I am in the U.S. on an E-2 visa and I need to extend mine and my family’s E-2 status. What is the process?

By July 21, 2020October 2nd, 2020E-2 Visa, Immigration, Investor Visas

An E-2 visa is a great option if you want to start a business in the U.S., you have invested a substantial amount of money in the U.S. or you are in the processing of investing the money, and you plan to hire U.S. workers. Please see the E-2 requirements when you click here.

When does my E-2 status expire?

Every time you enter the U.S. on an E-2 visa, you should check the I-94 website to see when your I-94 status expires. The E-2 visa stamp is what gives you the ability to travel in and out of the U.S. However, even if you have a 5-year E-2 visa stamp in your passport, you are only granted 2 years on E-2 status every time you enter the U.S.

Example

Your E-2 visa was approved by the U.S. Consulate in London on December 10, 2019 ad is valid until December 9, 2024. You most recently entered the U.S. on January 5, 2020 and you are wondering when your E-2 status expires. As indicated above, every time you enter the U.S., you should be granted 2 years on E-2 status. Sometimes the CBP officer makes a mistake and admits you for a shorter period of time and if that happens you should email the CBP office where you most recently entered the U.S. and ask them to get the i-94 corrected. In the scenario above, you should normally be admitted to stay in the U.S. until January 4, 2022.

My wife and/or children entered the U.S. on a different day than me. Is their I-94 expiration date the same as mine?

No. In the hypo above: if your wife and children entered the U.S. on March 1, 2020, then they will get 2 years on E-2 status and therefore their I-94 will expire on February 28, 2022.

When should I file the extension application? Can I keep working for my E-2 company once my I-94 expires?

You have to file the E-2 extension application before your I-94 status expires. That way, you can stay in the U.S. and you can also keep working for the E-2 company for up to 240 days after your I-94 expired. Please see our blog post on the E-2 visa & 240 day extension when you click here.

Can my spouse work after his/her I-94 expired?

No. Unfortunately, your spouse does not get the automatic 240-day employment extension and he/she has to stop working once her I-94 and work authorization card expire. Your spouse should file an I-765 work authorization form with his/her extension application if he/she wants to work in the U.S. and your spouse can only start working again once he/she gets the new work authorization card.

What forms and documents should I submit with the extension application?

For you as the E-2 investor, you will have to submit Form I-129. In case the premium processing is available, you could also submit Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing.

If your spouse/children also need to have their status extended then you will need to file: Form I-539 and Form(s) I-539A.

Additionally, if your spouse wants to renew his/he work authorization, then he/she should also file Form I-765.

With regards to the Supporting Documents: For you E-2 investor extension application, you will need to demonstrate that the company has been running and operating since your initial E-2 visa/E-2 status was approved. You will need to submit the Company’s tax returns, W-2 forms for your employees, list of clients etc. Additionally, you will have to submit documents showing that you have been maintaining your non-immigrant status.

For your dependents’ extension application(s): You should submit their passports, previous visa(s), any previous I-797 Approval notices to show that they have been maintaining their non-immigrant status and also a proof of relationship to you, such as marriage and/or birth certificate)s).

Please click here if you want to find out what you need to do if you business changed substantially.

Please click here if you want to find out whether you need to live in the U.S. after you get an E-2 visa.

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