How to Obtain US Visa as A Turkish Citizen

The Turkish citizenship programme is a great choice for foreign investors who want a direct route to relocate to the United States of America. By becoming a citizen of Turkey through the Turkish Citizenship by Investment programme, applicants can subsequently submit their E2 application to the US.

What is the E2 Visa?

The E2 non-immigrant visa is a right granted only to citizens of countries that are parties to the agreement. Turkey became a member of this treaty in May 1990, and thus, by becoming a member, all Turkish citizens over the age of 18 (including those who obtained Turkish citizenship via the investment programme) can obtain the visa in the United States which is renewable indefinitely.

The E2 Visa grants the investor the right to live and invest in the United States if the applicant establishes a business or becomes a partner or takes over a business that exists in the United States. Requirements for the E2 investor visa are as follows:

  • Being a national of a country that is a member of the treaty (as we have stated earlier, Turkey became a party to this treaty in May 1990.)
  • Investing and committing a substantial amount in the USA; although the amount varies depending on the sector.
  • The investor must be the owner of a business, a partner with a minimum share of 50% or a member of staff working in an important position.

Benefits of the E2 visa

  • As a result of the investment, the applicant earns the legal right to work in the USA.
  • There is no minimum investment amount that is required.
  • There is no numeral limit for renewing the E2 visa (it can be renewed unlimited times as long as the conditions are maintained).
  • The applicant’s spouse and children are entitled to apply for an E2 visa with him or her.
  • After the necessary procedures are carried out for the applicant’s spouse, it is possible to obtain a work permit (EAD work permit card).
  • It is possible to obtain an E2 dependent visa for the applicant’s children under the age of 21 and thus, a preferred school can be attended.

How to apply

The applicant who obtained Turkish citizenship, in as little as 3 months with the Turkish Citizenship by Investment programme, which is one of the fastest-resulting citizenship programmes, also has the right to apply for an E2 visa. As a Turkish citizen, E2 visa applications can be made through USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) in the United States or through the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Consulate in Ankara.

If the application is made through the US Consulate General or Embassy in Turkey, an interview date will be given within 6 weeks. In this interview, the applicant will explain his or her investment goals, and try to convince the interviewer by expressing why he or she wants to invest in America. The interviewer will ask the applicant questions about the details of the business plan in particular. If the documents are complete and the interview is successful, the E2 visa can be obtained.In the case of insufficiency, additional time may be given to the applicant.

If the applicant’s English is not as proficient or they do not feel comfortable while speaking English or attending interviews, applying through USCIS will be a better option. This is because there are no interviews on applications made through USCIS.

Another key advantage of applying for an E2 visa through USCIS is the speed of the process – applications made through USCIS are received within 2-3 weeks. However, if applying through USCIS, applicants will have an E2 status, not an E2 visa. This means that the applicant must remain in the US for 2 years and continue their work uninterrupted during this period. If the applicant leaves the United States for any reason within these 2 years, it is not possible to return to the country under this status. In this case, the applicant will go to the Consulate in Ankara and obtain a visa by participating in the interview, and will then be able to return to the United States.

Author: Sinem Ulusoy