E-2 Visa: CNMI-Only Investor

The CNMI-Only Investor (E-2) visa classification allows foreign, long-term investors to remain lawfully present in the CNMI through December 2014 while they resolve their immigration status. This classification is intended to help as the CNMI transitions from the CNMI permit system to U.S. immigration laws.

Obtaining E-2 CNMI Investor Status (E2C)

Initial Application

You must file your initial Form I-129 petition and Supplement E with USCIS before January 18, 2013.  USCIS will reject initial petitions filed after that date.

Length of Stay

Your E-2 CNMI investor status is valid in the CNMI initially for two years. If you have a spouse or minor children accompanying or following to join you in the CNMI, they will have the same validity period as you.  An E-2 CNMI Investor status is extendable in 2 year increments ending on December 31, 2014.

Extending Your Stay

To apply for an extension of stay, you must file a new Form I-129 and Supplement E with the required evidence and fee.

Individuals in the CNMI seeking an initial Grant of Status in the CNMI

There is additional guidance you must follow if you are requesting an initial grant of nonimmigrant status in the CNMI. For more information please visit the grant of status webpage.

General Qualifications for an E-2 CNMI Investor

To qualify for E-2 CNMI Investor status, you must:

  • Have been admitted to the CNMI with a long-term investor visa under CNMI immigration law before November 28, 2009
  • Have continuously maintained residence in the CNMI under long-term investor status
  • Currently maintain the investment(s) that formed the basis for the CNMI long-term investor status
  • Otherwise be allowed to enter the United States under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

CNMI Investor Statuses that Qualify for E2C Status

You qualify for E-2 CNMI Investor status if you held one of the following long-term CNMI investor statuses under CNMI Immigration law:

  • A long-term business investor who was issued a long-term business certificate by the CNMI based upon an investment of at least $50,000
  • A foreign investor with a foreign investment certificate issued by the CNMI based upon an investment of at least $100,000 in an aggregate approved investment in excess of $2 million or at least $250,000 in a single approved investment
  • A retiree investor over the age of 55 years who was issued a foreign retiree investment certificate based upon a qualifying investment in an approved residence in the CNMI (but not including the 2-year non-renewable retiree investor program limited to Japanese nationals)

CNMI Investor Statuses that Do Not Qualify for E-2 Status

You are not eligible for an E2C visa if you held one of the following CNMI investor statuses under CNMI Immigration law:

  • The sub-category of the retiree investor specifically limited to Japanese retirees
  • Short-term business entry permits
  • Regular-term business entry permits

Evidence Requirements

All documentation previously submitted in each investor application to the CNMI government should be submitted as part of each E-2 CNMI Investor petition to USCIS.

All Individuals

All individuals must provide the following evidence of admission to the CNMI in long term investor status prior to November 28, 2009, consisting of:

  • A valid unexpired foreign passport
  • A properly endorsed CNMI admission document (e.g., entry permit, entry certificate or foreign investor visa) reflecting lawful admission to the CNMI in long-term business investor, foreign investor, or retiree foreign investor status
  • An unexpired Long-Term Business Certificate, Foreign Investment Certificate, or a Foreign Retiree Investment Certificate

Individuals with a CNMI-issued foreign investor entry permit or long-term business entry permit

An applicant with a CNMI-issued foreign investor entry permit or long-term business entry permit must submit evidence to show that he or she has maintained his or her investment with the E-2 CNMI Investor petition. This evidence includes all of the following, as applicable:

  • An approval letter issued by the CNMI government
  • Evidence that capital has been invested, such as bank statements, receipts or contracts for assets purchased, stock purchase transaction records, loan or other borrowing agreements, land leases, financial statements, business gross tax receipts, or other agreements supporting the application
  • Evidence that the applicant has invested at least the minimum amount required, such as evidence of assets purchased or property transferred from abroad for use in the enterprise, evidence of monies transferred or committed to be transferred to the new or existing enterprise in exchange for shares of stock, any loan or mortgage, promissory note, security agreement or other evidence of borrowing secured by assets of the applicant
  • A comprehensive business plan for new enterprises
  • Articles of incorporation, by-laws, partnership agreements, joint venture agreements, corporate minutes and annual reports, affidavits, declarations or certifications of paid-in capital
  • Current business licenses
  • Foreign business registration records, recent tax returns of any kind, evidence of other sources of capital
  • A listing of all resident and nonresident employees
  • A listing of all holders of business certificates for the business establishment
  • A listing of all corporations in which the applicant has a controlling interest
  • Copies of annual reports of investment activities in the CNMI showing that the certificate holder of a foreign investment is under continuing compliance with the standards required. Each report must be accompanied by an annual financial audit report performed by an independent certified public accountant

Individuals with a CNMI-issued retiree investor permit

CNMI retiree investors should submit the following with their applications for E-2 CNMI Investor status:

  • Proof that the foreign applicant has an interest in property in the CNMI, such as a lease agreement
  • Proof of the value of that property, such as an appraisal
  • Proof of any improvements to the property, which could include receipts or invoices of the costs of construction, the amount paid for a preexisting structure, or an appraisal of improvements

Last updated: 01/28/2011