E2 Visa Processing Time at the Embassies/Consulates

It is interesting to note that you can apply for the E-2 visa directly with the Embassy/Consulate. You do not need to get a petition approved by USCIS before you can apply for the E-2 visa unlike other visa classifications like H-1B or L-1.

If you're applying for an E-2 Treaty Visa, here are the necessary steps you'd take including the processing times:

Step 1: Submit your E2 visa application to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate

First, you have to submit your E-2 non-immigrant visa application to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy. The length of time to review your documents would depend on the applicable US consulate or embassy.

Generally, however, the consulate process can take from about two weeks to four months. Once they have reviewed your documents, they may ask for additional documents or proceed to schedule the interview.

If you have accompanying family members, such as your spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21, they may also apply at the same time as you or even after your E-2 visa has been issued.

Step 2: E2 Visa Interview

Your visa interview may be scheduled within 1 week or 2 of your application getting reviewed and accepted, but note that appointment wait times vary in every Embassy or Consulate.

Step 3: Acquiring the E2 Visa

At the end of the interview, the officer will usually approve or deny the application, but it is also possible for the officer to put the application for administrative processing if they need more documents or more time to verify the records. Upon approval of the application, it may take 5 to 7 days to receive your passport back with the E-2 visa stamp.

E2 Visa Application Completion

If you're a visa applicant applying for the first time outside the U.S., then you have to submit your Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application) through the CEAC website.

The estimated processing times at the Embassy/Consulate can vary depending on the officer processing your visa. It should be noted that the officer may require further supporting documentation to support your application or it is also possible that delays in identity checks and security procedures may happen.

Interview in E2 Visa Processing Time

Once the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country has done an initial review of all of your documents, all identity and security concerns are resolved, and all questions about eligibility have been answered satisfactorily, they will schedule a visa interview.

The availability of the appointments depends on your country. There are times when national emergencies and natural disasters may also introduce delays to the process.

After a successful in-person interview, you may receive your visa within 5 to 7 days.

Processing Time for Change of Status to E-2 Treaty Investor Status

If you are currently in the U.S. on a valid nonimmigrant visa/status (like B1/B2 or F-1), you may be eligible to apply to change your status to E-2. If you're applying for an E-2 visa through a change of status, here are the following processing times:

Form I-129 Processing Time

After you've filed your Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker), it would take 2 to 3 months for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review and issue a response. If they approve your petition, your change of status will begin from the date specified on your approval notice.

The USCIS may also issue a request for additional evidence. They will give you time to prepare them, which may take additional wait times from 3 to 6 months.

Premium Processing Time

The USCIS also offers a premium processing service for an additional fee. If you proceed with premium processing, they will review your petition and issue a response within 15 days. You just need to pay for a premium processing fee of $ 2,500 USD.

However, take note that it only guarantees an initial response within the premium processing time of 15 days. If the initial response is a Request for Evidence, the USCIS will give you a period of time to respond (usually 30 to 60 days). Once you submit your response, USCIS will again have 15 days to decide. Please note that paying the premium processing fee does not guarantee an approval.

Our guide on the costs of E2 visa (or status) will help you identify other fees aside from the premium processing fee.

For applicants present in the U.S. physically, their applications to change status can be filed directly with the USCIS. However, it is important to understand that USCIS will not issue your E-2 visa. If your application to change status is approved, you will only receive a new I-94 with your new authorized dates, which should be an additional period of two years. If you leave the U.S., you will need to apply for the E-2 visa at an Embassy or Consulate to be able to re-enter the U.S. Your application will be treated as a new application and the Embassy or Consulate is not bound by the decision of USCIS to approve your change of status application.

Guide on avoiding delays in E2 Visa processing times

There are some actions and steps you can take to avoid delays in the processing of your E-2 application. A comprehensive and compelling application is key to an efficient and successful application:

Eligibility for an E2 Visa

Treaty investors must show the following E-2 Visa requirements and evidence to be eligible:

  • That you are a national from an eligible E-2 treaty country that maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation or a qualifying international agreement with the U.S.;

  • That you have a non-immigrant intent, which is an intent to depart once your E-2 nonimmigrant status ends.

