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