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E-2 Employees: Q & A

By December 22, 2021E-2 Visa, Immigration
E-2 employees enjoying themselves at work

E-2 visa is a great option for a manager, executive or specialist who wants to work as an employee of an E-2 business. This blog post will go over some common questions that come up with E-2 employee visas. Please see our blog post that goes over some differences between an E-2 investor and E-2 employee visa here.

What types of employees can come to the U.S. to work for an E-2 business?

There are 2 categories of employees that can come and work for the E-2 company: (i) executives and managers, and (ii) specialized skills employees. Please see our blog post about the Two E-2 employee visa categories when you click here.

Does an E-2 employee have to have a Bachelor’s degree/education?

No. Unlike an H-1B visa, E-2 visa does not require that the employee (or the E-2 investor) has a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in relevant field. While it’s helpful and we would submit the diploma with the petition if the employee does have education, it’s not one of the E-2 visa requirements. We have processed many cases in which the E-2 employee only had a high school education and the petitions were approved (but in cases like this it’s important that the employee does have relevant experience in the field).

Does E-2 employee have to have a particular experience for the E-2 employee visa?

When evaluating an E-2 employee petition, the Consular officer will look at the applicant’s experience (among other things) to make a determination whether the applicant qualifies for the E-2 employee visa. If the applicant is applying under the executive/managerial category, then he/she should definitely have some experience in managing a business/people/department to effectively make the argument that this person qualifies for the E-2 employee visa under the managerial/executive category. Consulates generally require that the applicant submits a Resume (and any relevant diplomas) with the application.

If the person is applying under the essential skills E-2 employee category, then he/she will have to make an argument that the skills the applicant possesses are essential and unique. In most cases, the applicants for the E-2 employee visa under the essential skills category do have at least some experience in the particular industry and that helps the argument that the skills are unique (if no education or experience are required to gain the skills, then the skills are most likely not unique).

Is there a particular salary the employer needs to pay the E-2 employee?

No. There is no minimum salary the employer will need to pay to the E-2 employee (unlike for an H-1B visa). However, salary is one of the factors the officer takes into consideration when making a decision whether the applicant qualifies for the E-2 employee visa or not. For example, if the E-2 company wants to bring a CEO but offers him a salary of $40,000, the officer could have doubts whether the person will really be working as a CEO.

For how long can my employee visa be granted for?

This will generally depend on your country of nationality – nationals of different countries can get E-2 visas for different periods of time (this is called visa reciprocity ). Additionally, the period of time for which a visa can be granted can depend on when the E-2 investor’s visa expires or when the company’s E-2 visa registration expires.

What family members can come to the U.S. with an E-2 employee?

The E-2 employee’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can come to the U.S. The spouse can apply for a work authorization and once it’s approved can start working in the U.S. Both the spouse and children can study in the U.S.

Does the E-2 employee have to invest money in the business?

No, there is no investment requirement for E-2 employees. The investment is only necessary for E-2 investor visa or when registering an E-2 company.

Do E-2 employees count as employees of the company for E-2 renewal purposes?

Yes. One of the E-2 visa requirements is that the business has either present or future capacity to hire U.S. workers (this is so called marginality requirement) . In your E-2 renewal petition, you will need to submit evidence that the business did hire employees (e.g. W-2s, paystubs) since the E2 visa was granted. E-2 employees (unless they are your family members) would count for these purposes.

How many times can the E-2 visa be renewed?

There is no limit as to how many times you can extend your visa (but the investor needs to keep at least 50% ownership in the company, the investor and employee must continue to have the same nationality, and if the investor is in the US he/she has to maintain status.

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