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E2 Visa
  • dimartinolaw
  • May 10, 2024

The E1 and E2 Visa Application Process

The United States is among the most favorable destinations for businessmen, freelancers, artists, and professionals from around the world. To benefit those who wish to move into the U.S., the country provides nonimmigrant citizens with several visa options to enter the country, such as H1-C visas, J visas, J-1 visas, and E1 and E2 visas. In this blog, we are going to discuss the E1 and E2 visas. 

E1 and E2 visas are nonimmigrant visas that permit business people from countries with which the United States has treaty arrangements to enter thecountry. These visas are an excellent option for entrepreneurs, businessmen, and investors looking to establish or manage a business in the U.S.

In this blog, we will understand the application process for E1 and E2 visas, how much time is taken in both processes and the requirements for E1 and E2 visas

What Are E1 and E2 Visas? 

The E1 visa is among the visas that promote the development of a network between the United States of America and the applicant’s country. Such trade covers the interplay of goods, services, or technologies and must cross international boundaries. Eligibility will be determined by checking that at least 50% of a company-based trade is between the U.S. and the home country.


The E2 visa is the Investor visa, which requires that a person invest a significant amount of capital in a business in the U.S. To qualify, applicants should spend in good faith to build an enterprise that produces jobs or brings cash flows to the local economy. The visa is designed to suit investors who intend to use it as a gateway for new businesses or to purchase an existing business.


The E1 and E2 visas provide benefits, such as traveling freely to and from the U.S., accompanying close family members, and more. Their unlimited terms of validity allow holders to renew them repeatedly if they fulfill the requirements continuously.

What Are the Requirements for an E1 Visa?

Under the E1 and E2 visas, strict eligibility criteria differentiate applicants and establish their qualifications to attain the visas. Here’s a breakdown of the requirements for E1 visa holders. 

1. Nationality

An applicant must be a citizen of a country with a signed treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S.

2. Trade

The participant’s home country should control a substantial portion of the trade with the U.S. The trade can be either in goods, services, or technology.

3. Trade Proportion

A minimum threshold value of at least 50% has to be traded between the U.S. and the applicant’s home country to get admittance.

4. Position

Either the applicant must support the development or direction of the trade, or they must be highly skilled workers that the company is bringing to the United States.

5. Intent to Depart

Once the applicant’s E1 visa expires, it is their duty to show a genuine plan to leave the U.S.

What Are the Requirements for an E2 Visa?

The following are some essential requirements for the E2 Visa.

1. Nationality

The person must be either a citizen of a country with a qualifying treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. or a person employed by a qualifying organization.

2. Investment

The applicant must invest significant money into a genuine bona fide business in America. A particular minimum amount has not been specified. The pump-in must be substantial and proportionate to the total entrepreneurial investment.

3. Enterprise

The business must be an actual enterprise, and there is scope for spending or speculation. Nothing can be an idle investment.

4. Risk and Control

It is necessary to demonstrate that the individuals are making wise business decisions and have something to lose if it does not work.

5. Job Creation

The working process must encompass the employment of domestic workers, but the rule demands either direct hiring of U.S. citizens or participation in local economies.

6. Intent to Depart

The applicant must outline a detailed plan for leaving the U.S. once he loses his E2 visa status.

What Is the Application Process for E1 and E2 Visa?

Obtaining an E1 and E2 visa requires the applicant to complete a series of steps. 

1. Determine Eligibility

Ensure you cover the eligibility criteria for an E1 and E2 visa, including national origin, the number of transactions, and whether the activities fall in the correct category.

2. Complete Form DS-160

You are required to complete and submit the online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form, also called the DS-160 form, and print your confirmation page.

3. Schedule an Interview

Book a non-immigrant visa interview at your designated U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

4. Gather Necessary Documents

Gather all necessary documents, including a confirmation DS-160 page, a receipt for the visa application fee, passport-size photos, a valid passport, evidence of nationality, and a substantive trade demonstration.

5. Provide Trade Evidence

In addition, provide evidence of the substantial trade relationship between the U.S. and your country. This evidence may include trade invoices, contracts, and financial statements.

6. Attend the Visa Interview

Visit on the appointment day, and be ready to mention what trades you do and your business plans in America.

7. Wait for Processing

Following the interview, a final decision regarding your candidacy will be forwarded along with an official communication.

8. Receive Your Visa

In the event of visa approval, you can collect it from the Embassy or Consulate.

What Is the Processing Time for an E1 Visa?

E1 Visa

The time taken to issue an E1 visa can fluctuate due to certain factors that differ from one U.S. Embassy or Consulate to another, and also because a specific time can be consumed for verifying the application’s legitimacy. In most cases, the process involves stages in a sequence, e.g., filing out the DS-160 application, getting your requirements ready, appearing at the interview, and waiting for the decision on the application.


On average, it can take a few weeks from the day of application submission to the day of getting a visa decision. However, in some instances, it can take much longer than average because of further administrative processing. 

How Long Does the E2 Visa Application Process Take?

Visa Application

It should be noted that the duration of the E2 visa application process (the period for which the application is pending) may vary depending on different factors. It include the particular U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply, the level of complexity of your application and the number of applications being processed. 


The process may take a couple of weeks to a few months. However, the time period can be extended if there is a mistake in the application form or in processing the visa application. 

What Is the New Law for E2 Visa Holders?

E2 Visa

The U.S. has regulated a new law for E2 visa holders. This law states that the E2 visa holder can stay in the country for up to 2 years. After 2 years, the visa holder should leave or renew the visa. There is no limit on how many times you can renew the visa. But each time, you can renew the visa for two years. 

Simplify the Process of Obtaining E1 and E2 Visas by Consulting a Law Firm

E2 Visa

The E1 and E2 visa programs offer excellent opportunities for international entrepreneurs, traders, and investors looking to establish themselves in the U.S. Both visas allow flexibility in running a business while maintaining connections with your home country. Understanding each visa’s application process and requirements is essential for a successful application. This includes meeting specific nationality criteria, gathering necessary documentation, and preparing for the visa interview. 

Given the complexity of the process and the potential for unforeseen challenges, seeking professional guidance can be invaluable. Consulting with experienced legal professionals ensures your application meets all requirements and is submitted correctly and efficiently. 

This is where Di Martino Law Group professionals step in, specializing in immigration and business law. Our experienced attorneys can help you through the complex application and documentation process and provide the correct guidance. 


1. Can anyone apply for the E1 and E2 visa?

No, E1 and E2 visas are limited to some categories of people or businesses

2. Can a person gain permanent residency with an E1 and E2 visa?

No, the E1 and E2 visas provide no path towards permanent residency.

3. How long does the E1 and E2 visa interview take?

The E1 and E2 visa interview typically lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. But it can stretch to 1 hour as well, depending on your application.

4. What happens if my E1 or E2 visa application is denied?

You can reapply if your E1 and E2 visa application is denied. 

5. Can I apply for an E1 or E2 visa if I’m already in the U.S.?

Yes, you can apply for a status change while in the U.S. if you are eligible.



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