What is a Visa?
A US visa is a document that enables you to arrive at the US border and seek admission to the United States. A visa and its validity dates are of no meaning while you are present in the United States.
Regardless of the validity period of an E2 or E1 visa, an E visa holder is typically admitted to the United States for a period of two years. Stated differently, an E visa holder is granted two years of E Status when entering the United States.
What a E2 Treaty Investor Visa or E1 Treaty Trader is Not
A visa does not guarantee entry to the United States in E2 Status. When you arrive at the US border a US border officer who works for CBP will determine your eligibility to enter the US in E2 Status.
CBP is the US government agency that controls the US borders. The US State Department make visa decisions. As the US State Department is a different Government agency a decision from the US State Department to issue and E2 visa is not binding on CBP. One way to think of your E visa is a request from the US State Department to CBP to admit you to the US in E2 Status.
Occasionally either a two year period of stay is not granted or the officer at the US border makes a mistake entering data to the US Government’s computer system. This can result in periods of authorized stay/status of less than two years. It is essential to check the period of stay granted at the US Border by visiting the US Government’s I-94 download page.
What is Change of Status?
Change of Status allows a person who is present in the United States in a particular status to “change status” to a different category without leaving the country. This is NOT a visa application.
How Can an E2 Investor Change of Status to E2 Status?
Typically, an E2 investor enters the USA using a B1-B2 visit visa for the purpose of investigating their E2 business. Having entered the US using a B1-B2 visa the E2 investor will be in B1-B2 status.
While B1-B2 status does allow an E2 investor to investigate and even set-up his business in the US he/she cannot work in that business, operate it or direct it from within the US. Examples of permitted activities in B1-B2 status would include:
- visiting the business site;
- incorporating a US business;
- conducting due diligence on the business;
- finding potential employees for the US business;
- opening a bank account
Once the investor is ready to operate and work in his/her E2 business the investor can “change status” to E2 status, enabling the investor to work in and operate the business.
What is Consular Processing?
The only way to obtain an E2 visa is through Consular Processing at a US consulate outside the United States. Consular Processing is simply the process of applying for a visa at a US consulate.
Why Duration of E2 Visas Vary by Nationality and by Issuing Consulate
The maximum initial validity period of an E2 visa and the number of entries allowed to the US are capped based on the Nationality of the Investor. Details by nationality are given in the E visa reciprocity table.
Consular officers can grant E2 visa validity periods less than the maximum prescribed in the reciprocity table. The tendency of consulates to do this varies by consulate and consular officer.
Advantages of Consular Processing Vs. Change of Status
|Change of Status (“COS”)||Consular Processing|
|Location of Applicant||Must be in lawful status in the United States.||Must be outside the United States at the time of consular interview.|
|Consistency||USCIS can be inconsistent and interaction with the officer responsible for adjudication of your case in advance is not possible.||It is possible to interact with consulates and seek their general view on particular issues of E2 visa law.
Unless the attitude of consulates to specific issues is known in advance they can be less consistent.
|Visa||Does not grant a visa. Persons with COS to E2 Status must apply for an E2 visa outside the United States if they depart and wish to return to the US.||Grants a visa for entry to the United States.|
|Processing Speed||Premium processing is available meaning that an application can be approved in two weeks.||No premium processing. Adjudication time varies significantly by consulate. See DOS visa adjudication times by consulate.
Expedited processing is commonly given on request in business cases but is not guaranteed.
|Interview||No interview is necessary.||Consular interview, limited exceptions apply.|
|Government Processing Fees||At the time of writing a fee of USD 460 is due. However, this can be changed by USCIS. Check here for the latest fees.|| Fees vary by consulate based on reciprocity. Consular fees can be more or less expensive than COS fees.
For example, which the reciprocity fee in the case of France is 0 the for Australians in currently USD 3,547.00.
|Legal Fees and E2 Visa Costs||Lawyers generally charge the same for preparing an application, whether COS or Consular.||Lawyers generally charge the same for preparing an application, whether COS or Consular.
However, some law firms have foreign offices serving particular consulates. If you want in-person assistance at the consulate there may be additional fees.
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.
5 stars and a high five! Thank you Verdie and Etta for assisting us with our change of status application. They were very professional and accommodating with all our questions and concerns throughout the process. Despite the time constraint, we pulled it off and we could not have done this without you guys! Keep up the good work!
I received an world-class help in how to immigrate to the USA succesfully! Alex was very open to answer my questions and is definitely a professional in what he does! Strongly recommend this firm.
I had talked with Alex Jovy, he was very quick to respond, had a lot of useful information which I was not aware of. Took time out of his day to discuss my situation and was very helpful. They go into a lot of detail which other companies do not. Overall a great service!
It was great to have a first meeting with Alex Jovy on Team and were glad to have fruitful discussion. Alex in-depth knowledge and I will highly recommend Alex for these services.
Contact Davies & Associates Offices in United States
Los Angeles Office
601 South Figueroa Street Suite 4050 Los Angeles, CA 90017
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155 N. Upper Wacker Dr. Suite 4250 Chicago, IL 60606
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80 S.W. 8th St Suite 2000 Miami, FL 33130
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1075 Peachtree Street NE Suite 3650 Atlanta, GA 30309
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+1 312 803 6950
+1 305 423 7163
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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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