If you are in the U.S. on an E-2 investor status and your E-2 status is going to expire soon, you may stay in the U.S. and keep working for your E-2 company even after your E-2 status expires, if you will file the E-2 extension application with USCIS before your E-2 status expires. Remember your status is different from your Visa date. The status is the date on your I-94. Each time you enter the U.S. you are given 2 years in E-2 status.
I filed my original application at a U.S. Consulate. Can I still apply for an extension with USCIS?
Yes. It does not matter whether the original E-2 application was filed with USCIS or at a Consulate, you may apply for an extension of status in either case. You must file the extension before your I-94 date expires. If your I-94 is about to expires but you have a valid visa, the best option is to leave the U.S. and reenter. (even if only for 1 day or returning on the same day). If you extend through USCIS, you have to file a complete and new E-2 application that is adjudicated as if it were to be a new petition.
How do I find out when my E-2 status expires?
If you originally filed the E-2 application with USCIS, you can find out when your status expires on your I-797A Approval notice. If you originally applied for the E-2 visa at a U.S. Consulate, you can find out when your E-2 status expires by checking your I-94. You can access this on this government website.
For example, if your E-2 status/I-94 date expires on June 20, 2020, and you want to stay in the U.S. and keep working for the E-2 company, you will have to file the E-2 extension application before your E-2 status expires. You will then be able to keep working for the E-2 company for up to 240 days from the date your E-2 status expired.
My E-2 extension application was denied. Can I keep working for the Company for up to 240 days after my I-94 expires?
No. If your extension application is denied, you have to stop working for the Company immediately. If your I-94 has already expired at the time your extension is denied you should prepare to leave the U.S. right away to avoid accruing unlawful presence.
Does the 240 day extension apply to my spouse?
No. The 240 day extension only applies to you as the E-2 investor and your spouse will have to stop working on the day his/her work authorization card expires. Your spouse may file his/her work authorization application along with his/her I-539 extension of status application, but he/she will only be able to start working once his/her new work authorization card is approved.
Additionally, some work authorization categories qualify for the automatic 180-day extension if the renewal application is filed before the current work authorization expires. Unfortunately, the E-2 spouses do not qualify for the 180 day extension.
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