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E-2 Visa Cost: Budgeting for Your Entrepreneurial Journey

The E-2 Visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa that permits foreign nationals from treaty countries to come to the United States to invest significantly in a U.S. business and to work within that enterprise. This visa is particularly attractive to entrepreneurs and investors seeking to establish a new business entity or invest in an existing business. The E-2 Visa offers benefits such as employment authorization, the ability for family members to join the visa holder, and potential pathways to permanent residency.

Understanding the various costs associated with the E-2 Visa process is crucial for applicants. Key expenses include business entity formation costs, immigration services, visa issuance fees, USCIS filing fees, and additional fees such as translation and certification costs. Proper planning and consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help minimize costs and avoid unnecessary expenses.

This blog will provide a detailed overview of the E-2 Visa costs, including fees for different treaty countries, business plan requirements, and tips for managing expenses effectively.

Two Ways to Apply

There are two primary methods to apply for an E-2 Visa: applying from within the United States (change of status) and applying from abroad (consular processing).

  1. Change of Status: If you are already in the U.S. on a different visa, you can apply for a change of status to an E-2 Visa through USCIS. This process involves submitting Form I-129 along with the required filing fees, business plan, and evidence of substantial investment. Using premium processing can expedite the application for an additional fee.

  2. Consular Processing: If you are outside the U.S., you can apply for an E-2 Visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. This involves filing Form DS-160, paying the visa issuance fee, and attending a visa interview. This method also requires presenting a comprehensive business plan and proof of investment to the consular officer.

Both methods have associated costs, including business entity formation costs, legal fees, and additional fees for translation and certification of documents. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help navigate the application process and avoid unnecessary expenses.

How To Pay E2 Visa Fees

Paying E-2 Visa fees involves several steps, depending on your application method. Here’s how to handle these payments:

  1. Change of Status (Within the U.S.):

    • USCIS Filing Fees: Pay the filing fee for Form I-129, and any additional fees such as the premium processing fee if you choose to expedite the process. Payments can be made via check, money order, or credit card (using Form G-1450) to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

    • Payment Methods: Checks must be from a U.S. bank, and all payments must be in U.S. dollars.

  2. Consular Processing (Outside the U.S.):

    • Visa Issuance Fee: Pay the visa issuance fee when submitting Form DS-160 online. This fee varies depending on the treaty country.

    • Payment Methods: Fees are usually paid online via credit card, or at designated banks and payment locations in the applicant’s home country. Specific instructions are provided on the U.S. embassy or consulate website.

  3. Additional Fees:

    • Legal Fees and Administrative Costs: Pay your immigration attorney fees and any administrative costs directly to the service providers. Billing practices and accepted payment methods will vary.

Ensuring you follow the correct payment procedures helps avoid delays and additional costs in your E-2 Visa application process. Always verify the latest fee amounts and payment instructions on the USCIS website or the relevant U.S. embassy or consulate site.


E-2 Visa Costs for Each Treaty Country

The E-2 Visa costs vary depending on the treaty country. These costs typically include the visa issuance fee, USCIS filing fees, and additional fees related to the application process. Below is a table showing the E-2 Visa costs for selected treaty countries. For a complete and updated list, please refer to E2 Visa Costs for Each Treaty Country.

Table on E-2 Visa Costs for Each Treaty Country

 


E-2 Visa Costs for Each Treaty Country

The E-2 Visa costs vary depending on the treaty country. These costs typically include the visa issuance fee, USCIS filing fees, and additional fees related to the application process. Below is a table showing the E-2 Visa costs for selected treaty countries. For a complete and updated list, please refer to E2 Visa Costs for Each Treaty Country.

E2 Visa Costs for Each Treaty Country

Key Costs Explained

  • Visa Issuance Fee: The fee charged by the U.S. embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country for issuing the visa. This fee varies depending on the treaty country.

  • USCIS Filing Fee: The fee for processing the E-2 Visa application by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The current fee is $460.

  • Additional Fees: Other potential costs such as business entity formation costs, legal fees, premium processing fees, translation fees, certification fees, and administrative fees.

By understanding these costs, E-2 visa applicants can better prepare and budget for their application process. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help navigate these expenses and avoid unnecessary costs.


Period of Authorized Stay and Extension of Status

E-2 Visa holders are initially granted a period of authorized stay of up to two years. This period allows the visa holder to enter and remain in the U.S. to manage their business investment. The stay can be extended in two-year increments as long as the business remains operational and the investor continues to meet E-2 Visa requirements.

Extension Process and Costs

  1. Filing for Extension: To extend the E-2 Visa status, visa holders must file Form I-129 with the USCIS. The filing fee for this form is $460.

  2. Premium Processing: If faster processing is needed, applicants can opt for premium processing, which costs an additional $2,500 and expedites the application review to 15 days.

  3. Legal Fees: Engaging an experienced immigration attorney to assist with the extension process can help avoid unnecessary expenses and ensure all documentation is correctly submitted. Attorney fees can vary depending on particular billing practices and the complexity of the case.

  4. Business Plan and Additional Fees: It may be necessary to update the business plan to reflect the ongoing operations and future projections of the business. Additional fees such as administrative costs, certification fees, and courier fees may also apply.

Understanding the process and associated costs for extending E-2 Visa status is crucial for investors to maintain their authorization to stay and continue their business operations in the U.S. Proper planning and professional assistance can help minimize costs and avoid unnecessary delays.

Business Investment for E-2 Visa

To obtain an E-2 Visa, foreign investors must make a substantial investment in a U.S. business. Here are the key requirements:

Minimum Investment Amount

  • Substantial Investment: There is no set minimum investment amount specified by U.S. immigration services, but the investment must be substantial relative to the total cost of either purchasing an existing business or establishing a new one. Generally, investments of at least $100,000 are considered substantial.

