Treaty Investor (E-2) Company Registration

Companies seeking Treaty Investor status pursuant to the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation must be majority-owned by Japanese citizens and individual employees must be Japanese citizens to qualify for this visa. Approval and registration of the company with the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or the U.S. Consulate General in Osaka is required prior to issuance of an E visa.  Even if an applicant has received a change of status to E-2 from the Department of Homeland Security United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States, he/she is required to register the company in Japan. Companies that have not been registered for Treaty Investor (E-2) status should follow the steps below, submitting sufficient documentation to prove that your company meets each criteria.

If your company is registered, see here.

Step-by-Step Application Procedure Guide:

Step 1:  Review the E Visa General Information for Treaty Traders & Treaty Investors to determine whether the company and investment meet the requirements for Treaty Investor (E-2) status.

Step 2:  Log-in to our online applicant system and create a profile.  After you have paid the visa application fee, save your 12 digit receipt number for your records.
* Please DO NOT MAKE AN APPOINTMENT at this point, the Embassy/Consulate will inform the E visa applicant or the company representative when the review is complete and the appointment can be scheduled.

Step 3:  Applications must be submitted in a binder divided into sections clearly separated by lettered or numbered tabs. Only submit additional documents if they are essential to the application. English translations must be attached to all documents which are in a foreign language.  Applications not complying with the format will experience a delay in processing.

Note: The company name on the DS-156E must be exactly the same name which has been registered at the state government. The company name (including space and comma) should not be omitted.

Step 4:  You will be notified of your interview appointment by us via e-mail or fax.  Please wait until you hear from us.

Table of Contents

This table must identify the documents provided and their respective location within the application as provided in the tab sequence set out here below.

Table of Contents
Tab 1:  Cover letter
Tab 2:  Forms
Tab 3:  Applicant Information
Tab 4:  Nationality of the Enterprise
Tab 5:  Investment
Tab 6:  Real and Operating
Tab 7:  Marginality

Tab 1

Cover letter describing the enterprise in the U.S. and the beneficiary (position and qualifications).

This letter must address all requirements for E visa eligibility as defined by the Foreign Affairs Manual 9 FAM 402.9. Specifically, the letter must address how the applicant will demonstrate that he/she meets all requirements under 9 FAM 402.9 including:

  • The requisite treaty exists (9 FAM 402.9-4)
  • The individual and/or business possesses the nationality of the treaty country (9 FAM 402.9-7)
  • The applicant has invested or is in the process of investing (9 FAM 402.9-6(B))
  • The enterprise is a real and operating commercial enterprise (9 FAM 402.9-6(C))
  • The applicant’s investment is substantial (9 FAM 402.9-6(D))
  • The investment is more than a marginal one solely for earning a living (9 FAM 402.9-6(E))
  • The applicant is in a position to “develop and direct” the enterprise (9 FAM 402.9-6(F))
  • The applicant, if an employee, is destined to an executive/supervisory position or possesses skills essential to the firm’s operations in the United States (9 FAM 402.9-7)
  • The applicant intends to depart the United States when the E-2 status terminates (9 FAM 402.9-4(C))
Tab 2 Forms

  • DS-160 Confirmation page
  • Copy of visa application fee receipt (If you pay your visa application fee by Pay-easy ATM, please submit a copy of the payment receipt.  If you pay the fee  by a credit card, please print out the page showing a 12 digit receipt number. )

*Create a profile and pay the visa application fee. Please do not schedule an interview appointment. Close the calendar screen after completing the payment. Applicants will not be interviewed until the company registration review is completed. The Embassy/Consulate will instruct the applicant to schedule an interview appointment after finishing the review of the registration documents.

  • Color photo:  5cm x 5cm photo with a white background, taken within the last six months.
  • Form DS-156E Part I, II & III (Type “156” in the Keyword field to search the form):  Contact information must include an e-mail address.
  • G-28 (PDF 450KB):  “Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative”, including contact e-mail address, fax number, and phone number should also be submitted if applicable.
Tab 3

Applicant Information

For all applicants, the following should be included:

  • A color photocopy of data (photo) page of passport
  • Corporate organizational chart of your US company showing how the applicant’s position fits into the organization
  • Detailed resume including references with contact information
  • Relevant diplomas, job training certificates, and/or letters from previous employers
  • Signed statement of intent to depart the US upon termination of status
  • A copy of I-797 (any changes or extensions of status granted by USCIS)
  • Marriage certificate//family registry (as applicable)
Tab 4

Nationality of the Enterprise (9 FAM 402.9-4(B))

