E2 Investor US Visa from Bangladesh
There are numerous ways to live and work in the United States. However, the E-2 visa is one of the few ways for a foreign entrepreneur to start their own business. The application process for this visa is relatively simple when compared to popular visas such as the H-1B, but qualifying is a different story. Learn about the requirements for the E-2 treaty investor visa.
E-2 treaty investor visas are nonimmigrant visas reserved for foreign entrepreneurs from countries with which the United States has a Treaty of Trade and Commerce. Essentially, this visa allows the foreign investor to develop or carry out the business’s investment/trade activities.
The definition of investment activities is frequently ambiguous. The investment must be substantial and made with appropriate funds in order to qualify for the E-2 visa (either personal funds or a loan secured with property).
A significant amount of capital is associated with the total cost of purchasing or establishing the business. It must be sufficient to ensure successful operations as well as adequate to grow the business.
To be eligible for E-2 status, the treaty investor must:
Be a national of a country with which the United States has a commerce and navigation treaty.
Have invested, or are actively considering investing, a significant amount of capital in a legitimate enterprise in the United States
Be looking to enter the US solely to develop and direct the investment venture. This is demonstrated by demonstrating at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.
An investment is the treaty investor’s commercial placement of capital, including funds and/or other assets, with the goal of generating a profit. If the investment fails, the capital must be subject to a partial or total loss. The treaty investor must demonstrate that the funds were not obtained directly or indirectly through criminal activity. For more information, see 8 CFR 214.2(e)(12).
A significant amount of capital is:
Significant in comparison to the total cost of either purchasing an existing business or establishing a new one.
Enough to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the enterprise’s success.
Amount sufficient to support the prospect that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the enterprise cost, the higher the proportionate investment must be to be considered significant.
Treaty visa E-2
Here’s an illustration:
Peter wants to invest in a small flower shop worth $200,000, whereas Sandra wants to invest in a $8 million restaurant chain. To qualify for an E-2 visa, Peter will most likely need to invest the value of the flower shop. Sandra, on the other hand, will most likely be able to qualify by investing 10-15% of the restaurant chain’s value.
A genuine enterprise is a legitimate, active, and profitable commercial or entrepreneurial venture that produces services or goods for profit. It must comply with all applicable legal requirements in order to conduct business within its jurisdiction.
The investment venture may not be insignificant. A marginal enterprise is one that does not have the current or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide the treaty investor and his or her family with a minimum standard of living.
Depending on the circumstances, a new business may not be considered marginal even if it lacks the current capacity to generate such income. In such cases, however, the enterprise must be able to generate such income within five years of the treaty investor’s E-2 classification beginning. 8 CFR 214.2(e) (15).
E-2 processing time is typically 2-4 weeks from the time of filing. Some US embassies may take longer to process. Be aware that depending on the specifics of your case, additional time may be required. Your processing time will be more accurately explained by an E-2 lawyer.
Countries with E-2 Treaty Investor Visas
The E-2 investor trader visa is only available to citizens of countries with which the United States has a treaty. The Department of State keeps an up-to-date list of these countries. To be eligible, you must be a British national and a resident of the British Isles.
It is important to note that you do not have to be currently residing in the treaty country to be eligible for an E-2 visa. You simply must be a citizen of that country. Furthermore, any workers or family members you bring with you through your E-2 status do not have to be from your treaty country.
The Benefits of an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
On an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, you can enjoy a number of benefits, including:
- Freedom to enter and exit the United States
- Work legally in the United States for the company.
- Stay in the country for an extended period of time with extensions available.
- Employers may accompany you under your E-2 status.
- Allow dependents or relatives to accompany you while working in the United States.
- Spouses and children (under 21 years old and unmarried) may be granted derivative E visas to accompany the principal visa holder. An E visa holder’s spouse may apply to DHS for work authorization. Dependent children of E visa holders are not permitted to work in the United States.
- Dependents can attend public and private schools in the United States, as well as colleges and universities, without the need for an F1 visa.
