Foreign investors who invest in a substantial amount of capital in a US enterprise, and who will develop and direct the enterprise, may apply for E2 visas if their country of citizenship has the required treaty with the US.
If the investor is inside the US, he or she may apply to the USCIS for a change of status, extension of stay, or change of employment. The E2 category does not require a petition for employment if the investor is outside of the US. In that case, the investor may apply for the E2 visa on his or her own behalf directly to a US consular office abroad.
The investment involved must be lawfully acquired, owned, and controlled capital at commercial risk with a profit objective, and be subject to loss if the investment fails.
Holders of E visas may reside in the United States as long as they continue to maintain their status with the enterprise.