An E-2 visa is an investor visa that allows entrepreneurs or business owners to either start or purchase a business in the U.S. You can find out more about the full set of E-2 visa requirements by clicking here. One of the first questions our clients ask us during an E-2 consultation is: What are the steps to get an E-2 visa? We have summarized the E-2 visa steps below:
- Find and hire a Lawyer who has processed many E-2 visas. The best E-2 cases are cases where the client has hired Scott Legal, P.C. before they have purchased anything or transferred any funds to the U.S. as when engaged early, an E-2 lawyer can plan out the steps and develop strategy so that the application has a higher chance of success. When searching for an E-2 lawyer you should ask how many E-2 applications the lawyer or firm has processed. Here at Scott Legal, P.C. we have processed hundreds of E-2 visas and the firm itself was founded on an E-2 visa. Also, we have often taken over cases where the client was not happy with their E-2 lawyer. Find out more about your options if you are unhappy with your E-2 lawyer by clicking here.
- Receive and complete our E-2 Visa Questionnaire. Once you become an E-2 client, we send you a client questionnaire that summarizes all of the information that we require to put together your E-2 file. While there are some simple informational requests such as name and address, much of the questionnaire focuses on tasks that have to be performed. (e.g. development of website, signing a lease, etc.). We have found that this questionnaire often takes clients a few months to complete.
- Scott Legal, P.C. compiles the E-2 file and submits file to the U.S. Consulate or USCIS. Once we have received all of the information requested in the questionnaire, our firm puts together all of the supporting documentation. This includes either a binder or an electronic file with indexed tabs as well as a memorandum supporting why the E-2 applicant has met all of the requirements. Once complete, the file is submitted to the U.S. Government. Most E-2 cases are processed at U.S. Consulates abroad but some are processed as USCIS applications. To find out more about whether to file an E-2 visa at a Consulate or through USCIS click here.
- U.S. Consulate reviews your file and schedules an interview. Most U.S. consulates require that an E-2 visa package be submitted in advance of an interview. Once submitted, a Consular officer will review the file and may ask for additional information to supplement the file. Once the review has been completed, the Consulate will contact the applicant to allow the applicant to set up an interview. Some Consulates permit an applicant to schedule an appointment as soon as the information package has been submitted. To find out more about the E-2 visa interview click here. If the E-2 case was processed as a change of status through USCIS, the government will respond (approval, denial or request for additional evidence (RFE) and an interview is not required. Find out more about possible responses to petitions by clicking here.
- E-2 Visa is put in passport. Consular officers will usually indicate at the interview whether they are granting the visa and it takes 4-5 days for the Consulate to put the visa in your passport. If the application is processed and approved through USCIS, the applicant will get an approval notice which allows them to stay in the U.S. for two years. If the applicant leaves the U.S., he/she must apply for a visa at a Consulate abroad for a visa.
- Enter the U.S. and start your E-2 business. Once the visa is in your passport, you can enter the U.S. and start your business. You should note that the visa is an entry document and regardless of the duration of the visa, you are granted 2 years in E-2 status every time you enter the U.S. To find out more about the duration of E-2 visas click here.
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