In acknowledging the role that immigrants play in expanding economic opportunities, USCIS created initiatives to support foreign investors and entrepreneurs. Options for investors and entrepreneurs in the United States include:
Traders and Investors (E-1 & E-2 Visas) – Entrepreneurs who wish to purchase or establish businesses in the United States, or individuals who trade goods between the U.S. and their home country may qualify to come to the United States to grow and develop a business.
Over the years, the U.S. has signed treaties with most of the other countries in the world, in particular treaties of “Friendship, Commerce and Navigation.” These treaties are designed to promote trade and investment between the U.S. and the other contracting state, thereby encouraging good relations and peace. The U.S. has also entered into a number of Bilateral Investment Treaties with additional countries, mostly former communist states. These treaties are designed to promote investment but do not generally confer trade-related immigration privileges.
Nationals (individuals or companies) of countries with applicable Treaties with the U.S. are eligible to apply for E-1 Treaty Trade and E-2 Treaty Investor status to work in the U.S. in order to develop and direct their investment in and/or trade with the U.S.
Current information on eligible countries can be found on the State Department website.