Similar to the E-1 visa, the E-2 visa is for citizens of treaty countries have a treaty with the United States. The E-2 visa allows foreigners who have made an investment in the United States to reside in the United States for business purposes and to promote employment in the United States. So, the larger the investment, the easier it is to get a visa if you hire more permanent residents or citizens of the United States. Certain employees of companies with E-2 qualifications may also be eligible for an E-2 visa if they qualify. E-2 visa holders will receive 2 year period of stay upon entry to the United States, with an unlimited extension of their status in 2 year increments if business continues and conditions are met. Spouses of E-2 visa holders can work with a work permit.
You can apply for an E-2 visa through the U.S. Embassy in Korea or by changing your status while staying in the U.S. with another visa. However, if you change your status during your stay in the United States, you must apply for a visa through the embassy in Korea again when traveling abroad.
Investors as individuals, partnerships or legal entities must hold the nationality of the treaty country. If it is a business entity, at least 50% of the business entity must be owned by a treaty country national. Furthermore, a substantial amount of capital must be invested in a bona fide enterprise in the United States. A substantial amount of capital is sufficient enough to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise or of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher the investment must be to be considered substantial.