Introduction

An E-2 Investor Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to make a substantial investment in a U.S. business and develop and direct that business. To acquire this visa, you must first be a national from an E2 treaty country. As it currently stands, there are almost 80 countries that have E2 treaties with the U.S.

To know more about the E2 Visa and to check whether your country is one of the E2 treaty countries, you can also check the overview from the USCIS here.

E2 Visa Validity Period

Depending on your nationality, your E2 Visa validity period can range from 3 months to 5 years depending on the reciprocity schedule with the treaty country. The reciprocity schedule determines the validity period of the E2 visa. For example, if your E2 Visa's validity is 3 months, then you can enter the United States within that 3 months from the date of the issuance.

The validity period is to not be confused with the period of authorized stay, which is the time that you are allowed to remain in the U.S. The period of authorized stay for every entry on a valid E2 Visa is two years, which will be reflected in the I-94. You have to make sure that you do not stay beyond the date in the I-94. If your visa is still valid, you can simply depart the U.S. and re-enter to be re-admitted for another two years. If you do not want to depart the U.S.,  you may also file an application with USCIS for extension of your E2 status.  When the application is approved, USCIS will issue a new I-94 with an additional period of two years of authorized stay.

When to renew an E2 Visa

Generally, the validity period of the E2 Visa is five years as long as you satisfy the E2 visa requirements. Again, it would always depend on the reciprocity schedule. However, it should be noted that even if the reciprocity schedule provides for 5 years, the consular officer has the discretion to give a visa validity that is less than what is provided in the reciprocity schedule.

It is best to plan the renewal of your visa immediately after obtaining it as it is usual for investors to concentrate on the success of their business, but often ignore the visa requirements. You can apply to renew your E-2 visa as early as six months before the expiration date. If you want to maintain your ability to travel, it is important to plan ahead for the renewal of your E2 visa.

Costs for E2 Visa Renewal

In order to apply to renew your E2 visa, you will have to pay the MRV application fee. The MRV application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. There will be no refund of the fee, regardless of whether the visa is ultimately issued or refused. The fee for a treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation (E category) will is  $315.  

Nationals of certain countries are required to pay an issuance fee in order for an approved visa to be issued. Fees are based on reciprocity and reflect the charges levied by the applicant’s government to a U.S. citizen for a similar service. You will be advised upon approval of your application whether or not an issuance fee is required. You can check our E2 Visa Cost guide for more.

Requirements for E2 Visa Renewal

The renewal process of an E2 Visa is similar to first applying for one. You may apply for the renewal of your E-2 visa in the U.S. consulate in their home country or in other locations that accept E-2 applications from third country nationals.

The renewal process requires the following:

  • Form DS-160 Confirmation Sheet

  • Complete Form DS-156E application

  • A copy of the payment receipt detailing that the MRV was paid

  • Detailed letter showing the applicant's job in detail

  • Notice of Action letter, if E2 Visa was previously extended

  • Colored copy of passport's bio-data page and copies of any US Visa, US entry or exit stamps, and I-94

  • Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker)

  • Copy of business tax returns from the past 5 years

  • Detailed profit and loss statements

  • Proof of substantial investment in the enterprise

  • Continued proof that the investment funds are at risk

  • Evidence that the investment funds were from a bona fide source

  • Copy of all other payroll and financial statements or financial documents.

  • Proof of visa holder's physical presence in the United States

  • Visa interview at the USCIS office or the U.S. embassy

  • Present the E2 Visa application for renewal packet to the interviewing officer

  • Other supporting documents requested

Moreover, E2 Visa holders must present documents that show proof that the business is not marginal and has generated sufficient income, indicate evidence that the business has created job opportunities, and demonstrate how the last several years of the business have displayed favorable and encouraging operations.

The documents needed to be submitted for an extension of an E2 Visa can be complex for the layman, so we strongly advise that you seek the help of a lawyer experienced in immigration law to give you advice and assistance on documentary evidence you might need to submit.

E2 Visa renewal process

It is important to check with the Embassy or Consulate for specific requirements or instructions when it comes to applications for renewal of E-2 visa. In most cases, there are Embassy-specific instructions that you need to follow.

In general, you have to complete and submit your DS-160 application, pay the MRV fee and submit the E-2 application package to the Embassy or Consulate. The Embassy usually reviews that application in advance before notifying the applicant to schedule an interview.

E2 Visa renewal processing times

Generally, it will take 2 to 4 weeks from the filing of the application before the approval of the extension. This varies, however, depending on the workload of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Depending on the forms that you're required to submit, your wait times can be longer or shorter. You can also check our E2 Visa Processing Time guide for more information.

Extensive supporting documents

Your E2 Visa renewal application needs to be heavily supported by extensive documentary evidence. These documents are based on whether you're a business owner or an employee and based on your specific circumstances.

For example, these supporting documents can be tax returns, copies of contracts and agreements, bank statements, the latest annual report, and company organogram among others for business owners. Meanwhile, employees may be asked to submit their resume, color copy of their passport, and letter from their employer justifying the renewal requirement among others.

