In 2020, the rate of visa approvals was approximately 75% among the many different categories. Applying for and getting the correct type of visa can help you conduct business without worrying about any setbacks or immigration issues. In the past year, some changes have been made by the federal government regarding the E-2 investor visa, with the introduction of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Understanding these rule changes will help you put your best foot forward when you’re looking into E-2 investor requirements. Keep reading so that you’re familiar with these rules and able to handle the application process correctly.
What Is an E-2 Investor Visa?
This type of visa is in place for people looking to enter the United States to make investments. Under the terms of this policy, an applicant can get a visa for anywhere between 3 months and 5 years.
These visas can also be extended for an indefinite amount of time depending on the circumstances. It’s important to recognize that these visas are only to be issued for substantial investments. They can also be given out for other types of business interests or forms of employment, and are limited to certain countries.
What New Policies Are in Place?
If you’re going to apply for an E-2 visa, it’s important that you know what recent policy changes have been made. As of 2023, President Biden’s administration put changes into place that will affect how applicants seek and receive these visas. These policies were introducted as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Here are some of the major changes that you should understand:
New Time Requirements for CBI Applicants
The Citizen by Investment (CBI) program allows people to apply not just for investment visas, but to also become citizens in the process. Applicants’ business interests can lead to new opportunities for them to adopt a nationality.
There are now new time requirements in place for people seeking citizenship based on these programs. As of 2023, investors must have been in the country for no less than 3 years before they are eligible for an E-2 visa. This is one of the most notable E-2 investor requirements changes and one that officials will require proof of.
Specific Policies for Certain Countries
When applying for E-2 visas, you must get to how these visa rules apply based on your country of origin. Portugal is now a country open to E-2 visa applicants who would like to become U.S. investors. The nation was added to the list of E-2 eligible countries toward the end of 2022, and the change went into effect at the beginning of the following calendar year.
Nationals are now able to gain both E-1 and E-2 visas, per the Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing Our Success (AMIGOS) Act. There are a few requirements that must be satisfied, such as holding a passport from Portugal or another E-2 eligible country and having at least a 50% ownership stake in the business in question. The intent of these changes is to benefit both the United States and Portugal or other eligible countries. Citizens from other countries can gain new nationality and earn additional income to take care of themselves and their families, while the United States gets the benefit of new commerce that will stimulate its economy.
Understanding the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and Its Impact on E-2 Investor Visas
These changes in E-2 visas were signed into law under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This act refers to the yearly budget that the federal government allocates for the United States Department of Defense (DoD) each fiscal year. The budget is signed into law under this act each year by the current president’s administration.
This act first came to be in 1961 and has been an annual set of expenditures ever since. The NDAA for 2023 was signed into law in December at the very end of 2022. Per this version of the NDAA, the budget was approximately $816 billion for the Department of Defense. Sections involving E-2 visas were part of this act, in addition to expenditures for new aircraft and other details.
Applying for an E-2 Investor Visa
It’s important that you understand the ins and outs of applying for an E-2 investor visa so that you can get approved without issue. You can apply for an E-2 visa either while in the United States or in your home country. If you’re applying from your home country, you’ll need to fill out and file a Form DS-160 and pay all of the required fees. From there, you’ll have to schedule a visa interview meeting with an official. Take the time to get your documents in order and prepare for the visa interview.
If you’re applying for an E-2 visa, there are a variety of details that you’ll need to compile:
- A current passport
- Two different photographs
- Payment of the current fees
- A mortgage, lease, property deeds, or other documentation from your home country to serve as proof that you intend to return
- Documentation for your business, including licenses, financial documents, bank statements, and tax information
From there, double and triple-check all of your information and make sure that the information is correct and filled out in full. It can take 4 weeks or more for your application to be reviewed, approved, or denied. Stay patient and get the contact information of officials that you can follow up with in the meantime.
Go Through the Visa Process
Now that you understand more about the process of applying for an E-2 investor visa, you’re in a better position to make it a reality. Start with this information so that you understand the most recent changes and how they apply to your situation.