- Spouses and dependents may also apply for EADs (employment authorization documents) to work in the United States.
The Drawbacks of the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
Each visa has advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your circumstances, the E-2 visa may not be appropriate for you. The following are some of the most common reasons why the E-2 visa may not be appropriate or desirable:
Only nationals of countries with investment treaties are eligible (see list above)
Must work for the specific company to which the E-2 visa is linked. Approved in increments of two years, so the application process may be complicated depending on the time length you require.
Qualified treaty investors and employees will be granted a two-year initial stay. Requests for extensions of stay may be granted in two-year increments. There is no maximum number of extensions that an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted. When their status expires or is terminated, all E-2 nonimmigrants must maintain an intention to leave the United States.
When returning to the United States, an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission. Please keep in mind that, while your E-2 visa may be issued for 3 months or up to 5 years (depending on reciprocity laws with your country of nationality), your period of authorized stay in the United States is determined by your I-94, which is issued when you enter the country with an E-2 visa.
Making an E-2 Visa Application
It is best to consult with an immigration attorney to learn about any additional benefits or drawbacks that may apply. If you are currently in the United States, you must submit a visa application to the USCIS service center. Otherwise, send your application to your home country’s consulate.
If you are currently in the United States under a different nonimmigrant status, your status will be changed to E-2 once your I-129 is approved. If you are outside the country, you will almost certainly need to fill out a DS-160 online nonimmigrant visa application and bring it with you to your consular interview. An officer will review your case and supporting documents during the E-2 interview to determine whether your case is legitimate. The most important thing to remember is to be truthful, even if you don’t know the answer to a question.
Employees and their families
One of the benefits we mentioned was the ability to bring your family as well as employees to help you advance your business. It is important to note that the nationalities of your family or employees do not have to be from a treaty country; this requirement only applies to the principal beneficiary. Spouses of E-2 investors and workers may also apply for work authorization using Form I-765.
Fees for E-2 Visas
A notable advantage of the E-2 visa is that, aside from the initial investment, the cost of filing is relatively low when compared to other common nonimmigrant visas such as the H-1B or the L-1. The following are the E-2 visa fees to be aware of:
- All I-129 petitions require a $460 filing fee.
- If you are filing the petition while abroad, you must file a DS-160 application, which costs $205.
- In many cases, you will be required to schedule a biometrics appointment, primarily to have your fingerprints taken. You will be charged a $85 fee in this case.
- Remember that your family can accompany you as well as your employees, but each one requires a separate I-129 form.
- Additionally, you can pay an additional fee of $1,440 to have your petition processed in 15 calendar days. Remember that this does not increase your chances of approval; it simply shortens the time it takes to process your petition.
- Visa Rejection for E-2
One of the most common concerns when applying for a visa is that it will be denied or rejected. Let’s go over why this could happen to your E-2, how to avoid it, and what to do if you receive an unfavorable decision.
First, we must recognize the distinction between rejection and denial. When a petition is received by the USCIS, it goes through two stages. An evaluating officer will perform a cursory check in the first phase to ensure that all required information is completed, all required documentation is present, and all fees are correct. If your petition fails this test, it will most likely be rejected.
Petition to USCIS
If your petition passes this first stage, the officer will examine it more closely. He or she will review the supporting documentation to determine whether your case qualifies for an E-2 visa. Otherwise, your petition may be denied. You may also receive a request for evidence (RFE) if additional supporting documentation would be beneficial to your case.
If you receive a rejection, work with your immigration attorney to determine the exact error or omission that caused the rejection and correct it before refiling. You will, however, be responsible for a new filing fee and petition. If your petition is denied, you will most likely face a more serious problem, as your case was denied on the basis of merit. This could be because your investment was insignificant, or you were deemed ineligible to advance the enterprise. Your immigration lawyer can explain the reasoning behind it to you.
Fortunately, if your E-2 petition is denied, you may have options. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to file a legal motion or appeal the decision, both of which should be done with the assistance of a qualified attorney.
