E-2 Investor Visa is designed for nationals of Treaty Investor Countries who wish to make a business investment in the United States (US). An Example of such investment can be purchasing or opening a high tech company, or a 99 cent store in the US.
In order to qualify for an E-2 Visa you must demonstrate the following:
a. You are a citizen of a Treaty Investment Country.
b. You are coming to work for a company which is at least 50% owned by nationals of your home country.
c. Your position in the company will be as an Executive, Supervisor OR Essential Employee.
d. The Investment of the company is substantial.
e. You intend to depart from the US when the business is completed.
Visas are normally issued for two years with an option to extend it indefinitely, for two years at a time, as long as the company is still in business and all the above requirements are met. You may pursue a Green Card application in any other category. Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 will be entitled to an E-2 Derivative status and your spouse is also permitted to work.
E-2 applications may be filed either with the appropriate USCIS OR with a US Consulate. If you are outside the US you may apply for an E-2 Visa at the US Consulate in your country of residence. If you are already in the US on a different status you may apply for a Change of Status to E-2. However, if you leave the US you will have to apply for an E-2 Visa at a US Consulate in order to be admitted again in this status. We therefore recommend that you file an E-2 Visa application at the US Consulate before you are coming to invest in the US. If you wish to come to the US in order to prepare the grounds for the Investment, for example, if you are coming to meet with other business people, to evaluate the market, to look for a space or to Open a US Corporation, you may use the B-1 Business Visitor Visa for that purpose.
Extension of Stay in the US and Change of Status:
When you come to the US with an E-2 Visa, the Immigration Officer at the port of entry will usually grant you permission to stay (a Status) for the period up to the date your Visa expires. This Status may be EXTENDED or CHANGED to another status for example, to B1-B2, H, L, R, E-1, F/J/M OR Green Card.
Frequently asked questions:
I am in the US on an E-2 Status, can I change my employer?
Yes. You may file an application to change your employer. However, if you leave the US you will have to apply for a new E-2 Visa at a US Consulate in order to be admitted again in this status.
How long it takes for the USCIS OR the US Consulate to make a decision on my application?
A decision can take between two to four months. Sometimes, the USCIS OR the US Consulate issue a “Notice of Action” requesting additional documents and/or information to support your application and this procedure effects the processing time. If you apply for a change of your status in the US you may check your case status online.
Can an E-2 holder work part time?
Do I have to come to your office in order to file the application?
NO. Almost every application to EXTEND / CHANGE a status for a Visa does not require a personal meeting in our office and can be made through mail, fax or email correspondence.
How do I start a case?
To start a case you will have to provide us with all the documents and information regarding your business. We charge $275.00 to evaluate a case. The payment is non-refundable. However, If a decision is reached within 30 days to employ the services of our firm, the payment for the evaluation will be credited toward the additional legal fees expected to be paid for this service.
*Note that the above prices are subject to change at any time and without further notice. Prices do not include applications for dependents, business plans, dealing with Notice of Actions, out of pocket expenses and any unexpected circumstances we may have to address.
**This is general information and is NOT intended to provide legal advice