.

    Country Reciprocity Determines E-2 Visa Length

    The length of time an E-2 visa is issued for is also dictated by the reciprocity schedule between the U.S. and the applicant’s country. The reciprocity is based on the maximum amount of time a non-immigrant visa (such as the E-2 visa) can be issued for. The majority of countries have a 5-year validity, but some countries only have 3 months! When a visa is valid only for 3 months, this represent the period of time the investor has to enter the U.S. after the visa is issued. Once the applicant enters the U.S., he is entitled to 2 years under E-2 status to direct and develop his business. The investor can renew his status with USCIS indefinitely or if the investor leaves the U.S. after the 3-month period, he needs to renew the visa at a U.S. consulate.

    Visa vs. Legal Status

    A visa determines the investors ability to enter the U.S. while U.S. policy and regulations determine how long the investor can reside legally in the U.S. For the E-2 visa, the government states the investor is entitled to 2 years on E-2 status as long as they are operating the business and do not leave the country.

    For a U.K. national with a 5-year E-2 visa, he must travel outside of the U.S. before his 2-year status lapses. Then, when he returns the U.S., he is entitled to 2 more years on the E-2 status.

    Less than 12-month E-2 Visa Countries

    For E-2 visa investors from countries where the reciprocity schedule is less than 12 months, it is important to work together with your immigration attorney on a mid to long-term strategy. Some investors will seek the EB-5 visa through a direct franchise investment as a more permanent solution (more info here). The following countries have E-2 visa terms less than 12 months:

    • Azerbaijan (3 months)
    • Bahrain (3 months)
    • Bangladesh (3 months)
    • Congo – Brazzaville  (3 months)
    • Congo – Kinshasa  (3 months)
    • Ecuador  (3 months)
    • Egypt   (3 months)
    • Iran      (3 months)
    • Jordan  (3 months)
    • Kyrgyzstan (3 months)
    • Moldova (3 months)
    • Ukraine (3 months)
    • Ethiopia (6 months)
    • Oman (6 months)
    • Thailand (6 months)

    E-2 Visa Counties

    Below is a list of E-2 visa countries with the corresponding reciprocity schedules. Always check directly on the U.S. State Department Website (https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/fees/reciprocity-by-country.html) for the latest schedule.

    Country Validity Period Number of Entries
    Albania 36 Months Multiple
    Argentina 60 Months Multiple
    Armenia 60 Months Multiple
    Australia 48 Months Multiple
    Austria 60 Months Multiple
    Azerbaijan 3 Months One
    Bahrain 3 Months One
    Bangladesh 3 Months Two
    Belgium 60 Months Multiple
    Bosnia and Herzegovina 12 Months Multiple
    Bulgaria 60 Months Multiple
    Cameroon N/A N/A
    Canada 60 Months Multiple
    Chile 60 Months Multiple
    Colombia 60 Months Multiple
    Congo – Brazzaville 3 Months One
    Congo – Kinshasa 3 Months Two
    Costa Rica 60 Months Multiple
    Croatia 60 Months Multiple
    Czech Republic 60 Months Multiple
    Denmark 60 Months Multiple
    Ecuador 3 Months Two
    Egypt 3 Months One
    Estonia 60 Months Multiple
    Ethiopia 6 Months Multiple
    Finland 24 Months Multiple
    France 60 Months Multiple
    Georgia 12 Months Multiple
    Germany 60 Months Multiple
    Grenada 60 Months Multiple
    Honduras 60 Months Multiple
    Iran 3 Months One
    Ireland 60 Months Multiple
    Italy 60 Months Multiple
    Jamaica 60 Months Multiple
    Japan 60 Months Multiple
    Jordan 3 Months One
    Kazakhstan 12 Months Multiple
    Korea (South) 60 Months Multiple
    Kosovo 12 Months Multiple
    Kyrgyzstan 3 Months Two
    Latvia 60 Months Multiple
    Liberia 12 Months Multiple
    Lithuania 12 Months Multiple
    Luxembourg 60 Months Multiple
    Macedonia 60 Months Multiple
    Mexico 12 Months Multiple
    Moldova 3 Months Two
    Montenegro 12 Months Multiple
    Morocco 60 Months Multiple
    Netherlands 60 Months Multiple
    Norway 60 Months Multiple
    Oman 6 Months Multiple
    Pakistan 60 Months Multiple
    Panama 60 Months Multiple
    Paraguay 60 Months Multiple
    Philippines 60 Months Multiple
    Poland 12 Months Multiple
    Romania 60 Months Multiple
    Senegal 12 Months Multiple
    Serbia 12 Months Multiple
    Singapore 24 Months Multiple
    Slovenia 60 Months Multiple
    Spain 60 Months Multiple
    Sri Lanka 36 Months Multiple
    Suriname 60 Months Multiple
    Sweden 24 Months Multiple
    Switzerland 48 Months Multiple
    Taiwan 60 Months Multiple
    Thailand 6 Months Multiple
    Togo 36 Months Multiple
    Trinidad & Tobago 60 Months Multiple
    Tunisia 60 Months Multiple
    Turkey 60 Months Multiple
    Ukraine 3 Months Two
    United Kingdom 60 Months Multiple

    About The Author

    Patrick Findaro is the commercial director of Visa Franchise. He is a franchise consultant based in Miami, Florida. Patrick’s experience with franchises, investments and investor visas brings significant value to foreign nationals seeking investments in the United States. He has the ability to manage an otherwise onerous process of immigrating through investment by partnering with trusted advisors and established franchisors. Moreover, his experience advising multinationals and high-net worth individuals on a wide spectrum of investments provides great market and financial analysis for prospective franchisees. Visa Franchise guides investors in identifying and analyzing the best investment opportunities tailored to their specific objectives. The focus of the firm is on franchises that qualify for the E-2 and EB-5 visas. Visa Franchise is the trusted advisor of clients from all over the world when it comes to helping them find the business opportunity that best meets their investment and immigration goals.

    Patrick Findaro is the Finance Director at Visa Franchise. He is a franchise consultant based in Miami, Florida. Jack worked a number of years at global franchise company Restaurant Brands International, parent company of global iconic brands such as Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes, within various departments, including Global Finance, Investor Relations, and Global Development. Jack’s experience at Restaurant Brands International enables him to provide deep insights to foreign national clients by finding and analyzing multiple business opportunities to help secure the best franchise investment. Visa Franchise guides investors in identifying and analyzing the best investment opportunities tailored to their specific objectives. The focus of the firm is on franchises that qualify for the E-2 and EB-5 visas. Visa Franchise is the trusted advisor of clients from all over the world when it comes to helping them find the business opportunity that best meets their investment and immigration goals.

    Visa Franchise is based in Miami, Florida with offices across the U.S. and world. If you are interested in learning more about our advisory services, please reach out to info@visafranchise.com or call us at +1-888-550-7556.


    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

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