Following an E-2 visa denial, two legal actions can be taken: a motion to reopen and a motion to reconsider. In a motion to reopen, you would ask for your closed case to be reopened because new documentation or evidence has come to light that could change the outcome of the decision. If, on the other hand, you believe the evaluating officer’s decision was incorrect and you (or, more likely, your attorney) are willing to argue this legally, you may want to file a motion to reconsider.
Finally, you may be able to appeal the decision to a third party. The Administrative Appeals Office hears these cases and has the authority to uphold or reverse the evaluating officer’s decision. Consult with your attorney to determine how to proceed.
Changing an E-2 Visa to a Green Card
Transitioning from a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa to an immigrant visa (green card) is often a lengthy and complicated process, particularly with certain types of green cards. Most E-2 visa holders apply for an employment- or investment-based green card, which may or may not be applicable to you depending on your circumstances. Here are some popular options:
- The EB-5 visa is for foreign investors.
- The EB-1 visa is intended for exceptional aliens, outstanding researchers and professors, or multinational executives and managers.
- The EB-2 visa is reserved for those with a master’s degree or exceptional ability in their field.
- While it is uncommon for E-2 visa holders to apply for an EB-2 green card, it does occur. In this case, be sure to read our guide on PERM Labor Certification to gain a better understanding of the process.
The EB-1 visa is attainable, particularly if you can demonstrate exceptional achievement. You can apply for this qualification without the need for a sponsoring employer.
However, because the requirements are similar, one of the most common green cards that E-2 visa holders petition for is the EB-5. To qualify for an EB-5, you must invest at least $1 million in a U.S. enterprise or $500,000 in a rural or high-unemployment area.
Once you’ve invested the funds, you’ll need to submit an I-526 petition to the USCIS along with the required fees to begin the EB-5 process (if you are going for the EB-1 or EB-2, you will need to send the I-140 petition). The date they receive your petition will be your priority date. You should keep that date handy and compare it to the final action dates listed in the Department of State’s monthly newsletter. When your priority date matches or exceeds the final action date specified in your green card category and country of origin, your priority date is considered current, a visa number is issued, and you can proceed to the next step.
Once your priority date is current, you will have two options: status adjustment or consular processing. Because you are already in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa (e.g., your E-2 visa), you can simply file an I-485 application to have your status changed from nonimmigrant to immigrant. Although this is the quickest route, it takes an average of six months and can be quite expensive depending on your age.
If you choose to use consular processing, you can travel to your home country’s US Consulate or Embassy and participate in a one-on-one interview with an immigration officer. This usually costs less (excluding travel expenses) and takes less time, so you and your attorney can decide which path is best for you. In either case, your green card will be issued once your application is approved.
How a Tahmidur Remura TLS immigration law firm E-2 Lawyer Can Assist
As an investor, you are probably aware that failing to protect your investment can result in devastating time and financial losses. Hiring an immigration attorney with extensive experience in E-2 visas is critical to ensuring that no simple mistakes prevent you from realizing your dream in the United States.
Looking for an experienced E-2 visa lawyer? Tahmidur Rahman Remura Immigration Lawyers Law Group’s attorneys can assist you in filing an E-2 visa based on USCIS and US Department of State guidelines. We have assisted countless other investors in getting started in this country. During your consultation, we’ll explain which course of action is best for your situation. If we determine that you do not meet the requirements for an E-2 visa, we will investigate what other non-immigrant status options may be available to you.
Fill out this contact form to schedule your consultation with a Tahmidur Rahman Remura Immigration Lawyers Law Group immigration attorney today.
Validity of E-2 Visa
E-2 visas are valid for five years and can be renewed with two-year extensions as long as you meet the requirements. However, you are not permitted to stay in the United States for five years without leaving; you must renew your E-2 visa after two years. You should be aware of some distinctions for specific countries because they may affect the validity period in your case.
You can now apply for a 2-year extension after your 5-year period expires. There are currently no restrictions on the number of extensions you can obtain.
