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Visas for the United States: the E2 visa

What you should know

The E2 visa, also known as “investor by treaty” is a visa designed to be able to send Spaniards to the United States to work in a subsidiary of our company to support their development.

The American company must be mostly Spanish capital and the people for whom we are going to process the visa must be Spanish.

The positions that they are going to process can be managerial or specialist.

It is very important to take into account that people do not need to have any minimum seniority with the Spanish company. They could be contracted to be shipped to the United States.

A minimum level of English is not required.

It is the ideal visa to send Spaniards to launch the business of a newly established subsidiary.

This visa can only be applied for while outside the United States, so we have to process it before traveling.

This visa has to be stamped in the passport, so the traveler will have to process an interview at the consular section of the United States Embassy in Madrid. The Barcelona consulate does not process visas.

Visas for the United States. The E2 visa.

Visa duration.

By duration of the visa we have to understand the period during which the visa is valid and therefore we can use it to travel.

In the case of the E2 visa , the duration of the visa will be two years.

Visas for the United States. The E2 visa.

Maximum stay allowed and number of entries and exits.

The maximum stay allowed in the country when one enters with an E2 visa is 2 years, although the final decision on how long we will be allowed to be in the country will be made by the border control officer who receives us upon arrival and who will stamp on the I-94.

Visas for the United States. The E2 visa.

Can it be extended?

This visa can be extended  for another two years.

Later you could try to obtain a green card.

Visas for the United States. The E2 visa.

Processing time

By processing time we have to understand the time it takes for the United States government to process an E2 visa.

The average processing time varies depending on the time of year but it can be calculated that it will be around 5 calendar days from the moment the interview is carried out.

The interview, depending on the work that the consular section of visas of the embassy has, can be given to us many months away. It can even happen in the event that, at the time of the request, there are no spaces available and we have to wait.

If the term is extended beyond what would be acceptable for our interests, there are cases in which it is possible to request an urgent interview.

We must take into account that the preparation of the documentation that is necessary to provide with each file is complex and its preparation may require many days, so it is advisable to start processing the E2 visa between 3 and 4 months before the need.

Visas for the United States. The E2 visa.

Processing fees

The official fee charged by the United States government for processing an E2 visa is 205 $.

These are other visas for the United States that may be of interest to you:

REMEMBER: any error in the management of your E2 visa can cause its denial, the delay in granting it and the consequent loss of both the trip and the fees.





These are the services we have for visas in the US..


EUA001 Business visa (ESTA)

The ESTA authorization is an electronic system that determines if travelers meet the requirements to enter the United States under the  Visa Waiver Program of the US Department of Homeland Security.

In principle, with the ESTA you can carry out all the activities that can be carried out with a type B1/B2 visa.

EUA002 Technical Assistance visa for 'after sales' activities

Although the B1 visa is properly a business visa, with this visa we can send Spanish workers to the US as long as the following circumstances apply:

That a Spanish company has sold some type of machinery, equipment or installation to an American company and that the sale contract contemplates that it is necessary to send personnel from Spain to manage said supply contract (commissioning, after sales, maintenance, etc.)

If they are going to manage a service contract, they will have to travel with a “B1 instead of H1B” type visa for highly qualified workers.

Although with the law in hand, a Spaniard could enter the US with an ESTA to carry out this type of activity, it is convenient, both from the migratory point of view and from the labor point of view, to apply for a visa.

This visa requires an interview at the US Embassy in Madrid.

On the day of the interview you will have to bring all the documents that support your request.

If you pass the interview, the embassy will keep your passport to return it to you a week later with the visa.

EUA003 Technical Assistance Visas for highly qualified workers

  • This type of visa, known as “H1 instead of H1B” is the one that must be processed for a highly qualified worker (university level) to carry out tasks related to a contract for the provision of services.
  • It would be the equivalent of an H1B visa, but in the case in which the worker is not going to receive any type of remuneration in the US or in Spain from an American source.
  • Must meet the following requirements: The employee must be a skilled worker and meet the “specialty occupation” requirement of a standard H1B visa.
  • Employee must have a degree equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree (if not, extensive professional experience will be required)
  • The employee must remain employed by the foreign company during their stay in the United States.
  • The employee cannot be paid directly by a US source (there is no rule against the customer paying the foreign company which in turn pays the employee or director)
  • Along with a fast processing time and relatively low cost, this visa in lieu of the H1B visa offers the flexibility to structure any project from a time point of view.
  • With this visa, any foreign company can send an employee to the United States to work with one of its clients or even with a US subsidiary or affiliate of the foreign parent.

EUA004 E2 visa. Treaty Investor (First Visa)

E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a worker from a country that has signed a trade agreement with the US to be admitted to the United States when a substantial amount of capital is invested in a US company.

