An E-2 investor visa is a visa that permits an individual to obtain a visa if they buy or invest in a company. The full set of E-2 visa requirements can be viewed by clicking here. The amount of time that an E-2 visa can be issued for depends on the country you are from and the strength of your case (see more about this by clicking here) and once the time granted expires, the applicant must renew the visa. This article outlines a few considerations regarding renewing an E-2 visa.
Where should you Renew an E-2 Visa?
You can renew an E-2 visa in the U.S. or at a U.S. consulate abroad. If you renew in the U.S., you will file an application to extend your E-2 status with USCIS and you can be granted 2 additional years in E-2 status. You can file subsequent applications with USCIS and renew the E-2 visa indefinitely if you do not plan to leave the U.S.. Most applicants however renew their visas at a U.S. Consulate abroad. The reason for this is that the renewal at a Consulate will give the applicant a Visa that allows them to travel and re-enter the U.S.. The USCIS extension of status is not valid after an applicant leaves the U.S. and to reenter, the applicant would have to go to a U.S. Consulate abroad and apply for the renewal.
Should you Renew at the same Consulate the Initial Visa was Issued at?
Generally, yes but it depends. Many Consulates will “register” your company so they will already have all the relevant information about the initial application handy. As such, it often makes sense to go back to the place of origin. Some select other Consulates for convenience and because the Consulate in their home country may be tougher to get a visa granted. While the E-2 renewal law is the same everywhere, it can be applied differently at different Consulates and some Consulates have different information requirements. For example, the U.S. Consulate in Toronto only requires 2 years of tax returns and W-2 slips to process a renewal. Other Consulates require a full E-2 visa application. If you do not go to your home Consulate, you should check that the Consular post will process your renewal. Consulates in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Belize will all process E-2 visa application renewals. If you have a strong case for renewal, it should not matter where you apply.
What Makes a Strong E-2 Visa Renewal Case?
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. If your business has been running for a few years, appears viable and you have hired at least 3 U.S. workers, you likely have a good E-2 visa renewal application.
What is Required to Renew an E-2 Visa?
You can find a full set of E-2 visa renewal requirements by clicking here.
When should you Start the Renewal Process for an E-2 Visa?
Planning is key so you should start at least 2 years before your renewal date. Working with an experienced immigration lawyer will help you to positon your company so that renewals may be easier. Some start the planning process immediately after getting an E-2 visa approval.
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