USA and the UK
Validity of the E2 Visa
Depending on your nationality, the E2 Visa lasts from 3 months to 5 years. This means that someone who has a visa validity period of 3 months can enter the US within the 3 months from the date the visa gets issued.
The visa validity period should not be confused with the period of stay. The visa validity period is the period of stay in the US while the period of stay is the duration of stay that you get assigned upon arrival in the US. With the E2 Visa, you may initially get a period of stay for two years. After the visa expires, it can be renewed for up to two years.
Typically, people have their visas renewed for a period of five years with an extension of up to two years. If the adjudicator has concerns about the future of the business, this period may be shortened. However, this rarely happens.
- Validity of the E2 Visa
- Eligibility for E2 Visa
- Documents Required for E2 Visa Renewal
- What are the Fees and Processing Times for E2 Visa Renewal?
- Applying for E2 Visa Renewal
- Denial of Renewal Application
- Responding to Denial of E2 Visa Extension Application
- How can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Eligibility for E2 Visa
To be eligible for an E2 Visa, you have to meet the following visa requirements:
- You must intend to leave the US once the E2 status ends
- Have a business with the nationality of one of the treaty countries that have an E2 treaty with US
- Have a business that is a real entity
- Applicant must be in a position to direct the enterprise and show operational control
- Applicants that are employees should have the skills needed for the operation of the firm in the US
- An investment that is more than the marginal enterprise solely for earning a living
- You must be from a treaty country that has an E2 treaty with the United States
- Have a substantial investment in a US company (typically a minimum of $100,000 minimum)
- Have an active for-profit business
- You must have investment funds that are at-risk
- The investment must have been lawfully attained
- Have a business that is not a marginal enterprise
Documents Required for E2 Visa Renewal
The documents required for E2 Visa renewal include:
- Your arrival and departure record in an I-94
- Your original I-797 if you have extended your E2 visa in the past
- Proof of non marginal status
- Proof of your physical presence in US
- Form I-539 for your family members (principal E2 visa applicants) to extend or change nonimmigrant status
- Petition for nonimmigrant worker which can be made using the I-129 Form to request for an extension of stay in or change of status
- Letter explaining why you want to have an extension
- Form I-907 request for premium services, if applicable
- Evidence of significant trade
- Evidence of nationality and ownership of US enterprise
- Proof that the applicant, if an investor, will successfully develop and direct the operations of the US enterprise or are in the process of investing a significant amount in the enterprise
- Proof that the applicant, if an employee, will primarily carry out their supervisory or executive duties
If documents are submitted in a foreign language, a full English translation would need to also be provided, along with a certification from the translator verifying the completion and accuracy of the translation. The certification should also show that the translator is competent enough to translate from a foreign language to English.
You should not send original documents unless specific requests for such documents have been made in the applicable immigration regulations or form instructions. The form instructions can be viewed on pages for the forms.
What are the Fees and Processing Times for E2 Visa Renewal?
The filing fee is $205 for each applicant that submits a Form DS-160 to the Department of State. To show that you meet the visa requirements for visa approval and an extension of E2 status, you will have to pay for the Form I-539 filing fee which is $370. There is a premium service that you can get if you pay an additional $2,500 to get a response within 15 calendar days.
E2 status can be renewed by filing Form I-129 with USCIS. You will be eligible for 240 days of your work authorization until your case is adjusted by the USCIS. The filing fee for the I-129 is $460. A Form I-539 costs $370.
Planning for E2 Visa Application
It is important that those who hope to renew their E2 visas plan in advance, taking into account important preliminary considerations. Plans should be made for visa renewal of the visa right after you get your visa. You should be aware of the key events that take place at different times during the visa renewal applications process.
Investment funds are a significant requirement for renewal of your E2 Visa. The immigration official processing your application will want to see that you have made a substantial investment in the business, that your investment is at-risk, and that you obtained your investment lawfully.
Applicants for E2 Visa renewal need to fill a Form DS-160 which would need to be submitted to the Department of State. Depending on the consular office used, several different documents would need to be submitted along with your request for E2 Visa renewal.
An extension can be made to the USCIS for a visa extension. The E2 Visa can be renewed indefinitely after it expires. It’s important to be aware of the rights you may automatically have before your status expires.
