E2 employee: what is it?
Do you work for a foreign enterprise that intends to open a subsidiary company in the US? Do you know a business owner who currently holds an E2 investor visa and who may want to employ you? Then you might be eligible for the E2 employee visa as an executive, supervisor, manager or essential employee!
The E2 employee visa allows a person who will be in an executive or managerial position and/or who has specific skills to come to the U.S. for the purpose of working for the considered business. This business has to either be owned and run by an E2 investor visa holder or to fulfill the E2 visa requirements. In both cases, you have to hold the same nationality as the majority business owner, which must be from a country with which the United States maintains a Treaty Agreement.
Further, your employer must already be in the US under an E2 non-immigrant visa, or is abroad and hires you to work for a subsidiary of his/her company in the US. In the later case, the nationality considered is not the one of the parent company’s but the one of its owners.
The E2 employee visa application can be submitted together with the E2 company registration and investor visa or subsequently to that. What is important is that this company fulfills the requirements of an E2 investor’s visa.
And of course, if your employer is an E2 Visa holder, your application as an E2 Essential employee will imply the demonstration of the company fulfillment of the visa requirements.
The E2 visa requirements for the company
As detailed on our page dedicated to the E2 Visa, the owner of the business, i.e. your employer, has to meet the following requirements:
- be a national of a country that maintains a Treaty of Commerce with the United states, as explained above,
- have invested or be actively in the process of investing,
- invest a substantial amount in a US enterprise,
- invest in a real and operating commercial enterprise,
- develop and direct investments from the treaty country and develop and direct the operations of the enterprise,
- the business must not be marginal,
- be in possession of the funds that are to be invested or are already invested.
The E2 Employee Visa requirements
In addition to being from the same nationality as the business owner, the E2 Employee of a treaty investor will have to demonstrate that he or she will be in an “executive or supervisory capacity” within the US company, or have “special qualifications”.
The executive or supervisory character of the E2 employee are defined by the ultimate control and responsibility that he or she has for the business overall operations. If not in such a position, the employee must at least be a major component of it.
On the other hand, the “special qualifications” criteria for an Essential employee requires that he or she possesses skills that are highly specialized and essential for the business. In regards to Immigration Services appreciation, several qualities could allow the applicant to meet the requirements of this definition, for example:
- degree of proven expertise in the considered employment’s field,
- no other employee of the US company possesses those skills,
- high salary, …
But the “knowledge of a foreign language or culture does not, by itself” allow the future Essential employee to meet this requirement.
The E2 employee visa is a very useful tool to either allow your business to grow in the US by sending a qualified executive to develop it, or by hiring a national of your country to work with you in your E2 visa business.
To determine whether you qualify for an E2 employee visa, contact our office so we can advise you of your options and establish a strategy for your immigration to the U.S.