The main purpose of the E-2 investment visa is to allow individuals to enter the U.S. as nonimmigrants to develop and direct operations in businesses in which they have invested. Additionally, employees may enter the U.S. to serve a business in an executive or managerial capacity or to fill an essential role in the business operations. All individuals seeking this type of visa must be of the same nationality or citizenship as the E-2 enterprise sponsoring them and the foreign country must have a treaty with the U.S. An E-2 visa can also can include the spouse and children of the principal applicant. Unlike some other visas, E-2 visas are renewable indefinitely in two-year increments and have no degree or wage requirements. There is no limit on the number of E-2 visas that the federal government may issue, and E-2 visa applicant spouses also can apply for unrestricted work authorization.
The length of time necessary to process an E-2 visa has largely depended on the U.S. Consulate that is reviewing the visa application. Under premium processing, the visa application procedures move much more quickly, but the non-premium processing of the application can take months. In particular, if the visa application pertains to a more recently created entity, one with lower at-risk to total cost ratios, or a non-management employee, there may be additional delays in processing.
Since the advent of Trump’s Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, however, U.S. consular officers are taking closer looks at all types of business and investor visas. More specifically, officers are trying to determine whether E-2 visa applications are fraudulent in any way and if the business will displace any American workers. E-2 visa applicants now can expect rigorous questioning about their business enterprise. Nonetheless, the U.S. is continuing to approve E-2 visas, at a rate of about 36,000 per year.
If you or a family member is dealing with an immigration law issue, we may be able to help. As experienced Texas immigration attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through the often-complex process of obtaining a visa. Call us today at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment with one of our skilled immigration lawyers and learn how we can assist you.