E2 Visa FAQ and Answers for British Nationals

Q. Do I actually need an E visa to reside in the United States if I own a US business?

A. Unless you are a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. Green Card holder, you must be in possession of a valid have a visa in order to enter the United States in Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor status. Further, all successful E visa applicants and their dependents are expected to present valid passports in order to be issued the visa, regardless of nationality.

Q. I received a change of status in the United States from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Is that all that I need to present in order to be issued an E visa at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate?

A. No. The change of status simply allows you to remain in the United States until the expiration of the status granted. If you have been granted a change of status by USCIS and leave the U.S., you must have an E visa in your passport in order to return to the U.S. in that status. To obtain a visa you must lodge a complete application with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. Adjudication of your case can vary from two weeks to six months, depending on which U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate is deciding your case.

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Q. How much money do I need to invest?

A. There is no minimum amount for an investment. E-2 visa regulations state that the investment must be sufficient to ensure success of the business. As different types of businesses require different amounts of capital, the amount you will need to invest depends on your U.S. enterprise.

Q. Do I really have to invest the money before I apply for the visa? Can’t the United States government issue me the visa first?

A. E-2 visa regulations state that the funds must be “irrevocably committed” to the investment before the visa may be issued. Therefore, you must document that your investment meets this criteria at the time of initial application; this is usually accomplished by showing that the investment has already been made. Funds can be considered to be irrevocably committed, however, if they are held in an escrow account solely contingent on the issuance of an E visa.

Q. Must the business be trading at the time I lodge my E-2 visa application?

A. Yes. The relevant E-2 visa regulations state that the enterprise must be “real and active”. Most U.S. Embassies and consular posts interpret this to mean that the business must be actively trading at the time your E-2 visa application is lodged.

Q. How can I possibly start a business if I don’t have the visa?

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