Timeline

E-Visa Timeline

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You wish to develop and direct operations of an enterprise in the United States in which you have invested or are actively investing substantial funds and you require a work visa.

What is the Timeline to Apply for and Obtain an E-2 Visa?

The issuance of an E-2 visa requires processing by either United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the United States embassy or consulate. In general, the typical timeline for E-2 visa processing is as follows:

  1. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Processing

    The E-2 petition is filed with the USCIS. The USCIS issues a receipt notice to the petitioner (U.S. company) and attorney. Since each E-2 petition differs in terms of complexity, the decision time can vary. Once approved, the USCIS issues an approval notice to the petitioner and attorney.

    Receipt Notice Issued: 2 Weeks from Date of Receipt of E-2 Petition

    Approval Notice Issued: 3-6 Months from Date of Receipt of E-2 Petition

    Total Time to Process: 3-6 Months from Date of Receipt of E-2 Petition

    *The E-2 petition may be filed along with a Premium Processing Request resulting in a decision being rendered in 15 calendar days.

  2. USCIS Change of Status Processing

    Assuming that the foreign investor had previously entered the United States legally pursuant to a valid nonimmigrant visa; that the E-2 petition was filed and approved prior to the foreign investor’s expiration of stay in the United States; and that the foreign investor did not depart the United States during the approval process, s/he may begin employment upon issuance of the approval notice. If the foreign investor then leaves the United States after beginning employment s/he must follow the United States Embassy or Consulate visa procedure below before s/he can reenter the United States.

    Receipt Notice Issued: 2 Weeks from Date of Receipt of E-2 Petition

    Approval Notice Issued: 3-6 Months from Date of Receipt of E-2 Petition

    Total Time to Process: 3-6 Months from Date of Receipt of E-2 Petition

    *The E-2 petition may be filed along with a Premium Processing Request resulting in a decision being rendered in 15 calendar days.

  3. USCIS Extension of Status Processing

    Assuming that the foreign investor had previously been issued an E-2 visa; that the new E-2 petition was filed prior to the expiration of the current E-2 visa, and that the enterprise is the same, s/he may continue employment upon filing of the E-2 petition. If the foreign investor then leaves the United States after continuing employment s/he must follow the United States Embassy or Consulate visa procedure below before s/he can reenter the United States.

    Receipt Notice Issued: 2 Weeks from Date of Receipt of E-2 Petition

    Approval Notice Issued: 3-6 Months from Date of Receipt of E-2 Petition

    Total Time to Process: 3-6 Months from Date of Receipt of E-2 Petition

    *The E-2 petition may be filed along with a Premium Processing Request resulting in a decision being rendered in 15 calendar days.

  4. United States Embassy or Consulate Processing

    Assuming that the foreign investor is outside the United States, s/he files an E-2 application directly with the United States consulate and presents a valid passport, confirmation of completion of form DS-160 and payment of the visa fee E-2 visa fees (this is a link). The United States consulate conducts an interview.

    At the interview, the consular officer will verify that all required documentation has been provided. Second, and more importantly, the consular officer may question the foreign investor in detail with respect to the specifics of the position and the U.S. enterprise.

    If the consular officer is satisfied, the E-2 visa is approved and placed in the foreign investor’s passport. At that time, the United States embassy or consulate will also approve and place E-2 visa(s) in the foreign investor’s spouse and/or minor child(ren)’s passport(s).

    Interview Scheduled: Dependent on individual United States Embassy or Consulate schedule

    Visa Issued: 7-10 Days from Date of Interview

    Total Time to Process: Dependent on individual United States Embassy or Consulate schedule