The E visa is perhaps the most underused nonimmigrant visa available for those who wish to spend time doing business in the U.S. It can be just as effective as other visas in terms of allowing for the applicant to have a long and fruitful stay in the U.S. The E category is designed for use by business owners, business managers, and employees who need to stay in the United States for prolonged periods of time to oversee or work for an enterprise that is engaged in trade between the U.S. and a foreign country (E-1) or that represents a substantial investment in the United States (E-2). A foreign national can apply for an E visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad or in the United States. Because this visa allows for the entire process to be handled outside the U.S., it may be more logistically convenient for some applicants.
Additionally, the E visa has numerous other advantages over other non-immigrant visas. First, it is not an annual victim to a yearly cap like H1B, which fills its quota well before the year is complete. The E visa does not come with time limitations, as do the L and H visas, as far as length of stay in the U.S. under that visa. An individual who obtains E-status is granted an initial period of two years to remain in the United States but this period can be extended almost indefinitely so long as the E status holder declares that he or she will depart the United States when the period of authorized stay, including any unlimited extensions, terminates. Thirdly, the E-2 visa does not have a set dollar investment minimum , i.e. the amount necessary to create a viable enterprise is determined depending on the type of business, making the E-2 visa one of the more flexible visas to apply for.
Steve Maggi assists clients from all over the world, presenting successful E visa petitions in U.S. Embassies in Europe, Latin America and Asia. While E visa requirements are complex, a legitimate application, bolstered by a solid business plan is usually successful.
It is important to note that nationals from certain nations may be ineligible for the E-1 or E-2, depending on whether there is an existing bilateral trade agreement with the U.S. or not. Please see the following link to check if you are eligible. If your home country is not on the list, you may be eligible for another kind of business visa like the Intra-Company Transfer visa (L-1).