An E-2 visa is a Visa Classification that is available for foreign nationals who wish to live in the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of a business. The business can be large or small and an E-2 Visa is a great visa option for those who want to start a business.
Consulates have generally very specific instructions as to the format of the E2 petition in (e.g. electronic/paper submission, page limit, organization of documents into Tabs, etc.). As part of the E-2 petition submission, you will need to submit a DS160 form for you and each family member applying with you, pay a visa fee, and you will have to schedule your interview appointment.
What is a DS-160 form?
Each applicant who is applying for an E-2 visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad needs to submit a DS160 form. If there are multiple family members, each family member applying for a visa needs to submit a separate DS160. A DS160 form asks for information such as applicant’s personal information, address history, employment history, information about applicant’s family, and information about the E2 company and the investment in the U.S., and also contains security questions that ask for example about the applicant’s previous criminal or immigration violations/overstays.
I submitted the DS160 form already but just found a mistake. What should I do?
If you found a mistake on the DS160 form after you already submitted the form, you generally don’t need to re-submit the form and you can just inform the consular officer or the administrative staff at the Consulate on the day of your interview.
What information about the E2 company will I need to input in the DS160 form?
You will need to input information such as a description of the company (e.g. what services the company provides/what goods it sells), date it was incorporated, ownership of the company, your role in the company, how many employees the company has and plans to have, and details about your investment in the E2 business.
I submitted the DS160 form, what are the next steps?
After the DS160 form is submitted, you will need to pay an E2 visa fee ($205 per person). You will then need to create an account on a government website for the particular country where you will be applying for the visa (the website can usually be found on the Consulate’s website). You will need to input your personal information in the account, and you can also add your family members who are applying for a visa with you in your account – this way, all of you can attend the interview appointment together.
How can I schedule an interview appointment?
E-2 visas are very specific in a sense that usually after a Consulate receives an E2 petition, an officer reviews the petition, and once the case is ready for an interview, the Consulate sends an email to the applicant inviting him/her to schedule an interview. Applicant can then log in back on the website and schedule a first available appointment. Please note though that each Consulate usually has its own instructions about the procedure and you should check the Consulate’s website before you submit an E2 visa petition.
I need an earlier appointment. What can I do?
If you scheduled an interview appointment that is too far in the future but you need an earlier appointment, there are couple of things you can do. First, you should schedule the first available interview appointment in the system. If you need an earlier appointment, you should log into the system on daily basis to see if an earlier appointment opens up – Consulates often add more appointments or someone can cancel their appointment, so you may get lucky and get an earlier appointment. If you have been trying to do this for a while with no success and you urgently need to come to the US, you can try to request an earlier appointment.
When do I pay the reciprocity fee?
If your E-2 visa is approved, you will have to pay the reciprocity fee (for nationals of certain countries there is no fee, on the other hand for example for nationals of Australia the fee is $3,574). This fee is paid at the Consulate after the E2 visa is approved and can generally be paid by credit card (though some consulates may only take cash, so you should bring USD cash just in case).
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