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.