Understanding the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Timeline: How Long Does It Take to Process?

by | Nov 1, 2022

The E-2 nonimmigrant visa allows a national of a treaty country  to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. This visa also allows to bring certain employees of the investor or of a qualifying organization to the United States in this visa classification.

How Long Does E2 Visa Application Take?

The amount of time an E-2 visa takes from preparation to approval varies depending on several factors.  The first step is to have a clear idea of the business investment and to execute the plan. During this time is very important to work with an immigration attorney who will guide you through the process and determine your eligibility.  A business plan is a critical component of the E-2 visa. It will outline how the investment translates into a profitable enterprise that helps to generate employment, provide financial projections, and elaborate how the business will achieve profitability and other requirements. It will also provide the applicant’s credentials to demonstrate how the applicant is qualified to establish the business venture and manage it.  Once the entrepreneur has completed this process, the next step is the preparation and submission of the visa, followed by a consular interview. 

E-2 visa Application Process.

The foreign entrepreneur may have two options to apply for E-2 visa. The standard E-2 visa application is usually processed at the U.S. consulate of the country of residence of the visa applicant. Once the application is complete, the application is submitted electronically to the U.S. consulate and, after they have completed the internal review, they schedule an interview with the investor/applicant.  If the E-2 visa is approved, the consulate will stamp the applicant’s passport (and the accompanying family members ‘passports). This visa stamp allows the applicant to travel in and out of the United States for as long as the visa is valid. 

Another application option is to change the status in the United States to E-2 visa. This option is available only if the applicant is already in the United States under a different nonimmigrant status.  

How Long Does E2 Visa Consular Application Take?

Before COVID-19, U.S. Consulates around the world processed application within 4-8 weeks. COVID-19 has substantially affected the E-2 visa processing times in most U.S. Consulates. It is recommended to check with your immigration attorney about processing times before starting the process and explore all your alternatives. 

The availability of visa appointments may vary depending on the consulate in your country. Additional delays can be expected due to pandemics and natural disasters.

In general, applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 are required to attend an in-person visa interview. After a successful interview, the applicant may receive the visa in about one week. 

How Long Does E-2 Visa Change of Status Application Take? Option to expedite E-2 visa processing.

If you are applying for a change of status within the U.S., normal processing time can take 4-6 months.  However, the E-2 premium processing is one option that can save time. Premium processing provides expedited processing of certain applications, for an additional fee (currently $1,225). USCIS guarantees that they will take some adjudicative action on the case within 15 calendar days for most classification 

If USCIS’s initial response to your application is to request further evidence, they are no longer bound by the 15-day processing time, and your application will re-enter the queue after you send your response. 

During the processing time, you can use the unique identifier and receipt number from your application to assess progress on the USCIS online status check form. The E2 status is valid for two years. After two years, the E-2 status can be renewed if continued eligibility is provided.

From E-2 visa to green card.

The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa which prohibits the visa holder from having an intent to immigrate to the United States at the time the Visa is issued or used for entry. Accordingly, the E2 does not provide an individual with a direct pathway to permanent residency (a green card).  To get a green card, the E2 investor will have to convert the E2 visa to an immigrant visa category. 

There are different visa options to convert an E2 visa to a Green Card:

  1. EB 5 visa.
  2. Employer Sponsored Green Card through the PERM Process
  3. EB-1A visa for extraordinary ability.
  4. National Interest Waiver.
  5. Marriage-Based Green Card

To learn more about an E-2 visa application or E-2 visa renewal, and how to navigate the system, contact our office. We are highly skilled legal professionals prepared to help you explore your options and guide you through the process of getting an E-2 visa, and explore options for Green Card.

Silvina Tondini, Esq.
Silvina Tondini is a bilingual, skilled, international advocate and a national speaker on Immigration Law with years of diversified experience providing counsel and directing individuals and business clients on business and immigration law matters.

Attorney Silvina Tondini can be reached at (760) 579-2216 or by email at info@tondinilaw.com

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact our office.