E2 Visa renewal for dependents

  • As an E2 investor, you can be accompanied by your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 as dependents. In most cases, your family members will be granted the same period of stay and they can apply for an extension of stay by filing Form I-539 (Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant status).

  • While E2 dependents are not required to invest or work at an E2 business, they would still need to provide evidence in support of their application.

E2 Visa eligibility

You have to first qualify for an E2 visa before you can apply to renew it. In case you are wondering, we are summarizing the E2 visa requirements below:

  • Your nationality must be of one of the treaty countries that have an E2 treaty with the U.S.;

  • You must have a substantial investment in a U.S. company;

  • The investment funds must be lawfully acquired and must be at risk;

  • The business must not be a marginal enterprise that's solely for earning a living;

  • The business must be a real entity and must be active for profit.

  • You must be in a position to direct the enterprise and show control of the operations;

  • If you're an employee, you must have the skills needed for the operation of a firm in the U.S.; and

  • You must intend to leave the U.S. once your E2 Visa ends.

Application for Extension Of Status with USCIS

Again, it is important to understand the difference between visa and status. The visa allows you to enter the U.S. and once you enter the U.S., you will be given a status with a corresponding period of authorized stay depending on your classification. 

If you enter on a valid E-2 visa, regardless of the validity date of the visa, you should always be given a period of two years of authorized stay. Given this, it is possible for your E2 visa to expire while you are inside the U.S. and still maintain lawful E-2 status in the U.S. if you are still within your period of your authorized stay as per your I-94. It is crucial to keep in mind that you should not stay in the U.S. beyond your period of authorized stay.

If you, your spouse and your children need to stay in the U.S. and your period of authorized stay is about to expire, you have to make sure that you file the necessary forms with USCIS to apply to extend your E2 status. If approved, USCIS will issue a new I-94 with your new dates of authorized stay.

Actions to take if denied

It is not difficult to get your E2 visa renewed if you are able to demonstrate that you continue to meet requirements. However, it is still possible for E2 visa renewal applications to be denied. 

One of the most common reasons why a renewal application gets denied is due to the marginality requirement. The E2 Visa requires that the enterprise must not be a marginal enterprise, which means that the business must have a present or future capacity to be profitable beyond solely providing for the treaty investor and their family. This is because the U.S. wants investors to contribute to the economy, and creating jobs is one way to do so. If you've been running a business for 5 years, it must be on a scale enough to employ several workers.

It is important to note that a denial of a visa application cannot be appealed. It may only be possible to request for a review of the case if there is a clear misapplication of the law. In most cases, it would be easier to resubmit your application once you have addressed the issues that resulted in a denial.

If you filed an application to extend your E2 status and USCIS denies your application, you may have the option to file the following:

  • An Appeal with the Administrative Appeals Office;

  • A Motion to Reconsider the USCIS decision;

  • A Motion to Reopen the USCIS decision; or 

  • A Joint Motion to Reconsider and Reopen the USCIS decision.

Of course, it's hard when you get denied for your renewal. Here at Davies & Associates, our experienced immigration lawyers can help you with your E2 Visa renewal application so you won't have to worry about submitting the wrong documents.

FAQS

No. You will have to apply to renew your E-2 visa to be able to re-enter the U.S.
Yes, you can continue running your business as long as the extension was filed before your Form I-94 expires.
As long as you meet the requirements, there's no cap on the number of times you can extend your E2 Visa.
Yes, it is possible to apply to change your status. You will have to prove that you have maintained your lawful E2 status and demonstrate your eligibility for the requested classification.
Yes, your spouse can work in the U.S. while you're on an E2 Visa. Meanwhile, your children are also eligible to study in the U.S. without needing any additional visas or applications.

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Eranjan Venura Parua
Eranjan Venura Parua
2 months ago

"After finding D&A through an internet search in 2020, my wife and I had several free consultations with David Cantor. Despite our initial attempt at filing for our E2 visa independently ending in failure, we decided to hire D&A for their expertise and support. Over the course of four long years, Verdie and Cristina were incredibly patient as we took our time to prepare for the E2 submission. Verdie became our E2 Attorney in 2021, and from the start, Verdie and Cristina's patience was evident. Despite our intermittent engagement over the years, they always treated us with the utmost attention. Working with Verdie and the D&A team was a pleasure; their professionalism and support were unwavering. Verdie's calm demeanor and succinct communication style made navigating the process much smoother, even during complex discussions. I wholeheartedly recommend Verdie and D&A - Davies & Associates, to anyone seeking an immigration law firm who can efficiently handle their case with precision and without unnecessary fanfare. Their ability to get things done speaks volumes about their dedication to their clients' success."

Jeremy Abernathy
Jeremy Abernathy
4 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with Verdie and Nessa to obtain my E2 Visa. Their in-depth knowledge and experience allowed me to be fully prepared in my application and they were able to answer all questions leading up to the Visa interview.

Saeed Muhammad
Saeed Muhammad
5 months ago

Verdie was an amazing attorney, providing exceptional client care throughout the process. He had a great depth of knowledge in all areas on business visas in the US.

Satyabrat Chowdhury
Satyabrat Chowdhury
8 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.

Christine Envall
Christine Envall
a year 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.

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