E2 visa lawyer Las Vegas NV
An E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa by which a national of a treaty country (a country that shares a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States) comes to the United States when investing substantial capital in a U.S. business which he will develop and direct. To have the best chance of getting an approval it is important that you contact an e2 visa lawyer when you are contemplating your investment.
E2 visa for employees
Desired executive, supervisory or non-supervisory employees with special expertise essential to the business of the investor or a qualifying organization may be eligible for e2 visas or status provided they have the same nationality of the treaty investor or organization.
Change of Status in the U.S. or E2 Visa Abroad?
If you are in the United States in a lawful non-immigrant status, you can self-petition by filing on Form I-129 with E supplement. However, an employee will require his prospective employer to file form I-129 on his behalf.
You may want to consider whether you want to file for a change of status or an e2 visa in your home country. One of the factors to consider is whether you have a pending or approved Permanent Labor Certification application or an immigration visa petition or application. If you apply abroad a Consular officer may use Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to deny your visa because you have failed to prove to him that your activities in the United States would be consistent with your non-immigrant status.
In the United States on the other hand, the USCIS takes the view that your desire to immigrate alone should not be the basis for denying your change of status if you do not intend to remain in the United States if you are not permitted to do so. See, Lauvik v. INS, 910 F.2d. 658, 660-61 (9th Cir. 1990).
How to Apply for an E2 Visa if Outside the United States
The steps required to apply for an e2 visa may vary depending on the U.S. Consulate or Embassy where you will apply. Therefore, it is important to consult the instructions available on the embassy or consulate website where you will apply. In general, once an applicant has proof of the investment you complete an Online Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 (some Embassies also require DS-156E) and pay the visa fee if payable before your interview. Some consulates may require you to complete DS-156E. You should then schedule an interview when you have supporting evidence of the investment. It is better to schedule an interview at a Consulate in the country where you permanently reside as it may be difficult to get a visa outside of your place of permanent residence. As waiting times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. When receive your E2 visa you may then seek admission to the United States after inspection by a U.S. Customs officer at U.S. port of entry.
General e2 visa Requirements
1. The investor (a real person or a corporate investor) must be national of a treaty country. A corporation is a national if nationals of the treaty country (not including lawful permanent residents) own half or more of the stock of the organization.
2. The investment must be substantial; i.e. enough to ensure the smooth operation of the business. The percentage of investment require for a low-cost business is greater than the amount for a high-cost business.
3. The investment must be a real, active and operating commercial enterprise. Uncommitted funds in a bank account, undeveloped property or money in securities do not qualify. However, a reasonable amount of resources in a business bank account will be eligible.
4. The investment must not be marginal. It must have the capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a living for solely for the investor and his family, or it must have a substantial economic impact in the United States.
5. The investor must have control of the funds, and they must be at risk in the commercial sense to generate a profit. The investment must be from the investor’s personal funds or a loan secured by personal assets of the investor and secured on the property of the prospective business. You must prove that the funds you investment were not from criminal activity (8 CFR 214.2(e)(12)).
6. The investor’s purpose in coming to the United States must be to develop and direct the U.S. business. Employees must be coming to work in the enterprise as essential employees or at an executive or supervisory level. Ordinary skilled workers do not qualify.
Period of Stay/How to Renew E2 Visa or Status
The US Consulate will grant an E2 visa for a maximum of 5 years depending on the Department of State reciprocity schedules. Upon admission to the United States or change of status, e2 investors and employees are initially permitted a maximum stay of 2 years stay which is renewable with compliance and before the I-94 expires.
There is no limit to the number of renewals provided you can show that you still qualify and have not violated the terms of your e2 status. Essential employees needed by the investor for startup operations are generally only admitted for only two years unless special circumstances exist.
As a treaty investor in the United States you may request an extension of stay for yourself and desired employees which the Department of Homeland Security grants for up to two-year periods.
An E-2 non-immigrant that travels abroad is generally given an automatic two-year period of readmission from DHS upon entry to the United States. In this case, a new Form I-129 with USCIS is not necessary unless there are substantive changes in employment that could affect eligibility. The spouse and children of e2 investors and employees may request an extension of stay on form I-539 with supporting evidence of the principal’s status.
All E-2 non-immigrants must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated, and an expression of intent is usually sufficient.
Family of E2 Visa Investors and Employees
E2 investors and employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and children who are under 21 years of age. Their nationality is not important.
E2 spouses accompanying or following to join the e2 investor or employee can apply for employment authorization on form I-765 under Section 214(e)(6) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Dependent children are not eligible for employment authorization incident to status but may attend school without changing status to F1.
Contact our e2 visa attorney in Las Vegas for legal advice
If you need an e2 visa attorney for help with obtaining an e2 investor visa, please consult Goodin Law for a first consultation. We offer legal counsel for initial applications, e2 visa renewals or change of status to other work visa categories. We also offer help with other immigration and citizenship matters.