The E-2 visa is a visa classification that permits a foreign national to live in the United States to develop and direct the operations of a business. Upon the approval of an E-2 application, an applicant’s spouse and children under 21 accompanying or following to join the applicant are entitled to derivative status in the same E-2 visa classification as the applicant. This permits an E-2 visa holder to travel and live in the U.S. with his/her immediate family. (spouse and children under 21)
One issue for some though is that the E-2 visa does not provide for derivative status for other close family members, such as cohabitating partners or elderly parents. Though an E-2 derivative visa classification may not be available for these individuals, they may be able to travel and live with an E-2 visa applicant in the U.S. on a B-2 visa pursuant to a special rule (9 FAM 402.2-4(B)(5)).
This B-2 classification may be available to people who are members of a household of a nonimmigrant visa holder in long-term nonimmigrant status, but who are not eligible for derivative status under that visa holder’s classification. This option is not a guarantee but something that may be available.
Generally speaking, this classification is appropriate for cohabitating partners and dependent family members who live with you such as elderly parents. The derivative family member must still meet the B visa eligibility requirements and present evidence to that effect. (eg. proof of ties to home country)
The derivative family member should request that the B visa be annotated to indicate the purpose and length of stay when applying pursuant to 9 FAM 402.2-4(B)(5). Once issued the visa, the derivative family member should request a one-year stay at the time he/she enters the country. The B-visa holder under this classification may apply for extensions of stay for the duration of the principal applicant’s nonimmigrant status in the US, for increments of up to six months.
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