E2 VISA Requirements
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There are a great number of E2 Visa requirements any applicant must meet. However, for the purpose of clarity, these can be informally split into Personal Requirements and Investment Requirements.
The Personal Requirements covered on this page mostly relate to the nationality, citizenship and country of residence of any particular applicant and for the most part are fairly well defined and relatively straightforward.
However, the Investment Requirements are considerably more complex, less well defined and will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. Ultimately the investment requirements are intended to ensure that the business being invested in is legitimate and will make a worthy contribution to the US economy.
In order to be eligible for an E2 visa you must be a national of a country that has a qualifying treaty with the USA.
For UK nationals the relevant treaty entered into force over 200 years ago in 1815 and is the oldest qualifying treaty for the purposes of the E2 Visa. So, if you are a UK national and hold a British Passport you would meet the necessary requirements for Nationality.
There is an additional residency requirement UK nationals must meet which is that they are also considered to be residents of a British Territory within Europe. ( England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Mann, Channel Islands or Gibraltar). See official wording here
Generally speaking, if you live and work in the United Kingdom you are likely to be considered a resident. Even if you have been working temporarily in another country for several years, but haven’t taken up permanent residency there, you may also meet the the residency requirement.
However, if you hold a UK passport but are domiciled in another country, even if that country has a qualifying treaty with the USA, the residency requirement is less likely to be met.
In addition to the main principle investor the spouse and any children under the age of 21 can also apply for E2 Visas provided that they are also citizens of country that has a qualifying treaty with the USA.
Whilst the principle investor will only be allowed to work for the E2 visa company, following an E@ Visa being granted the spouse can then apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and a Social Security Number (SSN). Once having obtained both the spouse will be free to apply for work for any US company.
Children are allowed to remain on the principles visa until the age of 21. They can not obtain work authorization during that time, they can become students and can also obtain a student visa, however they will be treated as a foreign student and applicable fees will apply.
In certain instances an E2 can be issued to an employee of the petitioning business, this basically means that instead of the investor applying for the E2 in this case it would be a manager or executive of the company obtaining the E2 in order to direct the company or fill a managerial position in the company that requires skills unique to the E2 applicant.
E2 Visa Renewal Requirements
Once your initial Visa is reaching its expiry date a new E2 visa or renewal will need to be obtained, this is a complete process and a full application has to be prepared and submitted to the embassy proving that the business is not only viable but has and continues to fulfil the requirements for the E2 visa, once again we do not recommend that you do this yourself.
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Common Questions Regarding Personal E2 Visa Requirements
Can my partner apply as a spouse even if we are not husband and wife?
Only your spouse and children under 21 will be issued a visa along with yours, you have to be married for your partner to get a spousal visa with yours.
What will happen to my children when they reach 21?
When your children reach 21 they become adult in the eyes of the United States Immigration system and therefore will require their own visa. This can be obtained in a couple of ways if they choose to stay in the USA with you.
How long will my E2 visa be valid for?
E2 visas are issued for up to 5 years at a time, although this is purely at the discretion of the adjudicator at the embassy.
Can I get health insurance in the USA?
Yes you can and we have some great contacts for you for when you arrive in the USA to help you obtain health insurance.
Can E2 Visa Express also help me with my E2 renewal?
Yes! E2 Visa Express provide assistance with renewals for both existing and non-existing clients when the time comes.
Is it a requirement that I have no criminal record or spent convictions?
That would depend on what the record is for, crimes of moral turpitude are hard to overcome and may prevent you from being issued a visa. If you have any criminal record you will need a copy of it from the UK police.