How long does it take to get an E2 visa?
Although the processing times vary, the good news is that much of the E2 visa timeframe depends upon you. You are the master of your own destiny for a majority of the process! We will go through the different steps to the process along with the average timelines and what can affect those timelines, below.
Step 1: Picking a business to start or buy and getting your money together
This step is the first step in the E2 visa process. This happens even before you hire an E2 visa lawyer. You must pick the type of business you would like to start or buy, and you must have access to the investment funds. This doesn’t mean that you have the money in your account, but you need to know where you will get the funds and how much you will be able to get.
Timeframe for Step 1: Completely up to you. Some people know this immediately. Some people take several months to go through this step.
Step 2: Call an E2 visa attorney
Speak with an attorney and ask basic questions about the E2. You should hire the attorney you trust and has the most experience.
Timeframe for Step 2: Completely up to you. It takes most people less than a week.
Step 3: Start gathering the documents needed for the E2 visa
Your E2 visa attorney should be able to guide you through this step.
Timeframe for Step 3: Completely up to you. It takes most people 3-4 months to gather all of the documents needed to apply for the visa. However, we have had some clients who have done it in less time and some clients who have taken a year to get these documents.
Step 4: E2 visa attorney puts the application together
This is the part where your attorney will review the documents and let you know what documents may still be missing from the file. Once the documents are all in the file, the attorney will assemble the application and send it to the appropriate government entity.
Timeframe for Step 4: Up to the attorney and you. It takes most attorneys and clients about two weeks to put the application together once all documents are in the file. However, some applications may move faster and some may take a bit longer.
Step 5: Government review and interview
This is the part of the application that involves the government review of your application and either issues a decision or schedules an interview for you.
Timeframe for Step 5: Completely up to the government. In some cases, you may receive a decision in two weeks (if approved through USCIS) or you may need to wait up to 12 weeks for an interview at the U.S. consulate in your home country. Neither you nor your attorney have any control over this process. And the pandemic has definitely affected these timeframes. The great news is that since the vaccines are now available in many countries, the consulates are beginning to open with more regularity.
So, how long does it take to get an E2 visa? The answer will depend mostly on you! If you have chosen a business that needs little in the way of additional permits/construction before opening, you may be able to get through the process (except for the final step) in 4-5 months. For those who may have a more complicated business or who take more time to make decisions, it could take 8-9 months (except for the final step).
Questions about how long the E2 visa process may take in your particular case? Reach out to ask! We would be thrilled to speak with you.