An E-2 Visa is a Visa Classification that is available for foreign nationals who wish to live in the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of a business. The business can be large or small and an E-2 Visa is a great Visa option for those who want to start a business. In order to qualify for the Visa, applicants must meet specific requirement. Please see more about the E-2 visa requirements when you click here.
Many of our clients ask us before their E-2 interview the following question: How do I prove that I have a non-immigrant intent at the E-2 visa interview? What documents should I bring to the interview to show that I have a non-immigrant intent?
E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning that you do not plan to remain in the U.S. permanently and/or you do not plan to obtain a green card (you have a non-immigrant intent).
However, demonstrating a non-immigrant intent for an E-2 visa is different than demonstrating a non-immigrant intent for a B visa. When applying for a B visa at a U.S. Consulate, you have to demonstrate to the Consular officer that your stay in the U.S. is temporary, you are keeping a residence abroad, you have strong and close family ties in your home country, and you have a permanent employment in your home country. Please see what documents you should bring to your B visa interview to demonstrate that you have a non-immigrant visa when you click here.
At the E-2 visa interview, the Consular officers do not usually focus on the non-immigrant intent issue/documents as the non-immigrant intent requirement is significantly relaxed for the E-2 visa.
When applying for an E-2 visa, you will not have show that you have a residence in your home country. Many of our E-2 clients get nervous that they will have to keep their property/residence in their home country and rent/buy property in the U.S. also, but that’s not the case.
The immigration regulations specifically say that you can sell your residence abroad and move all your belongings to the U.S. Practically speaking, the purpose of the E-2 visa you as the E-2 investor invest money in the U.S. company and then move to the U.S. (but does not have to). Therefore, it would not make sense if the E-2 investor was required to keep the foreign residence abroad while living in the U.S.
However, it is not a requirement that you live in the U.S. when you have an E-2 visa. Please see our blog post on this when you click here (this topic is on E-1 visa but the analysis is the same for the E-2 visa).
Additionally, when applying for an E-2 visa, you will not have to show that you are coming to the U.S. for a specific temporary period of time. Again, this is a difference between B visa and E-2 visa – when applying for a B visa you have to demonstrate that you are coming to the U.S. for a very specific period of time (and CBP officers at the borders often want to see your return flight ticket). When applying for an E-2 visa, you will not have to show that you are coming to the U.S. for a limited period of time and you will not have to show that you have a flight ticket booked back to your home country.
So what documents should I bring to demonstrate my non-immigrant intent?
When applying for an E-2 visa, a signed declaration of you (and your spouse if applicable) that states that you plan to return to your home country once your E-2 visa expires is usually sufficient to demonstrate that you have a non-immigrant intent for the purposes of an E-2 visa.
Is it a problem if I have a family in the U.S.?
Some of our clients are concerned that because they have a family (for example siblings living in the U.S.), they will be automatically deemed to have an immigrant intent.
This is not necessarily true. Just because you have a close family such as your sibling(s) living in the U.S. does not mean that you have an immigrant intent.
It would be a different scenario if some of your family member(s) filed an immigrant petition on your behalf and your priority date would be current soon. In such case, the Consular officer could question whether you are planning to come to the U.S. and then file an Adjustment of Status (green card) application.
I previously applied in the Diversity Visa lottery. Will this be a problem for my E-2 application?
Not really. Just because you submitted an online entry in the Diversity visa lottery application does not mean that you have an immigrant intent. Unless you were actually selected in the diversity visa lottery, this should not be an issue. If you were actually selected in the Diversity visa lottery and you plan to apply for the green card, then E-2 visa is not a good option for you as you would have a hard time demonstrating you non-immigrant intent.
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