What If I am Not From An E-2 Treaty Country? Are There Visa Options for People who are not from an E-2 Visa Country?

An E-2 visa is an investor visa granted to investors or entrepreneurs who want to start or buy a business in the U.S.. If you are a national of one of the E-2 Visa Treaty Countries and you are interested in launching a startup or purchasing a business in the United States, the E-2 Treaty Investor visa may be a great option for you.


To find out more about the E-2 visa requirements, click here.


If you are a national of a country that is not on the list of Treaty Countries, you still have other options. Here are a few nonimmigrant and immigrant visa options: (For more information on any of these visas click on the hyperlinks for the visa type).

Nonimmigrant Visas

  • F-1 Student: This visa allows the applicant to enter the U.S. as a full-time student at a government accredited and authorized college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. The program or course of study must culminate in a degree, diploma or certificate.

I am a Foreign Student on an F-1 Visa. How will the New STEM-OPT Extension Rule Affect Me?


  • H-1B: This visa allows foreign workers in specialty occupations to work for a U.S. employer. The foreign worker must have a Bachelor’s degree or higher and may work for the company for up to six years. This visa permits dual intent, which means that the applicant may apply for a green card while in the U.S. without running into problems.

Can I get work authorization as the spouse of an H-1B visa holder? Can I work if my spouse has an H-1B visa and has applied for an immigrant visa?

Who Has To Pay H-1B Fees? Does an Employer Have to Pay H-1B Fees?

H-1B Visa When You Are Self-Employed or Have an Ownership Interest in the Company


  • L-1: This visa is available to employees of international companies with offices in both the U.S. and abroad. It permits foreign workers to relocate to the company’s U.S. office to work in the U.S. company as an executive, manager or in a specialized knowledge capacity after having worked abroad for the company for at least one year. This visa also permits dual intent.

What is an L Visa & How Can I Use One To Start A Business In The U.S.?

Do I Need a Business Plan to get an L-1 Visa?

How is an L-1A visa for a new office different than a regular L-1A visa application?


  • O-1: This visa is for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics or individuals who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. An O-1 visa is similar to the EB-1 visa described below but it is a non-immigrant visa so it does not lead to a green card.

How Exceptional Is Exceptional? The O-1A & O-1B Visa Described


  • TN: TN Visa stands for the Trade National Visa established as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, the United States and Mexico. This visa permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens who already have a job offer at a U.S. company to work in the U.S. in a professional capacity. Your profession must be on the TN visa list to be eligible.

Does My Employer Have to Sponsor me for a TN Visa? Does a TN Visa require Sponsorship?

TN Visa – A “Simple” and “Fast-Track” Visa for Canadians & Mexicans


Immigrant Visas (Green Cards)

  • EB-1: This visa allows the following categories of people to permanently immigrate to the U.S.: persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; multinational manger or executives. An individual with extraordinary ability does not require an employer so an applicant in this category can self-petition.

The Evidentiary Criteria EB-1 – Extraordinary Ability Green Card


  • EB-2: An employer can sponsor you for a green card where the applicant either has experience or an advanced degree. This usually requires company sponsorship and that the company go through a process where they must prove that they cannot find a qualified U.S. worker (Labor Certification or PERM).  For exceptional talent, company sponsorship is not required and an applicant can self-petition by filing a national interest waiver petition.
  • EB-3: A company must sponsor the applicant but the applicant does not need an advanced degree. This visa requires a Labor Certification and a permanent, full-time job offer.

Adjustment of Status to Green Card The Three Steps to Obtain An Employment Based Green Card (EB-2, EB-3)


  • EB-5: Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card if they invest $500,000 to $1,000,000 in a business or project and this investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs. This program may be undergoing significant changes. Please stay tuned as we monitor these developments and keep you updated.

What is Happening to the EB-5 Investor Visa Program? How Will the Reauthorization Affect Foreign Nationals Who Want to Invest in the United States?

How Does Source of Funds for EB-5 Work?

Can an EB-5 Investment be Based on a Loan or Gift?


If you have any questions about  E-2 visas, L-1A visas, H-B or any other immigration related question, please click here to schedule a consultation.

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For more practical information and legal advice on EB-5, E-2 and other visas, contact Scott Legal, P.C. Call 212-223-2964 or email info@legalservicesincorporated.com for a consultation.

Angela Antonia Torregoza, Esq. is an Associate Attorney at Scott Legal, P.C. She can be reached at 212-223-2964 or by email at info@legalservicesincorporated.com.


This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising.  Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed.  Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results.  Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.


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