The US E-2 investor visas associated with golden visa have become recently a hot topic, asked by a number of property investors from India, China etc, as these country nationals are directly ineligible to apply for E-2 visas to United States. If you want to take a golden visa route it is important to note only after becoming a citizen you will qualify for E-2 (not as a resident). Secondly, only few countries that offer golden visa that have E-2 treaty agreement signed with United States. Be aware most popular golden visa programs in Portugal, Malta and Greece do not yet have E-2 visa agreements with US. It does not make sense apply for golden visas in these countries if you are after E-2 visa. Spain, Ireland do have direct treaty.

E-2 visas require atleast $50,000 investment in the US with the prospect of creation of atleast three jobs. This type of visa belong to non-immigrant category and issued for 2 years, does not directly lead to green card (switching required). This can be a perfect alternative backup plan to EB-5 which takes years of waiting.

Only these countries that have active golden visa programs have E-2 agreement signed with US.

Golden VisaE-1 (trader)/E-2 (investor) Treaty agreement
PortugalApproved E-11/E-2
GreeceE-1 only
MaltaNot Available
New ZealandE-1/E-2
Sri LankaE-2

Source: State Department

Golden visas offer a path to citizenship after five years in many countries by naturalization (residency to citizenship). If your ultimate aim is to become a european citizen and then immigrating to US by investing, follow these important steps. This way you can access for EU/US citizenship.

  • Apply for Golden visa
  • Receive your long term residence permit.
  • Apply for permanent residency
  • Apply for EU Citizenship
  • Secure your EU Passport
  • Prepare your plan for E-2 visa
  • Switch your visa category (immigrant category)
  • Become US permanent Resident
  • Become US citizen

Direct Citizenship

If you dont have any patience to wait and want direct citizenship within few months, be sure to consider CBI programs in Grenada, Turkey, or Montenegro. These are the ONLY countries do have both E-2 agreement also a citizenship by investment program. This will cut down times waiting for citizenship will accelerate your steps towards E-2 goal. The Grenada path is the cheapest one.

 Citizenship by Investment (CBI)Visa Treaty
North MacedoniaE-1/E-2

Note: It is important to receive a proper highly qualified immigration advice from a US lawyer before you initiate the process.