This article was updated on August 16, 2023

Non-Immigrant Visas (focus on the E2 visa)

When it comes to visiting the United States, there are various visa options available for foreign nationals, depending on their purpose of travel. Non-immigrant visas offer temporary permission to enter and stay in the US for reasons such as tourism, education, or temporary work. The E2 visa is a popular non-immigrant visa choice for entrepreneurs and investors. In this article, we will explore the concept of non-immigrant visas in the United States and delve into why the E2 visa is classified as a non-immigrant visa.

Non immigrant visa

What is a Non-Immigrant Visa?

A non-immigrant visa is a type of visa issued by the United States to foreign nationals who wish to enter the country temporarily for a specific purpose. This visa category differs from an immigrant visa, which grants individuals the right to live and work in the US permanently. Some common types of non-immigrant visas include:

  • B1/B2 visas for business or tourism purposes
  • F1 visas for international students
  • H1B visas for specialty occupation workers
  • J1 visas for exchange visitors

The E2 Visa: A Non-Immigrant Visa for Entrepreneurs and Investors

The E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa designed for entrepreneurs and investors who wish to invest in a US business and actively manage its operations. This visa falls under the non-immigrant category because it grants a temporary stay in the US, typically for an initial period of up to five years, which may be extended indefinitely, as long as the business remains operational, and the visa holder continues to meet the eligibility requirements.

Why is the E2 Visa a Non-Immigrant Visa?

The E2 visa is classified as a non-immigrant visa for the following reasons:

  • Temporary stay: The E2 visa allows foreign nationals to reside in the US for a specific period, as long as they continue to meet the visa requirements. It does not provide a direct path to permanent residency (Green Card) or US citizenship.
  • Specific purpose: The primary purpose of the E2 visa is to allow entrepreneurs and investors to manage and develop their investment in a US business. The visa holder's stay in the country is contingent upon fulfilling this purpose.
  • Eligibility criteria: E2 visa applicants must meet specific requirements, such as being a national of a country that has a Treaty of Trade and Commerce with the United States, making a substantial investment in a US business, and demonstrating that their investment will generate sufficient income or employment opportunities.

The E2 visa is an attractive option for foreign entrepreneurs and investors seeking to establish or expand their businesses in the United States. As a non-immigrant visa, it offers temporary residency and multiple benefits for those who qualify. By understanding the distinctions between immigrant and non-immigrant visas, individuals can make informed decisions about the best visa option for their specific needs.

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