How to Request an E-2 Visa Extension
Assume you are still on your original 5-year E-2 visa term and are ready to apply for an E-2 extension because you are approaching the 2-year mark. The procedure is extremely simple. There are two options for extending your status.
The first option is to receive an extension when you re-enter the United States as long as you meet the requirements of the visa. This may not be convenient or manageable depending on your travel schedule.
If you do not intend to leave the United States before your visa expires, the second option is to apply for an extension of stay. E-2 visa extensions are granted in 2-year increments. To request an extension of stay, you must submit the following documents:
- Petition for Non-immigrant Worker, Form I-129
- Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status, Form I-539
- Form I-94 Arrival/Departure document copy
- Original Form I-797, Notice of Action, copied (if status was previously extended or approved)
- Passport photocopy and E-2 visa
- Employer letter demonstrating the need for an extension
- Personal and business tax returns from the previous two years, as well as payroll tax returns
- It is important to note that if you file the extension before your I-94 expires, you can continue to work for 240 days pending the decision. If you file after the expiration date, you can only stay for 40 days pending the decision. What happens if you don’t hear back within 40 days? You will be required to stop working and leave the United States.
How to Request an E-2 Visa Renewal
Assume your original 5-year period (which varies by country) is coming to an end and you are ready to apply for an E-2 visa renewal. This renewal will give you another two years of residency in the United States and can be applied for as many times as you want. When applying for renewal, you have two options, depending on where you apply:
If you are applying from outside the United States, you must do so through a United States consulate.
If you are applying from within the United States, you must use the USCIS process.
A large number of documents must be submitted. In fact, this is a very complex area of US immigration law, and it is recommended that you consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that your application is properly submitted. The performance of your US venture and the need for you to be physically present in the US will be important assessment factors in your renewal.
What to Do If You Are Denied
As long as you meet the renewal requirements, your E-2 visa extension is unlikely to be denied. However, some E-2 visa holders are unable to extend their visas.
For example, your 2-year extension is extremely unlikely to be denied at the border. Border control officers frequently deal with these types of renewals, and you should not be denied unless you have violated US laws or immigration regulations. If you have trouble renewing your visa at the border, you can still use the second option and file Form I-129.
Assume the worst-case scenario occurs, and your renewal or extension is denied. The first thing you should know is that you will receive a detailed statement outlining the reasons for the denial along with the denial notice. Depending on the reason for the denial, you must complete Form I-290B and either of the following:
Filing an Administrative Appeals Office appeal; filing a motion to reconsider the USCIS decision; or filing a motion to reopen the USCIS decision
The Most Common Reason for Renewal Denial
The marginality requirement is one of the most common reasons why your renewal application may be denied. Marginality is a concept unique to an E-2 visa that states that the business must be profitable in addition to providing for the owner and their family. The government of the United States wants business immigrants to contribute to the economy, and one way they can do so is by creating jobs. When you’ve been in business for five years, you should have been able to scale it up to the point where you can afford to hire several employees.
The most common reason for renewal applications being denied is a lack of proof that they are no longer marginalized. An experienced immigration attorney can assist you in gathering and submitting sufficient evidence and supporting statements to meet this requirement.
Frequently Asked Questions About the E-2 Visa
The following are some frequently asked questions about the E-2 visa, E-2 visa renewal, and E-2 visa extension:
Q. Are there any restrictions on my travel while on an E-2 visa?
One of the benefits of the E-2 visa is that there are no travel restrictions imposed (i.e., number of times you are permitted to leave and re-enter). The USCIS also does not specify how long you can stay abroad before having to return.
Q. Can the main applicant or family members study on an E-2 visa?
You can study on an E-2 visa but cannot join a full-time program like those on F1 as long as it does not jeopardize the primary purpose of your visa. Furthermore, your children and spouse are eligible to study in the United States without the need for any additional visas or applications.
Q. Can I change my status while on E-2?
Yes, you can change your status by filing Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, or Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Status.
