An E-2 investor visa is an excellent option for people who seek to start and develop a business in the U.S. This classification permits investors, employees and their immediate family members to live in the U.S. while they run their business. This visa is available to foreign nationals from countries that maintain treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States. For more information about E-2 visa qualifications, please click here.
While the legal requirements for E-2 visas are the same no matter the Consulate where you apply, application procedures and adjudication methodologies are Consulate-specific and may vary across Consulates. For example, some Consulates have a page limit for submissions while others do not.
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico have some very specific instructions that you are required to follow when submitting an E-2 visa application. Some of the key instructions are summarized below:
Who Can Apply?
- The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico accepts applications from Mexican citizens and also accepts visa applications from third country nationals in limited circumstances which are described on the Consulate’s website.
- As an example, foreign nationals who are not Mexican citizens may apply for a visa renewal at a Consulate in Mexico as long as they are living in the U.S. and applying for a renewal in the same visa category.
- A U.K. national who resides in Texas in E-2 status may apply for E-2 renewal at a Consulate in Mexico.
- A U.K. national who resides in Texas in H-4 status may NOT apply for an H-1B visa at a Consulate in Mexico, as the Consulate considers the H-4 and H-1B to be separate visa categories.
- No B visas will be issued to a third country national who are not legal residents of Mexico, except in some very limited circumstances.
What are Some Special Considerations for Applying for an E-2 Visa in Mexico?
- In a recent change, all E-2 visa applications are now processed at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez. This is the only Consulate in Mexico that will accept E-2 visa applications.
- The E-2 visa application in Mexico has a very strict page limit of 70 pages for supporting documents. Applications that are even one page over the page limit may be rejected, as well as applications that attempt to fit multiple receipts or invoices onto a single page. As specified in the instructions on the Consulate website, certain documents are excluded from the page limit, such as tax returns and W-2s.
- The document list published by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico is 11 pages long, and has over 50 bullet points.
- Some Consulates are notorious for returning E-2 binders for failing to meet procedural requirements, resulting in “binder ping pong” between the Consulate and the applicant.
- You will need to appear twice at the Embassy or Consulate, once to get your biometrics taken and then for the actual E-2 interview. The biometrics appointment can be at any Appointment Service Center location in Mexico, while the E-2 interview must take place at the Consulate in Ciudad Juarez.
As the above special considerations demonstrate, a skilled immigration attorney is critical to the success of your E-2 application. Your attorney will assist you in choosing the appropriate Consulate where you should apply, as well as determining what would be an appropriate investment amount and preparing an application package that includes the most relevant documents to strengthen your application.
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