Do you want to live the American Dream but don’t know how? The answer may just be an E2 visa change of status!

This nonimmigrant visa is a great way for treaty investors to gain access to the United States and start their own businesses or invest in one already established. It is also known as the Treaty Investor Visa and is designed to facilitate and enhance economic and commercial interaction between the United States and treaty countries.

With this visa non-immigrant visa status, the dependent family members of the principal applicant are eligible to receive an E-2 dependent visa.

So to be qualified for an E-2 visa, you must be a citizen or national of a country that has a qualifying treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. You must also make a substantial investment in a U.S. business and intend to develop and direct the operations of that investment funds business.

But before you make this life-altering decision, there are certain steps that must be taken. This article will provide an overview of those steps and what fees you should expect to pay when changing your visa status. So if you’re ready for a new adventure in America, read on!

What is an E2 Visa Change of Status?

In the United States, changing visa status refers to immigration attorneys’ process of applying to switch from one non-immigrant status category to another while already present in the United States.

Instead of returning to your country and applying for a new visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad, you can switch your visa status while still in America!

Unlike consular processing, altering one’s visa status doesn’t necessitate any extended pauses or trips back home.

For example, if you are in the United States on a tourist visa or with a valid status, and you decide that you want to study at a university, you may be able to change your status from a tourist visa to nonimmigrant status or a student visa without leaving the United States.

However, not all visa categories are eligible for a change of status, and some changes of status may require leaving the United States and applying for a new visa from a U.S. consulate in your home country.

Changing your visa status to an E-2 visa requires meeting specific eligibility criteria, submitting an application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and going through a thorough vetting visa interview process.

Here are some general steps that you may need to take to E2 visa change of status:

Steps to Change Status

1. Determine your eligibility

To qualify for an E-2 visa, you must be a national of a treaty country that has a qualifying treaty with the United States, and the U.S. business must not be a marginal enterprise. You should review the eligibility requirements carefully to ensure that you meet all of them.

2. Invest in a U.S. business

You must have made a substantial investment in a U.S. business before you can apply for an E-2 visa. The investment must be sufficient to cover the costs of starting or purchasing a business, a minimum investment, and it must be at risk.

You must provide evidence of your investment when you submit your application.

3. File Form I-129

To petition to change your visa status to an E-2 visa, you must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS. Your employer or the U.S. business or enterprise in which you have invested may file the petition on your behalf.

Form I-129 is the same form that is used to petition for other nonimmigrant worker visas. It is extremely important to note that filing this form does not guarantee approval of your change of status application.

USCIS will review your application and may request additional documentation or request your contact information before making a decision.

Additionally, USCIS may deny your application if it determines that you do not meet the eligibility requirements for the E-2 visa.

4. Provide supporting documents

You must provide supporting documentation to demonstrate that you meet all the eligibility criteria for an E-2 visa. The specific supporting documents that are required for an E2 visa change of status application may vary depending on…

  • the individual applicant’s circumstances

  • and the nature of their intended investment and business activities in the United States.

However, in general, the following types of documents may be required to obtain them:

1. Proof of nationality

This may include a passport, birth certificate, or passport or other documentation that demonstrates that you are a citizen or national of a qualifying treaty country.

2. Show evidence of investment

You will need to provide documentation to demonstrate that you have made a substantial investment in a U.S. business. This may include financial statements, bank records, and other financial documents.

3. Submit a business plan

You may be required to submit a detailed business plan that outlines the nature of your investment and your plans for developing and directing the business in the United States.

4. Provide evidence of business experience

You may be asked to provide evidence of your experience running a business, such as prior business ownership, management experience, or relevant education and training.

5. Supply corporate documents

If you are investing in an existing U.S. business, you may need to provide corporate documents, such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, and shareholder agreements.

6. Provide evidence of ties to your home country

You may be asked to provide documentation to demonstrate that you have ties to your country of origin that would compel you to return after your stay in the United States. This may include evidence of family ties, property ownership, or employment opportunities.

