The E2 Classification

Everything You Need to Know About the E-2 Classification

Treaty investors in the United States are eligible for an E-2 visa, a sort of nonimmigrant visa. Based on a person’s controlling investment in the United States, permits them to work there. People with different types of visa who are already in the country may be able to apply to modify their status to E-2.

This is the second entry of a 5 part blog series depicting the various classifications of this visa to help you identify whether the E-2 Treaty Investor visa might be the right fit for you.

E-2 Classification as a Specialized/Essential Employee

To qualify for E-2 classification as a Specialized/Essential Employee, the employee must:

    • Be the same nationality as the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country);
    • Meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law; and
    • Be either engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory position or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.
    • Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.

E-2 Classification as a Specialized/Essential Employee

More specifically this classification requires the specialized/essential employee to be able to demonstrate that they possess the specialized skill set that makes the service to be rendered essential to the efficient operation of the treaty enterprise;

What constitutes specialized skills? 

(1)  In assessing the specialized nature of the skills sought and whether the applicant possesses these skills, consider the following:

(a)  The experience and training necessary to achieve such skill(s);

(b)  The uniqueness of such skills;

(c)  The availability of U.S. workers with such skills;

(d)  The salary such special expertise can command;

(e)  The degree of proven expertise of the applicant in the area of specialization; and

(f)   The function of the job to which the applicant is destined.

What is the expected duration of the employee’s essentiality?

  1. The applicant bears the burden of establishing at the time of the application not only that they possess the requisite specialized skills but, also, the length of time that such skills will be needed. 

Family– The family of E-2 Treaty Investors and Employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.  Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty investor or employee. 

Period of Stay– Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of 2 years. Requests for an extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to 2 years. There is no limit to the number of extensions and E-2 nonimmigrants may be granted, but all nonimmigrants must maintain an intention to depart the US when their status expires or is terminated. 


Investors and Traders

Treaty Country– A treaty country is a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation, or with which the United States maintains a qualifying international agreement, or which has been deemed a qualifying country by legislation.  To see the list of treaty countries visit

The lawyers at The Law Offices Of Luke Bowman can assist you if you require legal counsel for your E-2 visa application or more information about the E-2 visa procedure. Call +1 810 9360259 to make an appointment for a consultation to go over your case.