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Operating a Business Using an E-2 Visa.
An E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the holder to come to the United States for the purpose of setting up or acquiring and operating a U.S. business. Also, known as a US Business Visa or start-up business visa. The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is only open to people from countries holding a relevant treaty with the United States. The United Kingdom holds the oldest such treaty dating back 200 years. The E2 visa is a non-immigratnt visa.
It is important to note that the holder of a U.S. E-2 visa is only able to work in the E-2 business for which the E-2 visa was filed. An E-2 visa holder is not able to engage in formal studies that are unrelated to the E-2 work or work for unrelated entities. Why not contact us and get a free Consultation with an E2 Visa Immigration Lawyer? We are an Award-winning top 25-rated Immigration Law firm. Our Immigration Attorneys have a 100% success rate.
Can I bring my Family to the U.S. if I am on an E-2 Visa?
You are able to bring your spouse and children under the age of 21 to the United States as E-2 derivate visa holders.
Unlike the principal E-2 visa holder, the holder of an E-2 derivative visa can obtain general work authorization and work for any business or engage in a course of study. This often necessitates careful planning when deciding which member of a married couple is to be the primary E-2 visa applicant.
How Long Can I Hold an E-2 Visa for?
There is no restriction on the total number of years for which a U.K. National can hold an E2 visa. E2 visas are issued to U.K Nationals in increments of up to five years.
While other firms report lower approval periods to date all of our firm’s U.K. E-2 visa applicants except one have received an initial E-2 visa term of five (5) years, the one and only exception being a case filed for a very small business in a US consulate in Australia where an E-2 visa was issued to a U.K. National for an initial term of two (2) years.
Are there any special conditions for UK E-2 visa applicants?
The terms and conditions under which the national of any country can obtain an E-2 visa are dictated by the terms of a treaty between the country in question and the United States.
The treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States contains a provision that results in a rule that the applicant should be resident in the United Kingdom. This, therefore, raises a question about UK passport holders who are not resident in the United Kingdom.
While our firm has applied for E-2 for UK Nationals who are resident around the world the strict terms of the U.K./U.S. treaty do not permit the issuance of an E-2 visa for persons resident outside the United Kingdom. In our experience, U.S. consulates seem to have interpreted this provision as requiring prior residency in the United Kingdom coupled with an intention to return to that home in the UK and the legal right to reside in the United Kingdom. British Citizens overseas and other persons holding UK Passports that do not have the right of residency in the United Kingdom are clearly not eligible for E-2 visas.
Can I apply for an E-2 Visa from Within the United States?
A valid visa is required in order for a UK National to enter the United States for the purpose of either working in or operating a business.
It is possible to “change status” from another visa status to E-2 “status” from within the United States. For example, an applicant who enters the United States on a B-1 visa to investigate setting up a business might later be able to “change status” to E-2 status and lawfully operate a business that has been formed.
As the “visa waiver” program is NOT a visa it is NOT possible to change status from an ESTA to E-2 status from within the United States. This is the reason that many UK Nationals obtain a B1/B2 visa before entering the United States and do not rely on the ESTA/visa waiver program. While “changing status” to E-2 status means that you will enjoy the same benefits as persons admitted to the United States using an E-2 visa it is not the same as being granted an E-2 visa. Upon departure from the United States, you will lose your E-2 “status” and will need an E-2 visa to re-enter the United States.
While occasionally UK Nationals remain in the United States in E-2 status and never leave the country most persons in E-2 “status” do eventually travel outside the United States and apply for an E-2 visa in a US consulate in order to be able to re-enter the country.
E2 Visa Costs
There are several costs associated with obtaining a US E2 visa:
The cost of an E2 Visa business plan
- The cost of an E2 visa immigration lawyer
- The cost of legal setting up and forming your business
- The cost of the visa application in London or Belfast
For a small start-up business, these costs might total USD 12,000 or more including an E2 business plan.
Where to Apply
In the United Kingdom at the embassy or consulate, the Consular Section at the US Embassy in Nine Elms in London and the US consulate in Belfast
accept E2 visa applications.
For eligible applicants can be advantages to applying for your E2 visa in either of these locations and your eligibility to apply for a US business visa in each of these applications should be discussed with an E2 immigration lawyer.
Based in New York and London our E-2 visa team are experienced in representing UK Nationals with their E-2 visa petitions. Through our international office network, we are able to coordinate the filing of E-2 visa petitions in multiple consulates around the world.
Local Experience, International Expertise
Our firm has direct “on the ground” expertise both in the United Kingdom and the United States. We are familiar with the unique procedures in place at the US Embassy in London.
E2 Visa FAQs
Check out our most frequently asked questions about E2 Visa general FAQs
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I had a great experience with Davies & Associates. They are very thorough in the approach and their have experts in this field who know the domain very well.I would certainly be leaning onto them for any future needs as well.
Thanks to them for handling my E2 visa very professionally. I had a study visa from F1 and changed it to E2. I encountered many problems during the application process. Verdie and Etta were very patient in helping me and it took a long time. I highly recommend this place.