E2 status can be renewed by filing Form I-129 with USCIS. All the visa requirements have to be met to successfully be granted renewal of the E2 status:
- You must satisfy the E2 requirements
- You maintained your E2 non-immigrant status
- Physically present in the US at the time of filing the E2 extension of status request
- Filed a Form I-539
Visa Renewal Interview
After all the supporting documents are submitted, you should be called to interview at the US Consulate. In limited cases, the interview may be waived. In most cases, you would need to attend the interview.
Non-Marginal Business Requirement and Business Tax Returns
In order to stay in America on your E2 Visa you will need to show that your business is not marginal. A marginal business is a business that is not capable of showing that it has the capacity to provide funds for an individual and family with minimal living standards.
You can meet the marginal business requirement by investing more capital in your business. Proof of this will need to be provided in the form of bank documentation. The past performance of a business may be reviewed by an immigration official who will attempt to determine where the business is a marginal enterprise.
It is important for you to consider hiring a bookkeeper to achieve success during the period of your visa as your E2 Visa status will be dependent on the amount of profit it makes during the duration of the visa.
Financial documents like your business tax returns can serve as supporting evidence of the present or future capacity of the company to meet the requirements. Profit and loss statements can also be useful for this purpose. Such documents can give a clearer view of the actual performance of the business. Without the financial statements needed, you may not be able to convince the immigration official of the business’ capabilities.
Immigration Law and Travel Restrictions
In some cases, there may be a travel ban for your country. It is important that you consider these options in such cases:
- Check the I-94 expiration date. You will be able to work in the US until your I-94 expires. You can go to a third country consulate to apply for an extension. For example, the application could be made at a US consulate other than your home country. You should talk to an immigration lawyer like those at IAS or call the US Consulate you are making your application from. Making a call can help improve the chances of your renewal application being accepted.
- Check your I-94 (arrival and departure record) expiration date. Even if your E2 visa has expired already, you can still stay and work in the US until your I-94 expires.
- You can apply for an extension at a third country consulate, i.e., a different US Consulate other than your home country. Talk to an immigration lawyer or call the US Consulate you are applying from, to ensure that they will accept your application.
- You can apply for a visa extension in the USCIS as explained in the previous section.
Denial of Renewal Application
Failure to meet the marginality requirements is among the most common reasons for the denial of a visa extension request. Applicants with businesses in the country that are not profitable beyond solely providing for the owner and their family would be among those in danger of their application being denied for this reason.
Without enough proof that the business is beyond marginality, a company may fail to meet the marginality requirements for the visa. This is because of the government’s preference for businesses that create job opportunities. As an example, a business of an applicant that’s been operating a US based business for 5 years must be scalable enough to afford to hire employees.
Responding to Denial of E2 Visa Extension Application
If the visa extension application is denied, the applicant receives a denial notice and a statement with descriptions of reasons for the denial of the initial application.
Depending on the reasons for the denial, applicants whose applications are rejected need to fill in Form I-290B and do one of the following:
- File a motion to consider the USCIS decision; or
- File a motion to reopen the USCIS decision; or
- Make an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Service
The US passport is considered one of the most powerful passports in the world by foreign nationals. This makes the E2 Visa very attractive for many people, including those who have substantial investment capital and businesses they operate. Unfortunately, immigration law can be very complicated, making the extension process harder for those who do not seek professional assistance. Our legal experts ensure that your visa renewal application is made in compliance with USCIS guidelines.
Did you know that you are more likely to succeed in renewing your visa when you use IAS experts who are specialized in immigration laws? IAS has experience in helping clients successfully get their E2 investor visas. Our lawyers are able to help you with different solutions to meet your E2 Visa renewal needs.
With the assistance of expert lawyers like those at IAS, you can improve your prospects of being granted approval for visa renewal. We can get you an experienced attorney to answer your questions. Our experts have years of experience working with clients of different backgrounds who have moved to the US with the E2 visa.
Last modified on May 18th, 2023 at 7:56 am
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It can take two to four hours for the E2 Visa to be renewed. The amount of time it takes for the visa to be renewed can be significantly influenced by the caseload in the US Consulate.
There aren’t any travel restrictions imposed on the E2 Visa. You should be able to leave and re-enter the country without limitations on how many times you can do so.
You can study on the E2 Visa but cannot join a full-length program. The course of study you choose should not harm the primary interest of your visa.
As long as you meet the necessary qualifications, you can apply for a Green Card while on the E2 Visa. Getting a Green Card can help with achieving permanent residency in the US.
Spouses and children aged under 21 can be brought into the country with you while on the E2 Visa. They would be able to work in the US. They would need to get EAD and make applications for a Social Security Number.