Q. How long does it take to process an extension or approval?
It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks from the time the application is filed. Please keep in mind that this can change depending on the workload at the US Consulate and US processing centers. However, depending on the form, your wait times may be longer or shorter due to the number of forms you must submit.
Q. When is the best time to request an extension?
It’s best to apply for an E-2 visa extension before your I-94 expires. If you file the extension before your I-94 expires, you can stay for 240 days pending the decision, whereas if you file after the expiration, you can only stay for 40 days.
Q. Can my spouse and children work while I’m on E-2?
While on an E-2 visa, you can bring your spouse and dependents (under 21) with you and they will be able to work in the United States. They’d need to get an EAD and apply for a Social Security number.
Q. Can I apply for a Green Card while on E-2?
If you meet the requirements, you can apply for a Green Card. There are several general routes to obtaining a green card. The first option is the EB-1 visa. You can take this route if you are a “Alien of Extraordinary Ability” or a “Multi-manager or Executive.” The second option is to obtain a Green Card through Family Based Immigration. It’s a good idea to look into this option if you have a close relative in the United States.
To learn more about these paths to citizenship or E-2 visa renewal steps, contact a qualified Green Card Lawyer.
How an E-2 Lawyer Can Assist
An E-2 visa attorney can assist you in filing an E-2 visa renewal or extension in accordance with USCIS guidelines. Tahmidur Rahman Remura Immigration Lawyers Law Group will explain which course of action is best for your case during your extensive consultation.
How much does E-2 Visa Cost for Bangladeshi citizens?
E2 visa cost – Bangladesh
Minimum investment amount is typically over US $150K (Bangladeshi Taka 12.9 million). For investor present in USA – Form I-129 fee $460 (Form I-539 – $370 per dependent), 15 days premium processing at $1,440. Investor in Home-country – $205 fee per DS-160 form. Lawyer’s charges, Business entity formation costs.
Bangladesh Bank is the regulatory body that has framework and monetary policy for moving assets and money outside of Bangladesh.
Which countries have an E-2 visa treaty with the USA?
E2 Visa Treaty Countries list:
|Albania||January 4, 1998|
|Argentina||December 20, 1854|
|Armenia||March 29, 1996|
|Australia||December 27, 1991|
|Austria||May 27, 1931|
|Azerbaijan||August 2, 2001|
|Bahrain||May 30, 2001|
|Bangladesh||July 25, 1989|
|Belgium||October 3, 1963|
|Bolivia||June 6, 2001|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||November 15, 1982|
|Bulgaria||June 2, 1954|
|Cameroon||April 6, 1989|
|Canada||January 1, 1994|
|Chile||January 1, 2004|
|China (Taiwan)||November 30, 1948|
|Colombia||June 10, 1948|
|Congo (Brazzaville)||August 13, 1994|
|Congo (Kinshasa)||July 28, 1989|
|Costa Rica||May 26, 1852|
|Croatia||November 15, 1982|
|Czech Republic||January 1, 1993|
|Denmark||December 10, 2008|
|Ecuador||May 11, 1997|
|Egypt||June 27, 1992|
|Estonia||February 16, 1997|
|Ethiopia||October 8, 1953|
|Finland||December 1, 1992|
|France||December 21, 1960|
|Georgia||August 17, 1997|
|Germany||July 14, 1956|
|Grenada||March 3, 1989|
|Honduras||July 19, 1928|
|Ireland||November 18, 1992|
|Israel||May 1, 2019|
|Italy||July 26, 1949|
|Jamaica||March 7, 1997|
|Japan||October 30, 1953|
|Jordan||December 17, 2001|
|Kazakhstan||January 12, 1994|
|Korea (South)||November 7, 1957|
|Kosovo||November 15, 1882|
|Kyrgyzstan||January 12, 1994|
|Latvia||December 26, 1996|
|Liberia||November 21, 1939|
|Lithuania||November 22, 2001|
|Luxembourg||March 28, 1963|
|Macedonia||November 15, 1982|
|Mexico||January 1, 1994|
|Moldova||November 25, 1994|
|Mongolia||January 1, 1997|
|Montenegro||November 15, 1882|
|Morocco||May 29, 1991|
|Netherlands||December 5, 1957|
|Norway||January 18, 1928|
|Oman||June 11, 1960|
