Can I Apply for an E-2 Visa When I Have a Pending Immigration Petition?

E-2 Investor Visa

An E-2 visa is an investor visa granted to entrepreneurs who want to start or buy a business in the United States. If you are a national of one of the E-2 Visa Treaty Countries and you are interested in launching a startup or purchasing a business in the United States, the E-2 Treaty Investor visa may be a great option for you. To qualify for the visa, the investor must invest a substantial amount of money in an enterprise that should ultimately create U.S. jobs. The investor must be from a designated country, meaning a country that has an investor treaty with the United States. Many of these treaty countries are also countries that have a significant amount of family-based immigration.


To find out more about the E-2 visa requirements, click here.


Family-Based Immigration

U.S. immigration law permits U.S. citizens to file a petition to sponsor their parents, spouses, children and siblings for green cards. Similarly, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs or green card holders) can petition for their spouses and unmarried children to come to the United States. There are always visas available for immediate relatives (parents, spouses and minor children) of U.S. citizens, but for all other family members, there are annual numerical limits.

In addition to these numerical limits, the law also limits the number of immigrants coming to the U.S. from any one country to prevent any one immigrant group from dominating immigration patterns to the United States. This has resulted in extremely long wait times for applicants from certain countries, especially brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens from mainland China (13 years), India (14 years), Mexico (19 years), and Philippines (23 years).


Click here to view the October 2016 Visa Bulletin.

To read more about family-based immigration and the visa bulletin, click here.


Can I Apply for an E-2 Visa When I Have a Pending Immigration Petition?

Foreign nationals whose relatives have filed immigrant petitions for them and are waiting for a visa to become available may be eligible to apply for nonimmigrant visas while they wait, such as the H-1B, L-1 or E-2. Since the E-2 visa is not a “dual intent” visa, (meaning you need to have an intent to depart the U.S. when the visa ends), if you are applying for an E-2 visa and you have an immigration petition outstanding, you should consult with an immigration attorney to determine the proper strategy. The bar for proving you have an intent to depart the U.S. is generally very low for E-2 visas—a written statement usually suffices—but this bar is raised when an E-2 applicant has a pending immigrant petition. However, in some circumstances, you can still qualify for the E-2 visa with a showing of sufficient documentation that proves significant ties to your home country. For example, if an E-2 visa applicant has a sibling green card petition outstanding where there is a 7 year wait, he/she would not necessarily be precluded from getting an E-2 visa. We have successfully assisted hundreds of E-2 investors in starting their businesses in the U.S. but each case is fact specific and prior results do not predict future outcome.  Contact us for a consultation to evaluate your situation. We are here to help.

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For more practical information and legal advice on E-2, H-1B, L-1A and other visas, contact Scott Legal, P.C. Call 212-223-2964 or email info@legalservicesincorporated.com for a consultation.

Angela Antonia Torregoza, Esq. is an Associate Attorney at Scott Legal, P.C. She can be reached at 212-223-2964 or by email at info@legalservicesincorporated.com.


This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising.  Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed.  Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results.  Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.


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