  • You have invested or are due to invest a substantial amount of investment in a bona fide enterprise in the U.S. to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. This means that there must be a real, active and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking that produces services or products for profit;

  • hat your investment funds were lawfully obtained;

  • That the U.S. business is active and for-profit, and not a marginal enterprise.

  • That the invested funds are put at risk in the commercial sense.

  • That you own at least 50% of the enterprise possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device, as this demonstrates that the sole purpose of your entry is to manage your investment in the U.S.

Take note that the main difference between an E1 Treaty Trader visa to an E2 Visa is that an E1 Visa, allows nationals from treaty countries to conduct trade between the U.S. and their country.

The E-2 visa also allows the investor to bring certain employees or of a qualifying organization to the U.S. If you're an employee, these are the things you would need to show:

  • That you have the same nationality as your E-2 employer.

  • That you are working either in an executive and supervisory character or you have a special qualification as an employee.

  • That you pass the general grounds for admission to the U.S.

Special qualifications are aptitudes of an employee which makes their services essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise.

Document Compilation

Take your time in gathering and preparing your personal, legal, and financial and necessary documentation. This ensures that you have a greater chance of success when you file for your application with the USCIS or the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Your application may be served with a Request for Evidence, which requires that you submit additional information or documents for your application. This can unduly delay your visa process, so submitting all the needed information and documents is key to a fast process.

Investment in a business plan

As a treaty investor, you would need to give some time to research and develop your business plan for your new business. Your business plan should provide the consular officer with the comprehensive details of your investment enterprise with performance projections.

You should always assume that the officer has little information about the strategies, competition and operations of your area of business.

D&A has a specialist business plan team that can assist you in preparing the business plan that complies with the E-2 requirements. We will need you to complete a business plan questionnaire and our team can prepare the business plan for you.

Difficulty in obtaining an E2 Visa

While the approval rate for E-2 visa is quite high, applications can still be denied for a lot of reasons.

  1. You are not a national or citizen of a treaty country. You should not apply for E-2 visa if you do not hold a passport of a treaty country. It may be possible to obtain a passport of a treaty country if you make a donation or an investment in countries that offer a citizenship program.

  2. You are unable to prove the source and path of your investment funds.

  3. You are unable to prove that your business will be more than marginal.

  4. You are unable to demonstrate that you have ties to your home country.

E2 Visa Success Rate

Each circumstance and case of an applicant is unique, so there is no definitive answer on the success rate of an E-2 visa. However, it can be said that the success rate can be high as long as you have submitted all the required documents and you meet the criteria for eligibility.

The E-2 Visa approval rate for 2021 is recorded at 92.51%.

To ensure a higher success in getting your E-2 Visa approved, we recommend that you also rule in your application process hiring an immigration attorney. Here at Davies & Associates, we have a pool of experienced immigration attorneys who will help you make sure that all the needed substantial and additional documentation is prepared, ensuring higher success in getting your approval.

E2 Visa Renewal

The validity of the E-2 visa depends on a reciprocity schedule with the treaty country. For most treaty countries, the reciprocity schedule is 5 years, but for some it is 4 years. There are also countries like Egypt or Jordan with reciprocity schedule of 3 months. Regardless of the validity of the visa, when you enter on a valid E-2 visa, you will be given a period of two years or authorized stay. This means that you can stay in the U.S. for a full period of two years without having to leave. With a valid E-2 visa, you are free to come in and out of the U.S. and you will be given a period of authorized stay of two years for every entry.

If you are traveling, you need to make sure that your visa is valid to be able to re-enter the U.S. If you are in the U.S. on E-2 status after an approved change of status application or if your visa has expired, but you still have a valid I-94, you may choose to remain in the U.S., but you have to make sure that you apply to extend your E-2 status with USCIS so that you can get another two year period provided that you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.

The process to renew an E2 Visa is the same as filing an initial application. The main difference is that the applicant must show that they are continuously investing and developing the existing business in the U.S.

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Jeremy Abernathy
Jeremy Abernathy
a month 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
2 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.

hoshino ryuichi
hoshino ryuichi
5 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.

Satyabrat Chowdhury
Satyabrat Chowdhury
5 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.

Jimmi Batth
Jimmi Batth
2 weeks ago

everyone helped me alot in my application especially Verdie and Etta and mark. answered all my questions, prepared my application very organised. EXCELLANT TEAM.

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