How to go from E2 visa to Green card

While the E2 visa itself does not provide a direct pathway or automatic route to a green card, it is possible to transition from an E2 visa to a green card (permanent residency) in the United States through various pathways. Below you will find several ways in which individuals may potentially obtain a green card:

In this article you will find 10 ways for you to upgrade from E2 visa to green card.

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Executive Overview:

1. Brief introduction of the E2 Visa

  • Overview of the E2 Visa Requirements
  • Details of what it means that the E2 Visa is a Non-Immigrant Visa
  • How to go from an E2 Visa to Green Card
  • The E2 Visa “Intent to Depart” Requirement

2. 10 ways to move from an E2 Visa to Green Card.

  • EB-5 Visa
  • Company Sponsored Green Card
  • EB-1 Visa if you have an Extraordinary Ability
  • National Interest Waiver
  • Marriage-Based Green Card


1. Introduction to the E2 Visa

The E2 visa, often regarded as an essential gateway for investors and entrepreneurs from treaty countries, presents an unparalleled opportunity to establish and oversee businesses within the United States. Designed to promote commerce and foster international relationships, this non-immigrant visa classification allows individuals to invest substantial capital in U.S.-based enterprises. Through this avenue, visa holders and their families can partake in the dynamic landscape of American entrepreneurship while contributing to the nation’s economy. The E2 visa not only facilitates temporary residence but also serves as a platform for innovation, economic growth, and cross-cultural exchange, embodying the spirit of bilateral cooperation and entrepreneurial endeavor.

The E2 visa offers the following benefits:

  • U.S. Business Investment Opportunity: E2 visa holders can manage businesses in various sectors, promoting economic growth and entrepreneurship in the U.S.


  • Flexible Investment Amounts: While requiring a substantial investment, there’s no fixed minimum amount, allowing for flexibility in the type and scale of businesses eligible for the visa.


  • Multiple Entries and Duration: E2 visa holders can enter and exit the U.S. frequently as long as the visa remains valid, enabling flexibility in managing their businesses and personal affairs.


  • Employment Authorization for Dependents: Spouses and unmarried children under 21 can accompany E2 visa holders to the U.S. and receive work authorization, providing additional opportunities for the family.


  • Renewable Status: The E2 visa can be extended indefinitely, as long as the business continues to operate and meets the visa requirements, allowing sustained involvement in business activities.


  • Education and Healthcare Access: E2 visa holders and their families can access quality education and healthcare facilities within the United States.


  • No Specific Job Creation Mandate: While the visa doesn’t mandate job creation, the investment should generate income and potentially create employment opportunities.


  • Potential for Permanent Residency: Although the E2 visa itself doesn’t lead directly to a green card, successful business operations may provide avenues for other immigrant visa options leading to permanent residency.


  • Fast Processing Times: Compared to some other visa categories, the E2 visa application process tends to be faster, facilitating quicker entry into the U.S. and commencement of business activities.


In order to obtain an E2 visa, the investor must:


  1. Make a Substantial Investment: The applicant must invest a significant amount of capital in a bona fide U.S. enterprise. While there’s no specific minimum investment amount, it should be substantial enough to ensure the success and viability of the business.

  2. Ownership or Control: The investor must demonstrate either ownership of the U.S. enterprise or control through at least 50% ownership, operational control through a managerial position, or possession of operational rights in the business.

  3. Business Must Be Non-Marginal: The business should have the capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the investor and their family or to make a significant economic impact.

  4. Intent to Depart: The applicant must demonstrate an intent to depart the United States once the E-2 status expires. This can be shown through the existence of ties to their home country, a clear business plan, or other means.

  5. Source of Funds: Documentation demonstrating the legitimate source of the investment funds is required to prove that the capital was obtained through legal means.

  6. Meet Health and Character Requirements: Applicants must undergo a medical examination (if required) and provide police clearance certificates or other documents demonstrating good character.

And importantly the investor must have the nationality of a country that has entered into an e2 treaty. Both Germany and Japan have such treaties.

e2 visa to green card
e2 visa for investors

Application process from E2 Visa to Green Card

In order to convert your E2 visa, you must apply for an immigrant visa. As always there are 2 recognized options:

  • Consular processing via a US Consulate abroad
  • Adjustment of status within the United States

Immigrant Visa Application at a US Consulate (Also known as Consular Processing)

  • You will apply at a United States Consulate abroad and wait for the National Visa Center to process your visa application.
  • You will be scheduled for an interview at the Consulate.

Adjustment of Status

  • You will apply from within the US if you are in current lawful status
  • This is called adjustment of status
  • While your application is processing, you do not have to leave the United States.

2. 8 Options for upgrading from E2 Visa to Green Card.

Below are ten potential pathways for transitioning from an E2 visa to an EB-5 green card:

  • Investment Enhancement: Increase the investment in the existing E2 business to meet the requirements of the EB-5 program. Elevate the business to qualify as a new commercial enterprise creating the necessary jobs.

As of November 2023 the requirements for an EB5 investment are $800,000 for infrastructure or targeted employment area (TEA) projects, and $1,050,000 for all other projects.

  • Start a New Business: Establish a new commercial enterprise that meets EB-5 requirements, such as investing the required capital and creating a specified number of jobs for U.S. workers.

The EB5 investment does not need to come from the initial E2 company. It can also be an entirely new business.

  • Regional Center Investment: Invest additional funds in an EB-5 Regional Center project that is designated to create jobs within targeted employment areas or rural regions, meeting the EB-5 criteria.


  • Job Creation within E2 Business: Expand the E2 business operations to generate the requisite jobs for U.S. workers, aligning with the job creation criteria of the EB-5 program.

  • Marriage to a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident: If the E2 visa holder marries a U.S. citizen or green card holder, they may become eligible for a green card through family-based sponsorship and adjust their status from e2 visa to green card.


  • Employment-Based Green Card (EB-2 or EB-3): Securing a job offer from a U.S. employer willing to sponsor the visa holder for an employment-based green card (EB-2 or EB-3) based on their qualifications and job role.


  • Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A): Demonstrate extraordinary abilities in their field, allowing them to qualify for an EB-1A employment-based green card for individuals with extraordinary abilities.


  • National Interest Waiver (EB-2 NIW): Pursue an EB-2 National Interest Waiver green card based on their exceptional abilities or significant contributions that are in the national interest of the United States.


Consultation with Immigration Attorney: Seek guidance from an experienced immigration attorney to explore other viable pathways and navigate the complexities of transitioning from an E2 visa to green card based on your individual circumstances.

Resources used in this article:


The material in this post represents general information and should not be deemed legal advice. Any use of the website DOES NOT create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between German American Real Estate & Immigration Law Center, LLC (law firm) or any employee of or other person associated with the law firm and a user of this website. It is intended as an educational resource for
understanding the laws. Since the law is continually changing, some parts of this website may become outdated before the next update. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities regarding your particular case.