By Cecelia Thomas and Kisshia Simmons, Esq.
Are you a business owner or foreign investor currently living in the United States and interested in extending your stay? Or are you businessperson living outside of the United States, and you plan to immigrate in order to engage in substantial trade with the U.S. or work for a company that does? If either of these scenarios applies to you, then an E visa may be your best option for residing in the United States.
What is an E Visa?
If applying for an E visa, you should be aware of these important points.
The E Visa is specifically for business owners, managers and employers that seek to remain in the United States for extended periods of time in order to oversee or work in an enterprise engaged in trade between the United States and a foreign nation OR that represents a major investment in the U.S.
This visa is only available if there is treaty of commerce and navigation or a bilateral investment treaty is in existence between the U.S. and the foreign state of the petitioner’s birth. The E visa was established in order to provide for reciprocal benefits to residents of both U.S. and foreign countries that invest or conduct trade between the two countries. In other words, this E visa promotes mutual trade and business ventures between countries that hold commerce treaties with the U.S. A list of the E visa foreign countries that exists as part of the treaty arrangement with the US are at this link: E Visa Treaty Countries
The E-2 visa is used for overseeing investment in the U.S. such as starting a business or holding a managerial role in the business. Each E Visa can be used by different types of companies, from one owned by a single investor to a large multinational corporation. It can also be used by the company’s principals or by its employees as long as they are performing functions approved by the applicable rules.
Although an initial period of stay of two years is granted to persons coming to the U.S. in the E category, this period can be extended almost indefinitely providing that the individual affirms that they will leave the U.S. when the period of authorized stay, including unlimited extensions, ends.
What Are My Next Steps?
The E visa process is very complicated and requires a substantial amount of documentation. We advise you to have an attorney experienced with E visas guide you through this process. Feel free to call our office with your E visa questions today.