I’ve found as an immigration lawyer working in the San Francisco and San Jose Bay area that often those applying for an E-2 visa do not want to enter the country alone. Sometimes, they have a co-investor or a co-business partner who is a relative or one who is unrelated to them. There’s nothing wrong with this but there are regulations of which applicants must be aware.
These are the primary rules and regulations pertaining to co-investors and family members that I’ve found to be most important in working as an immigration lawyer with my clients in San Jose.
Rules and Regulations
- If co-investors create a business, they may qualify for E-2 visas.
- Those co-investors may be two unrelated business partners or they may be related. Examples include a husband and wife, son and daughter or mother and son.
- As an investor in the company that is being created in the U.S., they are only allowed to work for that specific company.
- If they are admitted as a spouse and not as a business partner, then once in the U.S. they may apply for work authorization and may work for anyone.
- If you have dependent children, they are usually awarded E-2 dependent visas that are valid until they turn 21. They may study in but they may not work in the U.S.
- After the age of 21, children may apply for a F-1 visa to attend college or for their own E-2 visa if they become an investor in an enterprise.
- College graduates may apply for a H-1B professional position visa. There are restrictions as to how many of these visas are awarded each year.
Other Rules and Regulations
- Initially, E-2 status is usually given for two years and after review may be granted an extension. E-2 visas may be granted for up to five years. As long as the business is successful (and you are able to prove this to USCIS), you may renew your E-2. The length of time granted for an E-2 visa is subject to “reciprocity”. This is an agreement between your home country and the U.S. Most US Embassies will grant E-2 visas for up to five years, although some US embassies grant E-2 visas and others only for one year.
- When visas are to be renewed all holders 14 years or older must attended an interview at the U.S. Embassy in their country of origin.
- Any criminal conviction must be disclosed when you apply for your visa. Depending upon the seriousness of your conviction, it could jeopardize your ability to obtain an E-2.
It’s important that applicants understand all of the rules and regulations connected to the E-2 visa. As an immigration lawyer, I’ve found that people are often uninformed about how other visas may be used in conjunction with the E-2. Prior to applying, be sure you understand the finer points of this process.
For more information on L1 Visas, please visit the E2 Visa section of our website.
Please contact the Ranchod Law Group with offices in San Francisco, San Jose Bay Area, and Sacramento California, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 415-986-6186 if you have any questions regarding E-2 visas or immigration.
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