• Arzu Jamilova

The advantages and disadvantages of being an E2 Visa holder

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

- One of the main advantages of the E-2 visa is that you can conduct business legally within the United States and also be employed by that business. However, E-2 visa renewals are generally denied if the business is not successful or struggling. Additionally, even if your E-2 visa or E2 status have not expired, you have to leave the US if your business fails.

- Your spouse can legally work in the United States under an E-2 dependent visa. Your spouse may work in the U.S. by applying for an employment authorization document (EAD) or start his/her own business. E2 EAD will be valid for the period of time for which your status is valid. EAD approval may take up to 3 – 4 months, and, for this reason, the sooner you apply for an EAD upon your arrival the better, and the longer the validity duration of the EAD will be. We applied for an EAD only in 3 months after we arrived at the United States and waited for another 2 months before we receive it. Finally, when we received it, we realized that it was valid for just 1,7 months. Even though your spouse can legally work in the US, he/she will have to look for temporary jobs because finding a full-time opportunity might be really complicated with a temporary work authorization.

- Your children under 21 can attend a school of your choice with an E-2 dependent visa. However, after they reach 21, they can no longer stay in the U.S. under an E-2 dependent visa. They will then have to apply for their own visa which can permit them to stay in the U.S. to continue school and/or begin to work.

- You can stay indefinitely in the United States under an E-2 Visa. If you don’t travel outside the United States, you can maintain you E-2 status for two-year increments and can request an extension of stay an unlimited amount of times. You can also get an E2 Visa stamp in your passport in your country at the US Consulate if you want to travel back home. Essentially, you can reside and conduct business in the U.S. for as long as your extensions are approved. You can do this without being a green card holder or a U.S. citizen. However, the E-2 visa, being a non-immigrant visa, neither lead to permanent residence nor provide a basis for qualifying for permanent residence.

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