It would also apply to certain employees of that person or of a qualifying business.

In order to opt for an E-2 type visa, the treaty investor must meet the following three points simultaneously:

      • Be a citizen of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
      • Have invested, or are actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a company in the United States.
      • Wanting to travel to the United States solely to develop and run the investment company. This is established by demonstrating ownership of at least 50% of the American company or having a management position from which to exercise operational control.

The capital must have been fully deposited and may have been in money or through the contribution of assets.

It is important to understand that a substantial amount of capital would be that considered:

a.- Substantial in relation to the total cost of buying an established company or establishing a new one.

b.-  Sufficient to ensure the financial commitment of the investor of the treaty with the successful operation of the company.

c.- Of adequate magnitude to support the probability that the investor will develop and run the company successfully. The lower the cost of the company, the greater the investment to be made, proportionally.

The investment firm cannot be considered “fringe”. A marginal business would be one that does not have the present or future ability to generate income sufficient to provide a minimum living for the treaty investor and their family.

Depending on the facts, a business may not be considered marginal even if it lacks the current ability to generate such revenue as long as the ability to generate such revenue is feasible within five years from the date the E-classification begins. 2 from the investor.

EUA006 L-1 Visa (with Blanket Permit)

The L-1 nonimmigrant classification allows Spanish companies to transfer a professional with specialized knowledge related to the interests of the company, to their offices in the United States.


This classification also allows a Spanish company that does not yet have an affiliated office in the United States to send an employee with specialized knowledge to the United States for the purpose of establishing an office.

L visas are divided into two categories: L-1As that are intended for managerial personnel and L-1Bs that are intended for qualified personnel.

The management of these visas has two clearly differentiated phases:

  • The first phase is managed in the US. L visas require prior authorization from USCIS. The request must be made by the American company on behalf of the worker. The American company must submit to USCIS an I-129 form with supporting documentation.
  • Once USCIS approves the visa, it issues a form I-797 with which the visa is processed at the United States embassy in Spain, where the worker must go with the corresponding documentation.

There is also the possibility of processing it entirely in the US requesting a change of immigration status (I-539).

If the company has processed what is known as a “Blanket Permit”, the visa management is greatly simplified since it will not be necessary to carry out the American phase.

Dependents should apply for an L-2 visa.

EUA007 L-2 visa

The L-2 visa is the visa that must be processed by the dependents of a traveler who has an L-1 (I-129). By dependents we mean women and children under 21 years of age.

Unmarried couples are not eligible for this visa.

With this visa, the children will be able to go to school without problems. However, in order to work, the spouse must request a work permit, his EAD (employment authorization document).

The visa can be obtained from Spain or once in the US by requesting a change of immigration status (I-539).

EUA008 Blanket Permit

The Blanket Permit is a permit granted by USCIS through which the open petition of possible type L visas is allowed.

In order for a company to obtain a “Blanket Permit” that would allow it to transfer workers from the Spanish company through the management of type L visas without the need to obtain prior approval from USCIS, the following circumstances must be met:

  • The petitioner and each of the qualifying organizations (group companies) are engaged in trade or provision of services.
  • The petitioner has an office in the United States that has been operating for a year or more.
  • The petitioner has three or more national and foreign branches, subsidiaries and affiliates

The petitioner along with the other companies in its group may, collectively, meet any of the following criteria:

  • Have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period.
  • Have US subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million.
  • Have a US workforce of at least 1,000 employees.

Approval of a blanket L petition does not guarantee that an employee will be granted the L-1B classification.

However, it does give the employer the flexibility to transfer eligible employees to the United States without having to file an individual petition with USCIS.

To qualify under the general application process, the employee who has specialized knowledge must also be a professional.

EUA009 NAFTA visa (NT)

The TN Visa was created after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 to facilitate the temporary transfer of professionals between Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Since January 1, 2004, procedures have been simplified for Mexicans by eliminating the requirement for petitions and requests for labor conditions. Mexican citizens must apply for a TN visa at the US Embassy in Mexico City or at any US Consulate. The US employer must provide the applicant with a Letter of Employment.

The letter must indicate that the position in question in the United States requires the hiring of a person with a professional capacity consistent with Chapter 16 of NAFTA, in schedule 1603, Appendix 1603.d.1.

As a summary, Mexican citizens with a job offer in one of the positions listed in NAFTA are candidates for the TN visa.

The profession is recognized in NAFTA, and that the applicant meets the specific criteria for that profession, and the prospective position requires someone with that professional capacity, and that the applicant will be working for a US employer.

The Letter of Intern or the Diploma are not considered “Degrees” for the purposes of NAFTA, only the professional title is considered valid under NAFTA for this procedure. The title must meet the requirements demanded by the SEP.

If all these conditions are met, then the TN visa can be issued.


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