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Can my E-2 Employee Work in the U.S. if I Don’t Live There?

By December 7, 2021E-2 Visa, Immigration
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If you previously obtained an E-2 investor visa and you hired an E-2 employee in the U.S. , you may be wondering if the fact that you now live outside the U.S. has any impact on the E-2 employee’s status.

Example

You originally applied for an E-2 investor visa. You hired an E-2 employee and you then moved outside the U.S. and you have been living outside the U.S. for several months. Is this fine or do you have to live in the U.S. for your employee to maintain his/her E-2 status?

The short answer is that you do not need to live in the U.S. to maintain your E-2 visa or for your employee to maintain his/her status in the U.S.

These are the requirements that will need to be met in this scenario:

  • The E-2 investor has to own at least 50% in the company or the E-2 Company (if there are multiple owners) must be owned at least 50% by treaty country nationals,
  • The Employer and the employee must have the same nationality; and,
  • Employer, if not residing outside the United States, must be maintaining “E” status in the United States.

The last requirement means that if the employer is in the U.S., he/she has to be maintaining the E status. Maintaining a status means that the investor continues to work for the same E2 entity for which the investor originally obtained a visa and the investor is not otherwise violating the E2 visa requirements/immigration law.

However, if the investor lives outside the U.S., he/she would only need to meet requirements 1 and 2 above. In the example above, if the investor is an individual, he/she would have to keep own at least 50% in the company at all times and the investor and the employee would have to continue to have the same nationality.

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