Though there are nearly 200 countries in the world, only around 80 of them are considered treaty nations to the United States – in both commerce and navigation. Specifically, such countries must continuously qualify as a treaty nation by maintaining an international agreement with the United States. This post will cover the list of E-2 visa eligible countries.
While the validity periods for E-2 visas fluctuate, depending on the country, it is important to remember this is only for the period of time leading up to the visa holder’s entry to the United States. Upon entry, the individual’s E-2 visa will be granted initially for five years, with the option to renew in two-year increments.
According to the United States Department of State website, the E-2 visa eligible countries are as listed below, including the number of entries permitted to the U.S. and the visa duration.
|Country||Visa Type||Numberof Entries||ValidityPeriod|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||E-2||Multiple||12 Months|
|China (Taiwan)||E-2||Multiple||60 Months|
|Congo (Brazzaville)||E-2||One||3 Months|
|Congo (Kinshasa)||E-2||Two||3 Months|
|Costa Rica||E-2||Multiple||60 Months|
|Czech Republic||E-2||Multiple||60 Months|
|Japan 5||E-2||Multiple||60 Months|
|Korea (South)||E-2||Multiple||60 Months|
|New Zealand||E-2||Multiple||60 Months|
|Slovak Republic||E-2||Multiple||24 Months|
|Sri Lanka||E-2||Multiple||36 Months|
|Trinidad & Tobago||E-2||Multiple||60 Months|
|United Kingdom||E-2||Multiple||60 Months|
Foreign nationals from certain countries are granted visas which are valid for a specific length of time. Namely, it is a validity time frame which specifies how long the visa holder has to enter the United States before their visa expires.
Period of Stay
Upon initial admission to the U.S. – provided the visa has not expired – the E-2 visa holder is permitted to live and work in the country for a duration of five years. If the E-2 investor, employer or employee desires to stay longer, he or she must apply for a renewal of their visa. When successfully granted, such employment-based visas are valid for up to two years, and there are no limitations on how many times the visa holder can renew.
Automatic Extension Period
Under normal circumstances, the Department of Homeland Security has allowed an automatic extension, ranging up to 180 days from the employment authorization expiry date. As of May 4, 2022, the DHS has temporarily increased this automatic extension which provides visa holders an additional 360 days, for a total of 540 days.
Conclusion of E-2 Visa Eligible Countries
Eighty out of the 195 recognized countries are eligible for E-2 visas. This means each of those countries have an international agreement with the United States. Such countries maintain commerce and navigation in/to the U.S., and are therefore referred to as treaty nations. Investors and employees alike are eligible for employment-based visas. This is, of course, based on the condition that either a 1. A substantial amount is or has been invested into a U.S.-based company, or 2. The employee is essentially skilled.
About 85% of eligible countries allow E-2 visa holders multiple entries to the U.S., while less than 1% are allowed to enter the country only once.
Depending on the treaty country, visa durations and entry/re-entries vary. For instance, E-2 visa holders from certain countries are granted visas lasting from 3 months and up to 5 years. Likewise, some are permitted to enter the United States once after receiving their E-2 visa, while others are authorized multiple re-entries.
Effective dates for some countries go back as far as the 1800s. A complete list of E-2 eligibility effective dates can be found on the U.S. Department of State treaty countries website.
For the time being, the DHS has increased the automatic extensions from 180 days to up to 540 days for qualified petitioners.
Frequently Asked Questions About E-2 Visa Eligible Countries (FAQs)
My country is not on the E-2 treaty country list, can I still get an E-2 visa?
Only foreigners from a treaty nation are eligible to receive an employment-based visa. Another option could be to invest or donate to other [eligible] countries in exchange for residency, or even citizenship.
What does treaty country mean when considering an E-2 visa in the U.S.?
This refers to commerce and navigation from the investor’s home country to and with the United States.
Do I have to live in my home country when I apply for the visa?
Foreign nationals from a treaty country do not need to currently live in their home country at the time of their E-2 visa application.
I got my E-2 visa, and want to hire employees for my business. Do they have to be from the same country as me to get their own E-2 visa?
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) treaty investor website, foreign employees must 1. Be from a treaty nation, and 2. Share the same nationality as their E-2 visa employer.
My E-2 visa is only valid for three months. Does that mean I can only stay in the United States for three months?
The validity time frame refers merely to the amount of time the visa holder has to enter the U.S., before their visa expires. After entering the United States, the visa holder can remain in the U.S. for two years. However, if the individual wishes to renew, he or she may apply for an extension of their visa, indefinitely. Renewals are granted in two-year intervals.