Investment for Non-Treaty Countries

Posted on November 28, 2006 by Warren Wen | Category: Immigration

Investing From Countries That Do Not Have Treaties With The US

The previous article introduced how foreign investors can enter into the U.S. market and which types of visa are available for the foreign investors.  Here is another question asked by a confused foreign investor.

Mr. Li asked:

I have an architecture business in P.R.China. Currently, I am considering an investment in the U.S.  After I read your previous articles, I am still confused about which countries have investment treaty with the U.S. Is China included in those countries? If it is not on the list, how can I enter the U.S. market? Is it really impossible for me to apply for E-2 visa?


In general, there are three ways to enter the U.S. market. They are investment immigration (EB-5), L-1A visa for managers or executives in the multinationals and E-2 visa for treaty investors. Since EB-5 application bears more risk, usually we do not recommend this one to the investors unless the investor is very rich and has abundant fund and strong intent of immigration.  Then we are left with L and E-2 visa.

E2 visa gears to citizens of foreign countries that have investment treaty with the U.S.  These countries and regions are: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador ,Egypt , Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia , Germany ,Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Ireland ,Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg , Mexico, Moldova , Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan , Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal ,Slovak Rep, Spain , Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey ,Ukraine, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.

Since there is no investment treaty between the U.S. and P.R.China, investors who come from P.R.China are not qualified for E-2 visa. If those investors want to enter into the U.S. market, L-1A visa may be more suitable.

However, that is not to say that all investors come from P.R.China are not qualified for E-2 visa. In fact, a lot of investors have come from P.R.China by first obtaining the citizenship of Canada, Australia, or other nations that have investment treaty with the U.S. If these Chinese investors who have first obtained the citizenship from a country that has investment treaty with the U.S. want to invest in the United States, E-2 visa would still be available for them.

In Mr. Li’s situation, it may be better for him to apply for L visa.  But, he would be qualified for E-visa as well, if he became a citizen of one of those countries that have investment treaty with the U.S.

This article is only for your reference. Please do not apply mechanically to any exact cases. You are welcome to consult our attorneys at Liu & Associates, P.C. For contact information, please click here.