|Pakistan||February 12, 1961|
|Panama||May 30, 1991|
|Paraguay||March 07, 1860|
|Philippines||September 6, 1955|
|Poland||August 6, 1994|
|Romania||January 15, 1994|
|Senegal||October 25, 1990|
|Singapore||January 1, 2004|
|Slovak Republic||January 1, 1993|
|Slovenia||November 15, 1982|
|Spain||April 14, 1903|
|Sri Lanka||May 1, 1993|
|Suriname||February 10, 1963|
|Sweden||February 20, 1992|
|Switzerland||November 08, 1855|
|Thailand||June 8, 1968|
|Togo||February 5, 1967|
|Trinidad & Tobago||December 26, 1996|
|Tunisia||February 7, 1993|
|Turkey||May 18, 1990|
|Ukraine||November 16, 1996|
|United Kingdom||July 03, 1815|
|Yugoslavia||November 15, 1882|
THE BENEFITS OF AN E-2 VISA from Bangladesh:
Bangladeshi investors are permitted to establish, advance, and operate a business in the United States.
There is no required minimum investment amount, and no specific amount is mandated by law. The regulations only state that the investment must be sufficient to develop a successful, non-marginal business that meets the above criteria.
The spouse of an E-2 investor will be issued an E-2 dependent visa, allowing them to apply for work authorization based on their E-2 dependent visa.
Children under the age of 21 of an E-2 Investor will be issued an E-2 dependent visa and will be able to attend the school of their choice.
The E-2 visa holder has the option of living outside the United States for an unspecified period of time and returning to the country as long as their visa is valid.
E-2 visa holders may be granted a visa for one to five years at first. Extensions of stay for another 2-5 years are possible. There is no legal limit on how many times an E visa holder can extend their stay, so they could theoretically remain in the United States on E-2 visa and status indefinitely, as long as the investor owns the Company with a substantial profit and the Company does not become “marginal” in nature.
Accompanying Spouse and Children under the age of 21 would qualify for Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) known as Green Card through the principal applicant if the principal applicant changes his status from E-2 to H1B Entrepreneur/Self-Employed or through the Spouse if the Spouse changes his/her status in the United States through a suitable employment category and then applies for Green Card through the sponsoring company. If the principal applicant is unmarried, he or she can apply for a green card by marrying a US citizen or permanent resident.
E-2 visa for citizens of Non-Treaty countries
Citizens of non-treaty countries can qualify to apply for an E-2 visa through one of two ways. Either by taking up the passport/citizenship of a treaty country or derivatively i.e. if the applicant investor is married to a citizen of a treaty country, they may be eligible to apply for an E-2 visa.
Is an Bangladeshi national eligible for an E-2 Visa?
Yes, As an Bangladeshi citizen, you are eligible for an E-2 Visa. Bangladesh has signed the E-2 treaty with the US.
Can a spouse of a E-2 Visa holder from Bangladesh work in the US?
Spouses of E-2 visa holders from Bangladesh are able to work in the US only once they apply for work authorization by filling form I-765, if approved they are allowed to work in the US.
Can an Bangladeshi citizen work in the USA with an E-2 Visa in 2022?
Yes. As a Bangladesh national, you are eligible to work in the US but only the business that you have invested or if you are an employee at the organisation which sponsored your E-2 visa.
For an Bangladeshi citizen, What businesses qualify for an E-2 Visa?
There is no specific list of businesses under the E-2 treaty. As long as the investor has made a significant investment in a business and is approved by the US citizenship and immigration services.
What happens when an Bangladeshi citizen’s E-2 Visa for USA expires?
The E-2 visa holders from Bangladesh are allowed to renew their visas. The extensions are granted for 2 years and there are no restrictions on the number of extensions available to the E-2 investors.