Under Section 101((a)(15)(E)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. §1101 et seq.), certain foreign nationals that are citizens of a country that has entered into a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States, may obtain a nonimmigrant visa and work and live in the U.S. if such foreign national has invested a "substantial amount of capital" in a U.S. enterprise. This is what is referred to as the "E-2 Treaty Investor Visa" category. There are numerous countries that qualify for this visa because they entered into a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. The U.S. Department of State publishes this list of countries. However, there are many countries that do not have a treaty with the U.S., like Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Portugal, India and other countries. Last year, the U.S. Department of State issued a notification that its treaty with Ecuador was terminated by Ecuador. Therefore, nationals of Ecuador no longer qualify for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa and Ecuadorian nationals that have made qualifying investments in the U.S. prior to May 18, 2018 will continue to be entitled to E-2 status, but only until May 18, 2028.
By: Santiago J. Padilla, Esq.