Outstanding Immigration Attorney: Highly Recommended! Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) I had the pleasure of working with Verdie Atienza and his team at Davies & Associates , a top-notch immigration attorney in the United States. Their professionalism, expertise, and dedication throughout the process were exceptional. With in-depth knowledge of immigration law, they provided accurate advice and addressed all my concerns, instilling confidence. Verdie Atienza and his team meticulously reviewed my documentation and maintained excellent communication, keeping me updated regularly. What sets Davies & Associates apart is their unparalleled attention to detail. Communication with Verdie Atienza and his team in USA and Sukanya Raman in India was always prompt and efficient. They promptly returned my calls and emails, providing regular updates on the progress of my case. This level of responsiveness and transparency significantly reduced my stress levels, as I knew I could rely on their support and guidance throughout the entire process. Their personalized approach, ethical conduct, and genuine care for my success made them an outstanding attorney. I highly recommend Davies & Associates for all your immigration needs.
Getting my E2 Visa was a very in-depth process that took just over a year from when I committed to it, but 8 months from when I found a business I wanted to purchase. The only reason I'm giving 4 and not 5 stars is because the timeframe was a lot longer than expected from the initial information. Aside from the timing, Verdie and his team led me through the Visa process, providing all the guidance I needed to be successful, including advising me on the RIGHT type of Visa to suit my goals. Within the process I purchased a business and the greater Davies team included lawyer Rinat who helped me put the deal together. One of the biggest parts was my Business Plan which created from my info by Ana Ortiz, who did an incredible job. The process is certainly tedious and Verdie & Christina were always there to answer my questions, provide suggestions and advice and ensure I had all the documents I needed to support my application. I appreciated their patience with my questions and their advice and in the end, the application was so thorough the interview process was quick and easy. I highly recommend Davies & Associates and look forward to working with them again when it's time to renew my Visa.
We were in a hurry and Verdie and the team were highly responsive and supportive, even when we threw in some curve balls along the way. We had our visas approved without any issues and felt confident and well prepared for document submissions and the interview. I'd certainly recommend this team for an E2 visa process.
Several lawyers told me I would not be able to get a TN visa. Two weeks after contacting Davies & Associates I was working in New York, visa in hand.Individual seeking 'Impossible' TN Visa
D&A was very detail-oriented and was very thorough in what they did” L1 Visa Client. There was a lot of work on my case and worked on it 24/7 and was very patient answering all my questions.E2 Visa Client
My case felt complex but D&A managed the whole process carefully and helped me move seamlessly from one stage to the next.E2 + CBI Client
D&A was my guiding light through the entire EB5 Process.EB5 Visa Client
I would definitely be a big advocate for the rest of my life for anyone wanting to explore the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme leading to the E2 Visa. The most important thing is a good team behind you.. with Davies & Associates you’re in safe hands… you need someone who can give you all the support at the ground level and, again, you are well take care of by D&A. The people are really warm, very helpful and quite openminded when it comes to business… Not to mention as a passport it’s great from a travel perspective…It’s just 4/5 hours from New York.Grenada CBI + E2 Visa Client
The entire process of getting an EB5 visa is handled in a professional way by Mark Davies and his team. EB5 is a wonderful option for anyone considering moving to the United States if you have the means. I was hoping to use the H1B route for my children, but it became unreliable and so I looked to the EB5 Visa instead. It is great for anyone who has the resources. Mark gives you the first meetings himself which gives you great comfort. Both Mark and Sanjay are abundantly available and I even had the pleasure of hosting them at my house.Parent of 2 EB5 Visa Holders
I'm in a process of extending my L1 visa. I submitted a few questions regarding my case and he contacted me back almost immediately both by e-mail and telephone. Unlike other attorneys I met before, he gave me the impression of knowing from the top of his head what kind of visa I have, and what actions had to be taken to extend it. He is very thorough and clear regarding the process and what to expect in terms of timelines and issues that may arise. He is constantly in contact, so you definitely know he's working on your case.L1B Visa Holder
Mark Davies is a joy to work with. His extensive knowledge, speedy response and attentive service took away all my fears of dealing with immigration and visa applications. He is very generous with his time in explaining every step along the way and I have already and will in the future recommend him to anybody who is looking for an immigration lawyer.E2 Visa for Small Professional Business With International Offices
Davies & Associates assisted us with an immigration emergency involving my brother's fiancée who was outside the United States. They assisted us in an highly professional manner, working with the relevant US embassy, US immigration and the governments of two other countries. As a result of their efforts the individual involved is now working in the United States. While their knowledge of the law is exemplary what really distinguishes this firm and attorney Davies from any other firm we have worked with is their dedication to customer service and their unrivaled level of professionalism.Complex Fiancée Visa Need Involving Multiple International Jurisdictions
Several lawyers told me I would not be able to get a TN visa. Two weeks after contacting Davies & Associates I was working in New York, visa in hand. I have recommended this firm to several friends and colleagues, they do an excellent job every time.Individual Seeking 'Impossible' TN Visa
I was qualified as a physician in a foreign country. Being on a J1 visa I was facing having to leave the United States and return to my home country. Davies & Associates secured one of only 30 J1 visa waivers available in my State, allowing me to work for a US hospital and remain in the United States.Doctor Seeking J1 Visa Waiver
I am very satisfied with the services Mark Davies has provided me. He has a very extensive knowledge in immigration laws and has a thorough approach to any case.U Visa Applicant, A Victim of Crime
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