An E-2 visa is approved based on the specific business and documents that are presented to a Consulate or USCIS. This documentation normally includes a Business plan that describes the business as well as documents related to the entity set up. You can find out more about the E-2 visa requirements by clicking here.
In some cases, the business idea changes, or the owners may want to exit the business and start something else. Last year we wrote a blog post the described what happens if your business changes. You can find out more about E-2 visa business changes by clicking here.
If there is a change in the E-2 business, they may require communication with the Government and/or a new E-2 visa. The conclusion of whether it is necessary to seek approval from the Government will depend on the facts and circumstances and how substantial the change is. If the change is substantial, one option is that you go to a U.S. Consulate and apply for a new visa. The other option is that you file an I-129 form with USCIS asking them to approve the substantial change.
We recently had a client ask the following question: If we obtained our E-2 visa at a Consulate and while in the U.S. we filed to report a substantial change in E-2 business activities (so with USCIS instead of the consulate using the I-129 form), would we be able leave and re-enter the US at any time using the original E-2 visa in our passport.
The short answer to the question is Yes. If you obtain your E-2 visa at a Consulate and you have an approved I-797 notice indicating that USCIS has approved your business change, you may use your existing E-2 visa to leave and reenter the country. You should note that the regulations use the word “may” when they describe that an applicant could be admitted in this manner. In the vast majority of cases, there may be significant benefit though going to the Consulate to get a new visa issued if the business change is substantial.
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