What is the E2 visa process?

Learn about the e2 visa procees
What is the E2 visa process?

If you’re researching the E2 visa, chances are that gaining an understanding of the specific steps in the process may be a bit elusive.  Maybe you have seen the E2 visa requirements, but the question remains “How do I get from starting this process to getting the E2 visa?”  This article will break down exactly how to start, the steps to take and how the process will end.   Of course, each person’s journey may be a bit different; so please reach out to discuss the facts of your case.  It would be a pleasure to help!

  1. The first step in the E-2 visa process is to decide what business you want to start or buy. You can buy something that already exists, start a new franchise or start your own business.  This part is totally up to you, and it’s something with which an E2 visa attorney can’t assist.  As an E2 visa lawyer, I can help you with all things immigration, but I can’t help you decide what type of business you want to run in the U.S.  This is going to be up to you.  The great news is that almost any business will work.  These are the things to keep in mind when determining the type of business and whether you want to start a new business or to purchase an existing business:
      1. The business must be legal.
      2. You should have customers/clients.
      3. You should have at least one part-time employee at the beginning and plan for more employees in time. (There is no minimum number of employees you must have, but I recommend at least 4-5 at the end of five years.)
      4. The business must be “for-profit,” meaning that it isn’t registered as a charitable organization.

Other than that, there aren’t really any requirements for the type of business you start or purchase.

  1. The second step is identifying how much money you will have to invest in the business. At this point, keep in mind that there are many different sources of funds. Some of the most common include the following:
      1. sale of real estate,
      2. personal savings,
      3. family gift,
      4. legal settlement,
      5. sale of business.

However, there are many other ways that people get money in order to invest.  Almost all of our clients get funds from two or even three different sources.  All of this is OK – just be sure that the sources of funds are traceable, easily explainable and legal.

  1. Now we are on to step three – hiring an E2 visa lawyer. This is when you will contact us, and we can walk you through the E2 visa requirements and documentation.
  2. After you hire an E-2 visa attorney, the attorney will walk you through how to document each requirement of the visa process. We at Rupert Law Group focus on a step-by-step approach in order to move quickly and efficiently.  Most importantly, we work to ensure that our clients understand each step and focus on one step at a time.  We have found over the years that this approach is the fastest and simplest for clients.  We work through the requirements in the following order:
    1. Ownership and source of funds
    2. Evidence of investment
    3. Applicant and family information
    4. Marginality
    5. Real and operating
    6. Government forms
  3. Our approach is to speak with clients every three weeks regarding each step in the process. We let you know what documents to gather and answer any questions along the way.  This part of the E2 visa process takes most investors about 12-16 weeks.  Some move a little faster and some take much longer.  This E2 visa process timeline is all about you.  In most cases, there is no timeline other than your own, and we will work with you at your pace.
  4. After we have worked through all the documentation, it takes us about two weeks to put together the application and submit to the government for review.
  5. If you choose to apply for a change of status with USCIS, you will wait about three weeks to hear whether you have been approved, denied or if the government needs more information. If you are approved, you can begin work immediately.  If you need to submit more documents, we will work with you to gather the documents and send to the government.
  6. If you choose to apply at the U.S. consulate in your home country, the wait for an interview date will vary. Many consulates will be able to conduct your interview within 8-12 weeks of receiving your application.
  7. Once you know the interview date, we will schedule an interview preparation call with you. We will discuss where to go, what to bring with you, what questions may be asked and more. At this point, you will likely have questions, as well.  We will be happy to answer.
  8. On the date of your E2 visa interview, you will go to the U.S. consulate in your home country. Your spouse and your children (ages 14-20) will need to attend the interview, as well.  Usually, the interview lasts about 10 minutes or so.  Some officers conduct shorter interviews, and some are longer; but 10 minutes is the average. In almost every case, the officer will let you know, while you stand at the counter, whether you are approved or denied.  If you are approved, you and your family members will leave the passports at the U.S. consulate.  You should get the passports with the E2 visas in them about one week later.
  9. Once you have the passports with the visas, you and your family can come to the United States right away.

Of course, I wouldn’t be a lawyer if I didn’t mention that nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice.  The information is only a general guideline, and you may have different facts or issues that aren’t mentioned in this article.

To get legal information regarding an E2 visa for you and your family, you must become a client.  So, call us!  We would love to help you through all of the steps in the E2 visa process.

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