E2 Visa for an Indian Citizen: Why & How

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E2 visa is a type of non-immigrant visa that allows individuals from certain treaty countries to enter the United States for the purpose of investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. This visa is specifically designed for individuals who want to develop and direct the operations of a business in which they have invested or are actively in the process of investing. Apart from other things, in this article, we will learn whether an E2 Visa is available for an Indian Citizen or not.

Key points about the E2 visa:

  1. Treaty Countries: The E2 visa is only available to citizens of countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation or a bilateral investment treaty with the United States.
  2. Investment Requirement: There is no fixed minimum investment amount required for an E2 visa, but the investment should be substantial and sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the business.
  3. Investor’s Role: The applicant must demonstrate that they will play an active role in the business’s operations and development. This typically means that the investor will be involved in making key decisions and managing the business.
  4. Renewable Visa: The E2 visa is generally granted for an initial period of up to 2 years and can be renewed indefinitely as long as the business continues to operate and the investor’s role remains active.
  5. Dependents: E2 visa holders can bring their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to the U.S. as dependents. Dependent family members can also apply for work authorization.
  6. Non-Immigrant Status: It’s important to note that the E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning it does not lead to permanent residency (a green card) in the United States. It’s meant for temporary stays for the purpose of running the investment business.

E2 Visa for an Indian Citizen: Eligiibe or not

E2 visa is indeed available to citizens of treaty countries, and Indian citizens, as of September 2023, are not eligible to directly apply for the E2 visa because India is not one of the treaty countries with the United States for the E2 visa program.

If an Indian takes the citizenship of a treaty country that has an E2 treaty with the United States, they may be eligible to apply for the E2 business visa based on their citizenship from the treaty country.

Over the last few years, many Indian citizens have obtained citizenship from other countries such as Grenada and Turkey, which allowed them to apply for an E2 visa.

These pathways are often referred to as “backdoor entry” options, as they provide a route for citizens of non-treaty countries, like India, to potentially access the benefits of the E2 visa program through their citizenship in a treaty country.

As of December 23, 2022, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) was amended to define the eligibility criteria for E visas. In short, if you are a citizen of a non-treaty country such as India or China with the USA for E1 and E2 visas, and in the past have received citizenship of a treaty country to eventually apply for E1 and/or E2 visas, you may apply for the same after showing three years of domicile in those countries.

For individuals facing this somewhat intricate process, obtaining legal guidance is recommended. Global Immigration Partners stands out as a specialized immigration law firm in this regard. A considerable portion of their practice involves providing support to business owners and investors in their pursuit of E1, E2, L1, and EB-5 visas. With an international presence, they boast specialized knowledge concerning the specific procedures at numerous embassies and consulates across the globe.

Alternative for an Indian Citizen- EB-5 Visa

Being an Indian citizen, you possess alternative choices like engaging in a FRESH business owned by your acquaintances or family members, or acquiring a FRESH franchise capable of generating at least 10 new positions in the USA for individuals holding US citizenship or green cards, allowing you to qualify for the EB5 visa application.

Benefits of the E2 and EB-5 Visas:

  1. E2 Visa Benefits:
    • Investment Flexibility: E2 visa allows for investment in a wide range of businesses, including new startups and existing enterprises.
    • Temporary Status: It offers a non-immigrant, temporary status for investors and their families to live and work in the U.S.
    • Renewable: E2 visas can be renewed indefinitely as long as the business continues to operate and meet the visa requirements.
    • Spouse Work Authorization: Spouses of E2 visa holders can obtain work authorization in the U.S.
    • Quick Processing: E2 visa applications are typically processed relatively quickly.
  2. EB-5 Visa Benefits:
    • Green Card: Successful EB-5 applicants and their immediate family members receive U.S. green cards, granting them permanent residency.
    • Investment Flexibility: While requiring a larger investment, EB-5 allows for greater investment flexibility compared to some other green card categories.
    • Job Creation: EB-5 investment must create a certain number of jobs for U.S. workers, contributing to the local economy.
    • Education Benefits: Green card holders can access U.S. education institutions at lower, in-state tuition rates.
    • Path to Citizenship: After maintaining the investment and residency requirements, EB-5 visa holders can apply for U.S. citizenship.

Both the E2 and EB-5 visas provide unique opportunities for investors and their families to establish a presence in the United States and benefit from its economic and educational opportunities.


Ultimately, the choice between the E2 and EB-5 visas depends on individual circumstances, investment goals, and preferences. Laws and policies often change so to understand the availability of E2 Visa for an Indian Citizen, it’s advisable to seek professional guidance from experts in immigration law to make an informed decision that aligns with your specific needs and aspirations.

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