7. Submit other supporting documents

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be required to provide additional supporting documents, such as tax returns, contracts, or letters of support from business partners or advisors.

5. Attend an interview

After USCIS reviews your E status or application, you may be required to attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. The purpose of the interview is to assess the applicant’s eligibility for the E-2 visa.

Also, to determine whether the applicant’s intended investment and business activities in the United States meet the requirements of the visa.

During the interview, the consular officer will ask the applicant a range of questions about their existing business plans, investment activities, change of status, and other relevant factors.

Here are Some of the Questions that may ask during the interview:

  1. What is the nature of your intended investment in the United States?

  2. How much money do you plan to invest in your business in the United States?

  3. Have you researched the market for your business in the United States?

  4. Do you have any experience running a business in the United States or in your home country?

  5. What is your role in the business, and how will you manage and direct its operations?

  6. How long do you plan to stay in the United States?

  7. What is your plan for returning to your home country at the end of your stay in the United States?

  8. What ties do you have to your home country that would compel you to return after your stay in the United States?

It is important to note that the consular officer has broad discretion in assessing the applicant’s eligibility for the E-2 visa, and the interview is just one part of the overall application process.

Applicants should be prepared to provide the immigration officer with comprehensive and detailed information about their investment and business plans, as well as any relevant documentation to support their application.

It is also recommended that applicants seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer to help them prepare for the interview and the overall application process.

6. Obtain approval

The processing time for an E-2 visa change of status application can vary depending on a number of factors, including the volume of applications being processed, the complexity of the case, and the workload of the USCIS office handling the application.

In general, USCIS estimates that it takes approximately 3 to 5 months to process a Form I-129 petition for a nonimmigrant worker change status alone, including E-2 visa change of status petitions.

However, processing times can sometimes be longer or shorter than this estimate, depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

It is important to note that USCIS processing times are only estimates and are subject to change.

Delays can occur for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • an increase in the number of applications being received,

  • a change in USCIS policy or procedures,

  • or the need for additional information

  • or documentation from the applicant

  • or the visa retrogression.

If you have submitted an E-2 visa change of status application and are waiting for a decision, you can check the current processing times for USCIS by visiting the USCIS website and looking up the processing times for the specific USCIS service center that is handling your case.

Each case is not the same and will be judged on its own merits. So if your application is granted, USCIS will issue you status on an E-2 visa, a status which will authorize you to work and live in the United States for a specified period of time. However, it does not create a direct path to U.S. permanent residency (Green Card).

The Fees of Changing Visa Status

The fees for changing your visa status in the United States depend on the type of or the other visa category you are changing to and other factors.

Here are some general fees you can expect to pay:

  1. Form I-129 filing fee: $460

  2. Biometric fee: $85 (if applicable)

  3. Premium Processing fee (optional): $2,500 (for expedited processing)

In addition to these fees, you may be required to pay other fees, such as visa issuance fees, medical examination fees, and other applicable charges.

This additional fee and a substantial amount of other fees vary depending on your specific circumstances and the type of visa you are changing to.

It is important to note that USCIS fees are subject to change, so it is recommended that you check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date fee information before submitting your application.

Additionally, you should be prepared to pay all applicable fees at the time you submit your application, as USCIS will not process your application until all fees are paid in full.


Changing your visa status to an E-2 visa is a complex process that requires careful preparation and planning.

To get the status process started, you will need to gather the necessary documents and information, complete the appropriate forms, pay all applicable fees and pass an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.

Once your request is approved, you will be issued an E-2 visa. As long as the investor remains invested in the Company, and it does not become “marginal” in nature, it can be renewed indefinitely.

However, it is important to note that the process for potential businesses can be complex and time-consuming.

Seeking the assistance of a franchise consultant…

to help you find the right business to invest in is important.

And with the aid of a knowledgeable immigration attorney,

you can confidently traverse through this intricate process and make sure your application is in perfect order.

Best wishes with achieving the nonimmigrant status, the E-2 visa!

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