E-2 Visa Renewal
If you are an E-2 visa holder and you require continued stay in the US, what is the process to renew your expiring visa?
E2 visa applicants should apply to renew their E-2 visa in advance of the expiry of their current visa, in order to maintain continuity of status in the United States.
The E-2 visa renewal process isn’t too dissimilar to the process for the initial E-2 visa application. You will again be required to collate and submit substantial documentation, which, will be subject to significant Embassy scrutiny.
NNU Immigration are here to help!
We advise on individuals and companies on the process for renewing an E-2 visa, and compiling required documentation.
Depending on whether you are applying from within or outside the US, the renewal process and implications on your status will be different.
We can advise on your specific circumstances, exploring alternative visa options where necessary.
With exceptional knowledge and insight into the visa application processes, we advise non-US entrepreneurs and investors, their dependents and their employees on available US visa and immigration options, including the E2 visa, providing full support submitting applications to the relevant US authorities.
US immigration policy is undergoing a period of considerable upheaval; we can advise on the prevailing impact of any changes in US visa rules that may impact the entry routes available to you.
Do you have a question about an E-2 visa renewal?
E-2 Visa Renewal FAQs
How long are E-2 visas valid for?
Importantly, your status (not your visa) determines how long you can stay in the US at any one time.
If your E-2 visa is valid for 5 years, this does not mean that you can stay in the US for 5 years continuously. With an E-2 visa, you are typically granted a 2 year admission period by US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) each time you enter the US.
So if you depart the US and return within the duration of your visa, you would generally be granted a two-year readmission period upon your return.
The length of time your E-2 visa is valid for depends on the nationality of the applicant . The period of visa validity generally ranges from 1 year to 5 years.
When can I renew my E-2 visa?
It’s advisable to start to look at your renewal process at least 6 months before your current visa expires.
Reach out to your legal representation and start the discussions about how the business is performing, and the type of documentation you will need to be collating for the renewal process.
It is advisable to file your visa extension application at least 12 weeks before visa expiry. You will be allowed to remain in the United States until the expiration of your I-94 admission date (to view this date visit https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/recent-search).
What is the E-2 visa renewal process?
As with the original visa application, there will be a mandatory interview stage after you have submitted the documentation.
You will need to apply from within the country you made your initial application ie outside of the US.
For example where an investor has applied from the UK, they would have to return to the UK to submit the renewal application and attend the interview.
Where the Embassy requires that a company application first be submitted and considered, the investors and employees can continue to work and live in the US while the Embassy is considering the company renewal application, provided their immigration status remains valid.
When the Embassy is ready to interview the individuals, the applicants must return and attend the interview in person.
What documents will I need to supply?
Your visa renewal application will need to be supported with extensive documentary evidence..
The specific documents will be determined by whether you are a business owner or an employee.
Examples could include for business owners:
- Tax returns
- W-2s and 1099 forms
- Copies of contracts and agreements
- Bank statements
- Company organogram
- Color copy of passport biography page
- Latest annual report
Examples could include for employees:
- Letter from your employer justifying the renewal requirement
- Color copy of your passport biography page, US entry stamps, US visas and I-94
- Your résumé
Note these examples are far from complete or exhaustive. We can advise on the documents to be compiled and submitted based on your specific circumstances.
How long can you renew the E-2 for?
There’s no limit to the amount of times you can renew your E-2 visa, provided your business continues to meet all the E-2 visa requirements.
Something to note here – you will have to evidence with each renewal application your intention to depart the US when your visa expires. For example, that you have property to return to in your home country.
Can I apply to renew from within the US?
It is possible to apply to extend your E-2 visa from within the US, but this does not grant the holder a new visa.
This means when they leave the US, to gain reentry they would need to go through the standard renewal process at the local Embassy, which could take up to three months to complete.
What will I be asked at the interview?
It is a thorough exercise to assess the actual progress of your company against the parameters and goals you set out in your original business plan.
The business must demonstrate it has achieved what it set out to achieve and made the requisite contribution to the US economy.
Have the business and financial projections been achieved? How many employees have been hired in the US over the course of the E-2 visa period?
Has your renewal application been refused?
If you apply to renew your visa from a US Embassy and your visa application is denied, you will not be able to return to the United States using your previous visa, even if time remains on this visa.
If you apply to renew your E-2 status from within the United Statesyou’re your application is denied, you will need to prepare to depart the United States. Overstaying, ie remaining in the US after the expiry of your status, could result in deportation and restrictions placed on future visa applications.
Any dependents including spouse will also have to depart the US.
Refusals are a complex area of immigration law; seek advice on your options.
Can an E-2 Visa lead to Green Card?
Put simply – no. The E-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, meaning there is no path to permanent US residence.
At the point when you ‘complete’ your work or exit the business – eg to retire, disposal, acquisition – no longer meeting the E-2 visa eligibility criteria, the visa is no longer valid, and you must return to your home country, provided no other alternative visa could apply should you wish to remain in the US.