There are two types of investor visas so before looking into E2 visa requirements for investors you want to make sure the E2 visa is the right fit for you as a foreign investor. If the E2 visa isn’t the correct fit for you, there is also the option of an EB-5 investor green card.
But for the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on the E2 visa
Below are the standard documents that are needed for every E2 application:
· A DS-160 form. Each applicant has to present a separate DS-160, even if more than one applicant is in the same passport.
· One completed Form DS-156E for the principal applicant only
· A valid passport that will not expire for at least 6 months after the intended period of stay in the US. Note: DO NOT submit your passport. Bring your passport to your visa interview.
· One standard passport photograph (it is always a good idea to take two).
· Proof of intent to return to your country of origin.
· Proof of a source of income.
· Proof of ownership
· Evidence of substantial active investment
· Evidence of more than marginal enterprise
· Any other additional documents stated in the E2 Supporting Document Package
Of course, the bulk of the application will consist of proof of the investment’s scope and substance, and the nature of the US business.
For this, each situation will determine what exactly is needed, but a good guideline will be to use the following documents to prove that all requirements are met:
· Business Plan
· Tax Returns
· IRS Documentation
· Business Licenses
· Contracts/Service Agreements
· Bank Statements
· Organizational Charts and Job Descriptions
Consular processing is the process of actually getting an E2 visa affixed to your passport. Typically, you will elect to get an E2 visa if you are outside of the US when applying for the E2 visa or if you plan to travel in and out of the US once you receive your E2 visa.
1. Preparation of documents
If you choose to get an E2 visa, you will need to prepare the necessary documents stated in the E2 package list proving that you meet the E2 visa requirements.
You will also prepare a Form DS-160 as well as a DS-156 E supplement. You will also need to prepare separate Form DS-160s for your dependents if they are applying with you
2. Complete the Visa Application and Schedule an Appointment
Keep in mind, many US consulates have their own requirements for different countries on how they would like your E2 packet organized and submitted. You should follow the exact instructions of the US consulate when your E2 package will be submitted. Once you submit the E2 petition, the US Consulate will take about 2-3 months to review your petition.
3. Attend the interview
Once reviewed, the consulate will set up an interview with you. At the interview, you may be asked questions about the E2 investment, the source of your investment funds, and other similar questions regarding the information contained in your E2 visa package.
What to bring with you:
· Your current passport with at least six months validity. If more than one person is included in a passport, each person desiring a visa must submit a separate DS-160 application and non-refundable application fee.
· A printed copy of your Appointment Confirmation; and
· A printed copy of your DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Online Application Confirmation.
· Any other documents requested by the Embassy
Following the interview, it will take the consulate up to about 1 week to place the visa in your passport.
Normal processing time for an E2 visa is 2-4 weeks. This can vary depending on the workload of the particular consulate.
It is possible to pay for the process to be expedited. The premium processing service guarantees that visa applications will be processed within 15 calendar days. To apply for premium processing, applicants have to complete an I-907 form and pay the premium processing fee (at the time of writing, this fee was $1 225).
E2 visas are valid for a period of five years and can be renewed with two-year extensions as long as you maintain the necessary qualifications. As it stands, there are no limits on the number of extensions you can take.
In order to file for an extension of stay, you must submit:
· Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker
· Form I-539, Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status
· Copy of Form I-94 Arrival/Departure document
· Copy of original Form I-797, Notice of Action (if status was previously extended or approved)
· Copy of passport plus E2 visa
· Employer letter demonstrating why an extension is required
· Copies of personal and business tax returns (prior 2 years) plus payroll tax returns
It’s necessary to point out that if you file the extension before your I-94 expires then you can still work for 240 days pending the decision. If, on the other hand, you file after the expiration you can stay only 40 days pending the decision.