As an E-2 Visa holder, you have already been identified as an investor or an employee of an investor from a country that maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States who has invested significant capital in a business within the US. If the allotted amount of time given to you by your E-2 Visa is insufficient to accomplish your goal in the US, filing for an E2 Visa renewal is the next step.
How long can you stay with an E-2 Visa?
If you have an E-2 Visa, you have been granted an initial two-year period of stay within US borders. Should you require more time, an E2 Visa renewal, if granted, will grant you two more years per extension.
It is important to note that you must prove your intention to depart upon the expiration of your E-2 Visa. If you depart the US and return within the confines of your visa, you are normally granted a two-year readmission period upon your return. If this is the case, you will not need to file another I-129.
How to file for an E2 Visa Renewal
If leaving the United States and returning under a new two-year period is not possible, then an E2 Visa renewal is required. It is recommended that you consult a professional immigration attorney as he/she can help you organize all relevant documents necessary for your extension application.
With or without an attorney, there are several items that must be submitted to the USCIS. If you are an employee rather than an investor, then you may disregard the last ten items on this list.
- A cover letter that details the nature of your investment or business as well as your employer. The letter must address all of the eligibility requirements for your initial E-2 Visa.
- You must submit another I-129 “Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker”.
- Form I-539 “Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status”.
- If you have already been approved for an E2 Visa renewal in the past, provide a copy of your form I-797 “Notice of Action”.
- Should you choose to be represented by an immigration lawyer, you will need to submit a G-28 “Notice of Entry of Appearance of Attorney as Representative” form. You will also need to submit the contact information for said attorney.
- If you are an employee, submit a job letter that came from the company that hired you explaining why this E2 Visa renewal is necessary.
- A color copy of your passport biography page, US entry stamps, US visas, and your I-94.
- Your résumé or CV.
- All statements and schedules for tax returns that have been signed and given to the IRS.
If you are a business owner, you should include any Articles of Incorporation or Organization, ownership validation, and a report on any changes in ownership since the issuance of your initial E-2. Additionally, you will need:
- Evidence of a new investment that would warrant your E2 Visa renewal.
- Evidence of funds placed in escrow if you have done so for the initial purchase of the business for which you are petitioning. This applies only if you are petitioning for your first renewal.
- An organogram showing the structure of ownership within the business.
- Color photocopies of the biographical sections of all passports belonging to the parent company owners.
- The most recent annual report copy.
- Any stock trading information that is recent.
- Evidence of a promissory note if applicable.
- Any licenses that can be considered relevant to your enterprise.
- Bank statements for the past twelve months concerning your business.
- W-2 forms and any 1099 forms from the last tax year.
- If you are no longer the owner of the company that the USCIS approved for your E-2 Visa, you need to provide the documents required for first-time investors.
What if Your Extension is Denied?
If your E2 Visa renewal is denied, you should first seek consultation from one of our attorneys at SGM Law Group. If you have filed for an extension before your I-94 departure date, then you will be permitted to stay until that date as previously agreed upon by you and the USCIS.
Should you remain in the US after that date you will be at great risk for deportation, which may result in a temporary or permanent bar from future visits to the US. If you traveled with a spouse or dependent children, they will need to leave as well as their stay in the US is contingent upon yours.
The best advice is to comply and adhere to your I-94 departure date and to file for your extension at least four (4) weeks before that time. You will be allowed to remain for forty (40) days after that date as long as your E2 Visa renewal petition is still pending.
However, prepare for departure because upon a denial or the passing of those 40 days you will need to return to your home country immediately. There you can file another visa application through your country’s consulate.
Filing Procedure Recap
To summarize, if your enterprise requires your continued stay within the United States, you should first contact an immigration lawyer if you have been operating without one. He/she will most likely recommend that you leave the US and return within the limits of your I-94 departure date to receive a two-year period extension without requiring another I-129 form.
Alternatively, you can petition for an E-1 Visa renewal by submitting a second I-129 to the USCIS along with the relevant documents pertaining to your E-2 status as stated above. It is also advised that you keep up to date with any new legislation concerning your visa so you can avoid any delays in the petitioning process.
Contact Our E2 Visa Lawyers
Our lawyers at SGM Law Group can help you petition for your E-2 visa, apply for an E-2 Visa renewal, transfer your current visa to E-2 class status, as well as many more immigration cases.
If you would like to contact our immigration attorneys for a comprehensive consultation, click here.