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How To Renew an E-2 Visa

Posted on July 7, 2022
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By Heather Beliles, M. Ed.

Are you researching how to renew an E-2 Visa? Well, the process for renewing an E-2 visa is quite similar to initially applying for one, especially the documents. E-2 visa holders in the United States apply through the U. S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) office, while those outside of the U.S. apply through a U.S. consulate. If the visa holder is traveling abroad, is not in their home country and their visa is to expire soon, it is permissible to apply from a U.S. consulate in another country.

The first renewal should take place around, but before, the five-year time frame. All subsequent renewals should be prior to the two-year time frame, as E-2 visa renewals are granted in two-year increments. There is no limit to the number of times an E-2 visa can be renewed, if all conditions are continually met.

How Long is an E-2 Visa Valid? 

According to the USCIS, when E-2 investors and employees are first granted an E-2 visa, they are given legal residency for five years. Once renewed, E-2 Treaty investor visas are valid for two years, with the option to renew indefinitely. 

E2 visa renewal requirements

Renewing an E-2 visa Treaty investor visa is a similar process to when the petitioner first applied for one. For those who are not yet in the United States, such individuals apply at the U.S. consulate in their home country. Similarly, applicants renewing their visa from within the United States will do so at the USCIS.

Equally, the process involves the following requirements:

  • Submit and pay the fee for the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160)
  • Complete the Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader / Investor Application (Form DS-156E)
  • Prepare and organize all supporting documents 
  • Travel history record (Form I-94)
  • Notice of Action letter (Form I-797) if E-2 visa was previously extended
  • Passport copy 
  • E-2 visa copy
  • Petition for nonimmigrant worker/employee(s) (Form I-129)
  • Copy of tax returns for the business, from the past five years 
  • Proof of substantial investment in the enterprise
  • Continued proof the investment is “at risk,” and is not marginal
  • Evidence that all investment funds were from a bonafide source
  • Copy of all other payroll and financial documents
  • Proof of visa holder’s physical presence in the United States
  • Gather all other supporting documents as requested
  • Attend the visa interview at the USCIS office, or U.S. embassy or consulate
  • Present the E-2 visa application for renewal packet to the interviewing officer

Just as the initial E-2 visa underwent adjudication, the same goes for the renewal process. As the applicant based their primary application solely on forecasts, when renewing, they now have five years worth of documents to present to the interviewing officer. The applicant must show they have continually fulfilled all of the E-2 visa conditions during the past five years.

E-2 visa holders must present documentation which does the following:

  • Shows proof the business is not marginal, and has otherwise generated sufficient income
  • Indicates evidence the business has created job opportunities
  • Demonstrate how the last several years of the enterprise has displayed favorable and encouraging operations 

How many times can an E-2 visa be renewed? 

Nonimmigrants will quickly find there is no maximum amount of extensions for their E-2 visas. Also, Changes of Status applications from any previously held visa to an E-2 investor visa are granted in two-year periods.  As E-2 visa holders are granted two years with each renewal, they are still obligated to adhere to their promise to leave the United States upon visa expiration. Additionally, individuals with an E-2 visa must leave the U.S. promptly if their visa is terminated.

It is also important to note here that the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers can grant E-2 nonimmigrants - who have traveled abroad, and are have returned to the United States - readmission to the U.S. for a period of two years.

For a more in-depth look at fees for E-2 visas, see How Much Does It Cost To Get an E-2 Visa? article.

Extension of Status for E-2 Visa Holders

Individuals with an E-2 Treaty investor visa status who need to to travel abroad but their visa expiration date is quickly approaching, he or she should consider applying for an extension of status. The following documentation is generally required from E-2 visa holders when requesting an extension of their visa.

  • Application to Extend E-2 visa (Form I-539)
  • Proof the visa holder has maintained his or her nonimmigrant status
  • A letter and supporting evidence detailing the reason an extension is being requested
  • All other documentation as requested

It is imperative the investor adheres to the deadline for filing for an E-2 visa extension. Failure to meet the deadlines will result in a requirement to discontinue working, and a prompt departure of the United States.

Conclusion of How To Renew an E-2 Visa

In conclusion, though an E-2 investor is granted a five-year visa, he or she is given the option to renew and/or extend their visa for two-year periods. Additionally, there is no set maximum amount of times investors are permitted to apply for renewals and/or extensions.  It is crucial for investors to demonstrate continued compliance of all visa requirements in order to be granted a renewal.

Applicants can renew or extend their E-2 visas from within the United States, at the USCIS, or from a U.S. consulate abroad.

Traveling is allowed, so long as the investor’s E-2 visa does not expire while he or she is outside of the country.

Most of the documents and fees for renewals are the same as the initial E-2 visa application, with the exception of the records from the business’s operations during the past several years. However, It is essentially a new visa application and will be adjudicated as such.

Unfortunately, there are certain cases where an adjudicator has concerns about the future success of the business. This means the E-2 visa will most likely be issued for a period shorter than two years. 

Furthermore, if the investor does not file for an extension by the established deadline, he or she will be required to stop working and depart the U.S.

E-2 visa extensions and renewal forms can be found on the U.S. Department of State Forms website.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Renew an E-2 Visa

I would like to renew or extend my E-2 visa, when should I start thinking about how to do so?

The time to begin considering visa extension requirements is when the E-2 visa is initially granted, as it is never too early. Especially if there are extra constraints if the applicant is originally from any particular country.  

I will not be in my home country, or in the United States when I apply for my E-2 visa extension. Can I submit my application for the visa extension in another country?

Yes, investors can apply for their E-2 visa extension at a U.S. consulate in a country outside of their home country. However, not all countries have U.S. consulates that process E-2 visa extension applications.

If I leave the United States and my E-2 visa expires while I am traveling, can I still reenter the U.S. with my E-2 visa?

No, it is considered the investor has abandoned their visa. As they will no longer be in status, he or she will be unable to reenter the country with an E-2 visa. 

As an E-2 investor, can I continue operating my business in the United States while my I-129 petition is still pending?

Yes, E-2 visa holders can continue the operation of their business while their I-129 is pending. As long as the extension was filed before the I-94 expires, investors are automatically granted an additional 240 days for commercial operation.

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