What are the two types of E-2 employee visas?

Raw Pixel.    Pixabay   .   E-2 Treaty Investor visas  are for citizens of certain countries wherein the applicant is coming to the United States to develop & direct the operations of an enterprise in which the applicant has invested a substantial amount of capital. The law allows for a foreign employee to be granted an E-2 visa to work in the U.S. company. Find out the two types of E-2 Employee Visas.

Raw Pixel. Pixabay. E-2 Treaty Investor visas are for citizens of certain countries wherein the applicant is coming to the United States to develop & direct the operations of an enterprise in which the applicant has invested a substantial amount of capital. The law allows for a foreign employee to be granted an E-2 visa to work in the U.S. company. Find out the two types of E-2 Employee Visas.

What are the general requirements for a foreign employee to be able to qualify for an E-2 visa to work in the U.S. E-2 company?

To qualify for E-2 classification, the employee of a treaty investor must:

  • Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country)

  • Meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law

  • Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.

The Two Types of E-2 Employee Visas

  1. Executive/Supervisor/Manager: The applicant’s duties must be principally and primarily, executive or supervisory in nature. These are duties which provide the applicant ultimate control and responsibility for the enterprise's overall operation or major component. Executives have great authority to determine company policy and typically have supervisory responsibility for a significant proportion of a company’s operations and does not generally involve the direct supervision of low-level employees. Generally, these employees possess executive and supervisory skills and experience and have a salary and position title commensurate with executive or supervisory employment.

  2. Essential/Specialized Employee: These employees possess special qualifications or skills which make the employee’s services essential to the efficient operation of the business.  There are several qualities or circumstances which could, depending on the facts, meet this requirement.  These include, but are not limited to:   

    • The degree of proven expertise in the employee’s area of operations

    • Whether others possess the employee’s specific skills

    • The salary that the special qualifications can command

    • Whether the skills and qualifications are readily available in the United States.

    Knowledge of a foreign language and culture does not, by itself, meet this requirement.  Note that in some cases a skill that is essential at one point in time may become commonplace, and therefore no longer qualifying, at a later date.

How long can the employee stay and work in the United States?

E-2 employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years.  Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each.  There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted, but the employee must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated. An E-2 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States.  It is generally not necessary to file a new Form I-129 with USCIS in this situation.

Family Members

E-2 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.  These family members may seek E-2 nonimmigrant classification as dependents and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee. Spouses of E-2 workers may apply for work authorization and there is no specific restriction as to where the E-2 spouse may work.

If you own an E-2 company and would like to bring an executive or essential employee, please contact us for a consultation. We are here to help. Follow us on InstagramTwitterFacebookLinkedIn or Tumblr for up-to-date immigration news.


Rasoulpour Torregoza is the law firm for immigrants, by immigrants. We are founded on the motto of LegalEase: we do away with the legal jargon and make law easy to understand, so you can focus on what’s important to you – going for your American Dream.
Contact us at (888) 445-7066  or info@legalease.us. We are also on social media and on Skype: @LegalEaseUS. || www.LegalEase.us
This website and blog constitute attorney advertising. Do not consider anything on this website or blog legal advice as the law is dynamic, particularly in the immigration field and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.