Can I still get an E2 visa without much work experience?
There isn’t a specific requirement regarding how much work experience you need to have in order to get an E2 visa. That said, there is a requirement that you need to be able to “direct and develop” a business. To that end, you will need to show that you have the ability to make the business successful.
Since you may not have a lot of work history as a “track record” that the officer can see, you will have to prove your capability in other ways.
- Education. It’s not as great as work history when it comes to proving success, but when you have no work history, every little bit helps. Maybe you had a relevant major or even relevant classes within your major. Highlight those on your resume.
- “Extraordinary” ability. There are some visas that actually require proof of “extraordinary ability.” The E2 visa doesn’t have this requirement, but you can use it to show that you meet the “direct and develop” requirement. Examples of this would be an article you wrote relevant to the business, an interview you gave on the topic, or may be a speech you gave to a group.
- Part-time work or self employment. Remember, you don’t have to work full time for someone else in order to have work history. I recently had a consultation with someone who claimed he had no work experience. However, upon further discussion, he let me know that he actually had a lot of relevant work experience but that he was self-employed at the time. This is OK!
- Ancillary experience. OK, so maybe you don’t have any work history or experience directly on point. But what about ancillary work experience? A great example of this is retail experience. Recently, I spoke with an E2 hopeful who wanted to buy a liquor store. When asked about his work history, he said that he had been an accountant for years, but nothing really on point. Then he remembered a several-year period that he had worked in a clothing store. No liquor sales — but retail, nonetheless. Same process. This could be helpful. Think about some of the work you’ve done that may be related to what you’re attempting to do with the E2 business.
Remember that at the end of the day, the officer wants to make sure that your business will be successful and that you will help the US economy. Contact us today if you’re concerned about your work history (or lack thereof). We’ll go over your options with you and give you a fair and honest assessment about your chances for the E2 visa.