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E-2 Treaty Investor Visa- Questions on Dual & Acquired Nationality

By: Angelita Chavez | March 07, 2023

By: Jioselin Juarez Contreras 

Individuals from countries the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation with, may be eligible for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. In order to qualify, the applicant must be coming to the United States solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the individual has invested a substantial amount of capital, or to work in the enterprise as an executive, supervisor, or essentially skilled employee.

Typically, an individual applying for an E-2 treaty investor visa will have a single citizenship, in other words they will be a national of the country they are applying from. However, if the applicant posses more than one nationality or dual citizenship, they may have a few options to apply for an E-2 visa.  

  1. If there is more than one treaty of commerce & navigation with the U.S. applicable to the applicant.

If an individual has more than one nationality, and all the nationalities he or she holds have a treaty with the U.S. then the individual can select which nationality he or she will use when applying for the E-2 treaty investor visa. 

However, it is important to find out if there are any differences in visa reciprocity between each nationality. As an E-2 visa may be issued for a shorter duration between different nationalities. For example, Turkey issues E-2 visa validity for 60 months while Egypt issues E-2 visa validity for 3 months. Therefore, it is recommended, applicants consider all their options when deciding which nationality to use for their E-2 visa.

  1. An individual that has more than one nationality and only one treaty of commerce & navigation with the U.S. applies to the applicant. 

If an individual has more than one nationality but only one of the nationalities has a treaty with the U.S., then the individual must apply and enter the U.S. on that nationality. However, a factor to consider for a person filing a change of status later in the U.S. is what nationality did the person enter the U.S. with. Therefore, if the person entered the U.S. under the nationality that does not have a E-2 treaty with the U.S., then the person cannot file a change of status, and rather will need to file their E-2 visa application at a U.S. Consulate. 

As of Dec. 23, 2022, the eligibility criteria for E visas was updated,  and individuals who obtained their nationality through a financial investment, may need additional documentation to show that they have been domiciled in the treaty country for a continuous period of at least 3 years at any point before applying for E-2 classification. For example, through its Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program, Turkey allows foreigners who buy a certain amount of real estate in Turkey to receive Turkish Citizenship for themselves and their families approximately 3 months after filing. This type of citizenship does not meet the requirements for an E-2 visa. Therefore, it is important to verify if your nationality meets the requirements for an E-2 treaty investor visa.

For any questions regarding the E-2 treaty investor visa, please contact your trusted Chugh, LLP immigration professional

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