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.

Further Information

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.

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Satya Choudhury
Satya Choudhury
2 months ago

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.

Tanuj Dewan
Tanuj Dewan
5 months ago

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.

hoshino ryuichi
hoshino ryuichi
2 months ago

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.

Christine Envall
Christine Envall
7 months ago

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.

3 years ago

When we first started our search for a firm to represent us in our journey to acquire my E2 visa, we reached out to a couple of companies and individual Attorneys. The responsive of the team-at D&A and positive reviews made the choice obvious. From the start D&A staff were very professional and easy to work with. Our Attorney, Verdie was very knowledgeable in the matter. He answered all of my questions and addressed my concerns. The team is very professional and did a wonderful job on our Business plan. And helpful Etta put together all the documentations needed for my application. All in all, Davies & Associates organization and step by step system, helped the whole process to move smoothly with out a glitch. I highly recommend Davies & Associates for any one who is pursuing an E2 Visa.

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