Congratulations on your recent E-2 visa approval! Here are a few things you should consider when moving to the United States:
Please note that immigration law and regulations require that all foreign nationals, including lawful permanent residents, file Form AR-11 with the USCIS within 10 days of a change of address. All non-U.S. citizens should complete these required forms at the time of each and every move. When you arrive in the U.S. you should fill out this form if your home address will be different than the address you listed as your U.S. address on the DS160. Failure to report a change of address can result in a fine of $200 and imprisonment for 30 days. Failure to comply is also a ground for deportation/removal for which there is no waiver available. While this seems like a minor infraction, it is taken VERY seriously by USCIS. Address changes can be filed online at this website.
Length of Stay in the U.S.
Regardless of the end date of the visa petition the expiration date on the most recent Form I-94 marks the end of your lawful admission to the U.S.. E-2 visa applicants are granted 2 years on E-2 status when they enter the country and after that, you must either apply for an extension in the U.S. or reenter the U.S. using the valid Visa. You are granted 2 years in E-2 visa status even if you enter on the last day of your visa. Similarly, you are granted 2 years even if your Visa is valid for 5 years. A visa is a document that deals with your ability to enter the country only and does not have anything to do with how long you can stay once you are here. For more information on the difference between a visa and a visa status, please click here. Note that the end date on the I-94 may be limited to the expiration date on your passport, so you should make an effort to keep your passport valid for as long as possible. There may be mistakes made upon your entry so it is a good idea to verify the expiration date on the Form I-94 each time you enter the United States. After you enter the U.S. you can find your I-94 form online at this website.
Work Authorization for Spouse
If your spouse enters the U.S. on an E-2 visa, he/she is eligible to apply for work authorization by submitting an employment authorization application to USCIS. A spouse is not permitted to work in the U.S. until this work authorization has been processed.
Social Security Number
If you are moving to the United States temporarily to work you will need a Social Security number (SSN). Your spouse can also get a Social Security Number if he or she plans to work. It is relatively easy to obtain a Social Security number once you arrive in the United States by applying at your local Social Security Office. For more information about applying for a Social Security Number, click here.
For more practical information and legal advice on E-2 and other visas, contact Scott Legal, P.C. Call 212-223-2964 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.
Kelly R. LeGrand Weiner, Esq. is the Managing Attorney at Scott Legal, P.C. She can be reached at 212-223-2964 or by email at email@example.com
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