Indian nationals are not eligible to apply for E-2 investor US visa directly as India and US does not have bilateral treaty agreement. One way to qualify for E-2 is to become a citizen of second country (eg. Grenada, Turkey) and then apply at US consulate abroad. Other countries can also be Turkey, Macedonia, Jordan. The cheapest route is through the Caribbean country of Grenada with the minimum possible investment. It is also possible through Turkey, Montenegro as these countries require higher investment ceiling.
The Rules for E-2 visa has been tightened by USCIS with new regulations implemented from Dec 2022. USCIS may request additional documentation related to how the applicant obtained treaty country nationality to ensure compliance. USCIS may require additional documentation to show that the applicant has been domiciled in the treaty country indicated in the application for a continuous period of at least 3 years at any point before applying for E-1 or E-2 classification.
To qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:
- Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
- Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States; and
- Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.
The E2 visa is an investment visa for investors and entrepreneurs allow you to start a business or purchase an existing business in the US and work for that business. You must know that E-2 is a non-immigrant visa issued for two years with short waiting times compared to Eb-5 investment which takes years of waiting for approval due to backlogs. It is also possible to switch from E-2 to EB-5 visa status at later states.
Here are the steps to qualify for E-2 visa for Indian passport holders..
- Apply for Grenada citizenship by investment (It will cost you approx $150,000 donation plus additional costs for one person). you can also invest in real estate Five star Intercontinental hotel for $220,000 which recoverable.
- Become a citizen of Grenada and acquire passport. (Approx takes 3-4 months)
- Spend 3 years of living in Grenada to qualify.
- Invest in US company (atleast $50,000) creating jobs (1-2 months)
- Apply for E-2 (investor) visa at any US consulate abroad (You will probably need US attorney and we can refer you one). Processing times vary (2 weeks to 4 months)
- Immigrate to US on E-2 visa
- Change your visa status to Immigrant status to apply for Green card after 5 years.
- Apply for US citizenship with your green card.
Note: Indian nationals must do careful planning as holding dual citizenship not allowed in India. One way is renounce indian citizenship or apply for OCI. We tell clients to seek legal advise from your immigration lawyers in India and US.
All in all you should be ready to spend atleast $250,000 if you want to take Grenada passport and E-2 visa route which is much quicker and faster compared to the EB-5 route. You can expect the combined Grenada E-2 visa process to take atleast six months depending on where you apply.
Disclaimer: The above is general information and does not qualify as immigration advice. Please contact us and we will provide you a lawyer who can provide highly qualified advice depending on your situation.