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E2 Visa: Why You Should Not Apply


At E2 Visa Consulting, our goal is to provide comprehensive and transparent information about the E2 visa to help potential applicants make well-informed decisions. While we believe the E2 visa offers unique opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors seeking to establish a business in the United States, we understand that it’s imperative to present a balanced perspective, highlighting both the advantages and drawbacks of this visa category. As a website dedicated to promoting the E2 visa, we firmly believe that presenting only the positive aspects would be a disservice to our audience, as it could lead to unrealistic expectations and a lack of preparedness for the potential obstacles that may arise. We believe it is a service to you to be completely transparent about the limitations and challenges associated with this visa so that you can make an informed decision.

E2 visa: Why you should not apply

No Path to Permanent Residency or Citizenship

This is a temporary visa, you most likely will never be a permanent resident or a citizen.

The E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, which means it is intended for temporary stays in the U.S. Unlike other visa categories that may eventually lead to permanent residency or citizenship, the E2 visa is not a pathway to long-term settlement in the country. If your ultimate goal is to become a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen, you may want to explore alternative visa options.

You will need to understand the limitations of the E2 visa and plan accordingly. While the visa allows for flexibility in terms of business operations and investments, it does not offer a direct route to permanent residency. This means that holders of the E2 visa must be prepared for the possibility of having to return to their home country once the visa expires.

Furthermore, individuals applying for the E2 visa should consider the potential impact on their family members. Dependents of E2 visa holders, such as spouses and children, may be allowed to accompany the primary visa holder to the U.S., but they will not have the same rights and privileges as the main applicant. It is of utmost importance to weigh the pros and cons of the E2 visa in relation to your long-term immigration goals and family circumstances.

Visa Renewal Not Guaranteed

Renewal is not guaranteed, you’re in the hands of an officer at the US embassy.

When you initially receive the E2 visa, it is typically valid for a period of two to five years, depending on your country of origin. However, the renewal of the visa is not guaranteed. Each time you need to renew your visa, you will have to go through an interview process at the U.S. embassy or consulate. The decision ultimately lies in the hands of the consular officer, which means that your continued stay in the U.S. is not entirely within your control.

During the visa renewal interview, the consular officer will assess various factors to determine if you still meet the requirements for the E2 visa. They will review your business operations, financial documents, and overall compliance with the visa regulations. It is a necessity to be well-prepared for this interview and have all necessary documentation in order to present a strong case for visa renewal.

Furthermore, the outcome of the visa renewal process can have significant implications for your business and personal life. If your visa renewal is denied, you will most likely be required to leave the U.S., potentially disrupting your business operations and future plans. It is a necessity to stay informed about the renewal process and seek guidance from immigration professionals to navigate this complex procedure successfully.

Challenges for Children

Your kids can’t work and they will lose their status at 21.

If you have children who are dependent on your E2 visa, it is a top priority for parents holding E2 visas to plan ahead for their children’s future in the United States. Under the E2 visa, your children cannot work in the U.S. Additionally, once they reach the age of 21, they will no longer be eligible to remain in the country on your visa. This can create challenges for them if they have built their lives and education in the U.S. and are suddenly required to leave.

It is a top priority for parents holding E2 visas to plan ahead for their children’s future in the United States. One option to consider is exploring alternative visa options that may allow your children to continue living and working in the U.S. beyond the age of 21. For example, they could potentially apply for student visas to pursue higher education or seek employment sponsorship for work visas.

Furthermore, parents should also prioritize saving and financial planning to support their children’s transition out of the U.S. if necessary. This could involve setting up education funds or exploring opportunities for their children to study abroad in preparation for a potential move back to their home country. By proactively addressing these challenges, parents can help mitigate the significant impact of their children losing their dependent status on the E2 visa.

Difficulties for Children Returning to Home Country

If your kids studied in the US and have to leave at 21, it might be difficult for them in your home country.

If your children have been studying in the U.S. and have to return to your home country upon reaching the age of 21, they may face difficulties in readjusting to a different educational system and cultural environment. This sudden change can disrupt their academic and personal growth, making it challenging for them to seamlessly transition back to their home country.

One of the major challenges that returning students may encounter is the difference in teaching methodologies between the U.S. education system and that of their home country. The emphasis on critical thinking, creativity, and independent learning in American schools may contrast with the more traditional rote-learning approach prevalent in some educational systems. This shift can pose a significant hurdle for students who have grown accustomed to the interactive and participatory style of learning in the U.S.

Moreover, returning students may also struggle with the cultural adaptation required when moving back to their home country. Having immersed themselves in a diverse and multicultural environment in the U.S., they may find it challenging to readjust to the societal norms, values, and customs of their home country. This cultural disconnect can lead to feelings of alienation and isolation, impacting their social integration and overall well-being upon their return.

Business Performance Requirements

You can’t have bad years or you will not have your visa renewed.

One of the requirements for maintaining your E2 visa is that your business in the U.S. must be viable and profitable. If your business experiences a downturn or fails to generate sufficient income, your visa renewal may be jeopardized. This means that it is a key requirement to consistently meet the financial obligations and demonstrate that your business is contributing to the U.S. economy. The pressure to maintain a successful business can be significant, adding an element of uncertainty and stress to your life.

Furthermore, it is a necessity to keep in mind that the U.S. immigration authorities closely monitor the financial performance of E2 visa businesses. They may request detailed financial records and reports to assess the health and viability of your enterprise. This level of scrutiny can feel intrusive and may require meticulous record-keeping to ensure compliance with visa requirements.

As a result, E2 visa holders often find themselves navigating a delicate balance between entrepreneurial ambition and regulatory compliance. Striving to achieve business success while meeting the stringent visa criteria can be a challenging task that demands dedication, resilience, and strategic financial planning. It is a must to stay informed about the latest regulations and seek professional guidance to navigate any obstacles that may arise in the process of maintaining your visa status.

Inability to Vote

You can’t vote for what is important for you.

As an E2 visa holder, you do not have the right to vote in U.S. elections. This means that you are unable to directly participate in the democratic process and have your voice heard on issues that may be important to you. If active civic engagement and the ability to vote are fundamental aspects of your identity and values, the indispensable element that the E2 visa may restrict is your ability to fully participate in the democratic life of the United States.

While the inability to vote is a significant restriction, E2 visa holders can still engage in various other forms of civic participation. This can include attending town hall meetings, participating in community events, and advocating for causes through non-voting means. By actively engaging in these avenues, E2 visa holders can still contribute to their communities and have a voice on issues that matter to them.

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Sylvain Perret

Sylvain Perret is a business professional who has been living in the United States since 2010. Along with his wife Daphnee, he has established several businesses in the country, including Integrity International Brokers, an agency based in Orlando where he works as a business broker, real estate broker, business consultant, and business plan writer. Over the years, he has helped numerous clients from around the world achieve success in their projects to create or take over a company in the United States with an E2 visa. He is highly knowledgeable about U.S. immigration issues and is the author of the book "S'expatrier aux USA grâce aux visas d'entrepreneurs", which is soon to be translated into English. Sylvain is also a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) by the International Business Brokers Association and is regularly consulted on issues related to this field. At the age of 50, Sylvain chose to enhance his expertise in finance and strategy by pursuing a Master of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida. He successfully graduated in May 2023, adding a valuable finishing touch to his knowledge. He is active on LinkedIn and Twitter, where he shares his insights and experiences with a wider audience.

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