Examples include:

  • Articles of Incorporation or Organization
  • By-Laws
  • Minutes of the meeting
  • Stock certificates and stock ledger
  • Detailed list of owners of the enterprise and what percentage each owns
  • A copy of the most recent trading information on the stock for the Japanese parent company showing the percentage of stocks held by Japanese Owners (e.g. Tokyo Stock Exchange). If not listed, please submit a detailed statement about the nationality of affiliated companies, passport copies of majority shareholders, etc.
Tab 5

Investment (9FAM 402.9-6)

If you are establishing a start-up, please provide all of the following that apply:

Examples include:

  • Proof of origination of the investment funds (evidence to show the origination of all funds used to pay for the enterprise. Explain the source of the funds and reason for receiving such funds. The evidence should include copies of all original wire transfers from overseas or domestic bank accounts.)
  • Evidence that funds were actually committed.
      1. Please create a list of investments showing the date, invoice number, investment items, cancelled checks number, wire transfer date, etc.
      2. Evidence of payments: Copy of cancelled checks with bank statements showing matching debits. (Highlighted)

If you are buying a pre-existing business, please provide the following to support your case:

Examples include:

  • Letter of Intent
  • Valuation analysis of business assets
  • Pre-existing business’ federal income taxes (U.S. tax forms must be copies of the signed and dated forms actually submitted to the IRS)
  • Business licenses
  • Lease or purchase of property contracts
  • Photographs of the pre-existing business premises
  • Bill of sale
  • Escrow documents (Submit copies of final escrow documents used to purchase the pre-existing business. Include all copies of the investor’s cancelled money orders or personal, business or cashier’s checks that have been certified by the bank or financial entity from which the funds were paid and used to deposit funds in the escrow account)

Demonstrate the applicant has invested or is in the process of investing:

Examples include:

  • Evidence of payments (submit legible copies of all of the treaty investor’s cancelled money orders, or personal, business, or cashier’s checks/front & back that have been certified by the bank or financial entity from which the funds were paid. Also, submit legible copies of all of the investor’s bank statements showing checking/savings account transactions to substantiate that the applicant’s funds were actually committed to the Treaty Investment).
  • Signed, dated, valid lease or purchase for business premises, including evidence of payments
  • Business licenses/permits
Tab 6

Real and Operating (9 FAM 402.9-6(C))

This element may be demonstrated by the submission of items such as:

  • Annual reports (a website link may be submitted if available online)
  • Sales literature (a website link may be submitted if available online)
  • News articles
  • Business invoices with corresponding bank accounts showing payment
  • Receipts for the purchases of business equipment or inventory
  • Other documents tending to show the enterprise is producing some service or commodity
  • Pictures of the business premises and equipment
Tab 7

Marginality (9 FAM 402.9-6(E))

Demonstrate the investment is more than a marginal one solely for earning a living.

  • Independent (non-consolidated) Financial Statements for the past three years.
  • U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax returns for the past three years (U.S. tax forms must be copies of the signed and dated forms actually submitted to the IRS)
  • Most recent IRS W-2 forms for all employees
  • Business Plan – New business (The plan should include specific details as to the business to be conducted, and one, three, and five-year projections for business expenses, sales, gross income and profits or losses)


For a list of other suggested documentation, please see the 9 FAM 402.9-11

Please note the following when submitting your registration documents:

  • New company registrations are processed at the Embassy in Tokyo or at the Consulate in Osaka using the same procedures and criteria.  You should submit your application packet to the nearest convenient location to minimize your travel time and expense on the date of your visa interview.  Your visa interview will be conducted at the location to which you submitted your application packet.

Applications should be sent to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo at:  U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Non-immigrant Visa Branch, E visa section, 1-10-5, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420

Applications should be sent to the U.S. Consulate General in Osaka:  U.S. Consulate General Osaka-Kobe, Visa Branch, 2-11-5, Nishitenma, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8543

    • Please send your documents using a LetterPack Plus, or via registered mail so that you may track the delivery of the documents.
    • In cases where it is necessary to protect the confidentiality of documentation, please provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope together with the new application package should you wish it to be returned directly to the company/corporate lawyer. Unless this is otherwise provided, we will return the registration package to the applicant at the time of his/her interview.
    • The Embassy/Consulate will inform the E visa applicant or the company representative when the review is complete and the appointment can be scheduled. Processing time for the review of properly filed treaty trader registration applications takes several weeks. Incomplete applications may be subject to processing delays, so please review the above listed requirements carefully before submitting your application.

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