An E-2 visa is available to entrepreneurs who want to start or buy a business in the U.S. You can find out more about the E-2 visa requirements by clicking here.
While someone is in the U.S. on an E-2 visas, other work opportunities may present themselves and the question arises as to whether someone on an E-2 visa can work for another company?
If you are an E-2 employee or investor, you can only work for the E-2 company. This usually means that you have a W-2 job/Employee for the E-2 company. It is not a good idea to perform work for another company while on an E-2 investor or employee visa and receive a W-2 payment.
In some cases, you can perform work for other companies by setting up a service agreement between your E-2 company and the other company where they pay your E-2 company through 1099 payments. This could work if the services your E-2 company offers are similar to the work that will be done for the 1099 company.
For example, let us take the example where someone entered the U.S. on an E-2 visa to start a law firm, and the person was approached by a university to teach law in a field related to the law firm’s practice. For this to work, the university would have to pay the E-2 company as an independent contractor and then the E-2 investor, could do the work on behalf of the E-2 company. It would also be a good idea to have a service agreement between the university and the E-2 company outlining the services offered and the fees. In this case, the services offered to the university are similar in nature to the E-2 visa services offered by the company so could work. If the same lawyer was approached by a restaurant to work as a chef, this arrangement would not likely work. Small changes in a fact pattern could impact this outcome.
You should also note that an E-2 spouse can get EAD to work anywhere.
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