Essential Employee vs. Manager Qualifying for E-2 Visa?

Investors applying for E-2 Investor Visas can bring their employees to the U.S. if the requirements for “Essential Employee” or “Executive/Supervisor” are met. We need to distinguish between both terms.

Who is an Essential Employee for E-2 Visa purposes?

Essential employee is somebody who holds a specialized knowledge and whose services are essential for a successful operation of the business enterprise. Such person could be working for the parent company abroad or just hold certain specialized knowledge/skills. Don’t confuse the E-2 essential employee with L1B intra-company transferee since L1B requirements are quite different.

Read more about L1B here. 

Basically the burden of the proof to establish that the employee is the Essential Employee is on the Applicant/Company. Often the resumes, the payroll, employment contracts with the Company serve this purpose. Also, consider factors such as salary, degree, uniqueness of specialized skills and experience.

Who qualifies for Supervisory/Executive position?

When talking about Supervisor/Manager consider the following aspects: level of control in the company, responsibility, number of skilled employees that will be supervised by the Manager, and salary. If the position is primarily focusing on day to day activities and secondarily managing low level employees, then the position isn’t considered managerial in its nature. Supervisor primarily needs to supervise and manage other skilled workers in order to be considered as a Manager.

Title as a Manager or Supervisor may be of value as long as the person is literally supervising other skilled employees. But if he is coming to manage only an office that employs only a couple of persons and holds the title of Manager/Supervisor, he will not be considered as a Manager for purposes of E-2 Visa.

Watch our video about E-2 Visa here. 

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