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  • Writer's pictureOleg Gherasimov

How long does it take to get an E2 Visa?

E2 visa is a powerful tool for investors and entrepreneurs to start a business and then move to the United States to help grow the business. A primary consideration for the interested investors is how long it takes to obtain a visa.

In this guide, I will be discussing the processing times to obtain an E2 visa abroad, or E2 status for those who are present in the U.S. If you have any questions, or require assistance with your E2 visa, please feel free to email me directly at I would be happy to help!

General E2 Qualifications

The E2 visa is a non-immigrant investment-based visa for investors who invest a “substantial” amount of money in a U.S. business. Such an investment allows you, and your family, to live in the U.S. and manage your business.

1. You must be from a country that has an E2 treaty with the United States

2. You must intend to depart the United States once your E2 visa/status ends

3. You must have invested (or be in the process of investing a “substantial” amount of money in a U.S. business (generally, at least $100k)

4. The invested funds must have been obtained lawfully

5. The U.S. business must be an active, for-profit business

6. The U.S. business cannot be a marginal enterprise (i.e. the enterprise should have the capacity to generate more income than it is necessary to provide for the minimal living of the treaty investor and his/her family)

7. The invested funds must be put at risk (i.e. they should actually be committed and spent)

8. You must be coming to the U.S. to direct and develop the E2 business

How Long is the Process?

The amount of time it takes to obtain an E2 visa or status depends on several factors. First, the investor needs a certain amount of time to gather the necessary information and documents, decide what to invest in, put together a business plan, and take the necessary steps to make the investment necessary to apply for an E2 visa. Second, the length of time that it takes for an E2 application to be processed will depend on where it is submitted: through the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) if the applicant is present in the United States, or at a U.S. Consulate if the applicant wishes to process outside of the United States to obtain the Visa.

Once you submit your Form I-129, it takes about 2 to 3 months for USCIS to review and issue a response. If USCIS approves your I-129, your change of status begin from the date specified on your approval notice.

Preparing a Successful E2 Application

For making the process as painless as possible, it is recommended that the applicant and their attorney collaborate from the very beginning. Along the way, the applicant may need to consult with an accountant, tax specialist, or a business attorney. A key piece of the application, in fact the heart of the application, is a professionally prepared business plan that includes a breakdown of start-up costs and analyzes the local market and competition and gives a 5-year projection of profit and loss. It may take the applicant anywhere from a couple weeks to several months to gather the necessary documentation, including proof of the investment (i.e. that the money was spent). A key piece of the application is a professionally prepared business plan that includes a breakdown of start-up costs and analyzes the local market and competition and gives a 5-year projection of profit and loss. In addition, the investment visa lawyer will need additional time to organize and finalize the E2 visa application to ensure that it has the highest possible chance of approval.

How Can We Make a Difference?

Strong E2 cases tell a compelling story. It is as much a sales pitch as it is a legal application. The government wants to see the entrepreneurial spirit of the investor along with the positive local, regional, and/or national economic impact of the investment conveyed through a business plan and represented on your visa application. Presentation is key. This mindset is how our attorneys’ approach each and every case. At SG Legal Group, our skilled attorneys have access to a network of resources that allow us to handle every aspect of your E2 visa application. From analyzing corporate documents to coordinating with professional business plan writers, our team will guide you through the entire process and bring your entrepreneurial vision to life. If you have an idea, the entrepreneurial drive to execute, and access to a modest amount of capital to invest in the U.S., you may qualify for an E-2 visa. Schedule a consultation with our office to review your eligibility and ensure compliance under U.S. immigration law.

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