I have an E-2 visa. Can my spouse work in the U.S.? What is the process to get work authorization?

By May 13, 2017November 5th, 2020E-2 Visa, Family Immigration, Immigration
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An E-2 visa is a perfect visa for an individual or company who wants to start or purchase a business in the United States. In order to obtain the visa, the applicant must invest a substantial amount in a business in the United States, be a national of a treaty country and ultimately hire U.S. workers.

A full list of the visa requirements can be obtained by clicking here.

The E-2 visa allows you to live and work in the U.S. and you can renew the visa as long as your business continues to run. Another benefit of the E-2 visa is that your spouse can get work authorization in the U.S. which gives them significant freedom and flexibility in their careers. As the E-2 visa holder you are only permitted to work for the E-2 company, however your spouse can work for any employer or even be self-employed. An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is the document that allows an E-2 visa spouse to work in the U.S. and the document usually takes 90 days to arrive.

There is a recent court case that casts some doubt on whether an EAD card is needed for an E-2 visa spouse.  You can find out more about whether an E-2 visa is required for an E-2 spouse by clicking here.

In order to apply for work authorization, you and your spouse must have entered the U.S. on your E-2 visas. Your spouse will then fill out a form and will need to gather the following supporting documentation to submit to the USCIS:

  1. Copy of Passport Bio Page
  2. Latest I-94s for you and your spouse showing entry in E-2 Status
  3. Marriage certificate with English translation (if necessary)
  4. Copies of you and your spouse’s E-2 visas
  5. 2 passport style photos taken within the last 30 days and that meet U.S. Department of State requirements
  6. Any previous employment authorization card issued in the U.S. (front and back)
  7. Any previous I-797 approval notices for employment authorization
  8. Old I-20s if applicable
  9. Student Visa if applicable
  10. A check for USCIS filing fees

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E-2 Visa Guide

We are happy to offer our E-2 visa guide that describes the E-2 visa requirements, renewal considerations and other advise to assist with your E-2 visa application. We will also send you information where you can sign up for free E-2 Webinars.   Our firm was founded on an E visa so we know what you are going through.  You can access our E-2 visa Service Page with several E-2 visa videos and articles by clicking here.

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