What Is The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is a non-immigrant visa, which enables foreign investors to enter the US for the purpose of directing the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested (or are actively in the process of investing) a substantial amount of capital in the US. This can be, for example, a business start-up, a subsidiary of a foreign entity or a business in which the investor has invested and acquired a minimum of 50% of the shareholding.

Qualification for the E-2 Treaty Investor visa is based on, inter alia, the nationality of the proposed E-2 Treaty Investor. In order for a proposed E-2 Treaty Investor to qualify for an E-2 Treaty Investor visa, he or she must demonstrate, inter alia, that he or she is a national of a country which has a Bilateral Treaty of Commerce or a Bilateral Investment Treaty with the United States, for example, the UK.

What Is The International Entrepreneur Rule?

The International Entrepreneur Rule was passed at the end of President Obama’s term in office.

The objective of the rule was to provide temporary parole, through which foreign nationals with secured venture capital funding, could enter the US for a period of up to 5 years, for the purpose of setting up and growing their businesses.

It was anticipated that approximately 3,000 entrepreneurs per year would apply for parole to enter the US under the International Entrepreneur Rule, facilitating economic growth, generating employment opportunities in the US and yielding some much needed economic prosperity.

What Is The Current Status of the International Entrepreneur Rule?

On May 25, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security announced proposals to abolish the International Entrepreneur Rule altogether, on the basis that it believes the rule represents an overly broad interpretation of parole authority, it lacks sufficient protections for U.S. workers and investors and is not the appropriate vehicle for attracting and retaining international entrepreneurs.

How Do The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa And The International Entrepreneur Rule Compare?  

In the vast majority of cases where prospective applicants are eligible to apply for both the E-2 Treaty Investor visa and parole under the International Entrepreneur Rule, the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is likely to be the most beneficial option.

The E-2 Treaty Investor visa offers complete flexibility in terms of travel; one can enter and exit the US at leisure on an E-2 Treaty Investor visa and, indeed, can reside in the US for the purpose of operating their US business if they wish. The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa can be granted to British citizens for up to 5 years (subject to the strength of the application) and is constantly renewable so – provided the E-2 visa holder continues to meet the requirements at the point of renewal, it is theoretically possible for an E-2 Treaty Investor visa holder to continue to reside in the US on their E-2 Treaty Investor visa for the purpose of operating their US business for several decades.

In contrast, the International Entrepreneur Rule appears at very blush to be a risky option. The International Entrepreneur Rule is not a visa; it simply confers parole to enter the US for a limited period of time, for the purpose of setting up and growing a business. Only 10 applications under the International Entrepreneur Rule had been filed globally by April 2018, so very little is known at the present time about how such applications will be adjudicated. In any event, there are currently plans to abolish the rule, so the future of the International Entrepreneur Rule is in doubt.

Overall therefore, it is likely the E-2 Treaty Investor visa will be a more beneficial option to investors who may be eligible to apply for both the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa and for parole under the International Entrepreneur Rule.

Davies Legal Immigration

At Davies Legal Immigration, we offer a “one stop shop” for all aspects of US business immigration. Our team comprises US immigration attorneys, a Master of Business Administration, a Doctor of Business and a Certified Public Accountant. We offer a variety of fixed fee packages tailored to your unique position and offer innovative immigration solutions. Call now to discuss your case with a licensed US immigration attorney and take the first steps towards achieving your own American Dream.

Published: 31st August 2018