  • Risk Capital: The investment must be at risk, meaning it should involve a commitment of funds and not merely be intended to secure the visa.

Types of Qualifying Businesses

  • New Business: Investors can start a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. This involves business entity formation costs such as filing fees and legal fees.

  • Existing Business: Investors can purchase or invest in an existing business. This requires thorough due diligence, including business plan preparation and ensuring the business meets the E-2 Visa criteria.

  • Active Investment: The business must be an active, for-profit enterprise. Passive investments such as purchasing real estate without active management do not qualify.

Additional Requirements and Costs

  • Business Plan: A comprehensive business plan outlining the business’s operations, growth strategy, and job creation plans is essential. Professional business plan services may incur additional fees.

  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD): This document allows investors to work legally in the U.S. while managing their business.

  • Bank Account and Administrative Costs: Setting up a business bank account and handling other administrative costs are necessary steps.

Legal and Administrative Fees

  • USCIS Filing Fee: The current filing fee for Form I-129 is $460.

  • Visa Issuance Fee: Paid at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the investor’s home country, the fee varies depending on the treaty country.

  • Attorney Fees: Hiring an experienced immigration attorney to navigate the application process can help avoid unnecessary expenses and streamline the process.

Investors should consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure all requirements are met and to help minimize costs throughout the application process. Understanding these key investment requirements and associated costs can help foreign investors successfully obtain an E-2 Visa and establish their business in the U.S.

Business Plan in E2 Visa

A comprehensive business plan is a critical component of the E-2 Visa application process. It outlines the business’s operational and financial details, demonstrating the viability and potential success of the venture. Here’s why it’s essential and the costs involved:

Importance of a Business Plan

  • Demonstrates Viability: A well-prepared business plan shows that the investment is substantial and that the business has a solid strategy for success.

  • Job Creation: It outlines how the business will create employment opportunities for U.S. workers, a key requirement for the E-2 Visa.

  • Investment Details: It provides detailed information about the investment amount, including business entity formation costs, operating expenses, and projected revenues.

  • Operational Strategy: It includes the day-to-day operations, marketing strategies, and growth plans, which are crucial for gaining approval from immigration services.

Costs Associated with Preparing a Business Plan

  • Professional Services: Hiring experienced professionals to prepare a business plan can range from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the complexity of the business and the specific services required.

  • Attorney Fees: Working with an experienced immigration attorney can ensure that the business plan meets all the necessary criteria for the E-2 Visa. Attorney fees vary depending on particular billing practices.

  • Additional Fees: These may include administrative costs, certification fees, and translation fees if the original documents are in a language other than English.

Summary of Key Costs

  • Professional Business Plan Preparation: $1,500 to $5,000

  • Attorney Fees: Varies, typically $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the case

  • Administrative Fees and Certifications: Small fees that vary depending on the requirements

A well-crafted business plan is crucial for demonstrating the potential success of the investment and fulfilling the requirements of the E-2 Visa application. Proper planning and professional assistance can help avoid unnecessary expenses and increase the chances of approval.

Administrative Charges

During the E-2 Visa application process, various administrative charges may be incurred. These fees are essential to cover different aspects of the application and processing:

  • USCIS Filing Fees: The fee for processing Form I-129 to change status to E-2 is $460.

  • Visa Issuance Fee: Paid at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the visa applicant’s home country, this fee varies by treaty country.

  • Premium Processing Fee: For faster processing, the optional premium processing service costs an additional $2,500.

  • Administrative Fees: These include costs for setting up a business bank account, business entity formation costs, and other administrative expenses.

  • SEVIS Fees: While SEVIS fees are typically associated with student visas, some E-2 dependents may need to pay them.

  • Additional Fees: Fees for services such as courier fees, translation fees, and certification fees, which vary depending on the specific services required and the languages involved.

Understanding these administrative costs can help E-2 visa applicants plan their budget more effectively. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can also provide clarity and help avoid unnecessary expenses.

Immigration Lawyer Costs

Hiring an immigration lawyer to assist with the E-2 Visa application can significantly ease the process and ensure compliance with all requirements. The typical costs for hiring an experienced immigration attorney range from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on various factors:

  • Complexity of the Case: More complex cases may require additional time and expertise, leading to higher fees.

  • Attorney Experience: Highly experienced attorneys with a successful track record may charge more for their services.

  • Particular Billing Practices: Fees may vary based on whether the attorney charges a flat fee or hourly rate.

  • Additional Services: Costs can increase if additional services, such as business plan preparation or document translation, are required.

Other associated costs include consultation fees, administrative fees, and any additional legal expenses. It’s important to budget for these expenses to avoid surprises and ensure that all aspects of the application are handled professionally.

For detailed assistance with your E-2 Visa application, consider consulting E2 visa attorneys who specialize in investor visas.

Translation Costs

For the E-2 Visa application, translating necessary documents into English is often required. These documents may include business plans, financial statements, and legal documents from the applicant’s home country. Here are the key points to consider regarding translation costs:

  • Cost per Page: Translation fees typically range from $20 to $40 per page, depending on the complexity and technical nature of the document.

  • Certification Fees: Certified translations may incur additional fees, usually around $10 to $20 per page, to ensure the translations meet USCIS standards.

  • Service Providers: Costs vary depending on the translation service provider. Using a certified translation service ensures that documents are accurately translated and accepted by USCIS.

  • Additional Fees: Other administrative fees may include courier fees for sending documents and any small fees for notarization.

Certifications

Obtaining certifications for business documents and other required paperwork is a crucial step in the E-2 Visa application process. Here are the key points and associated costs:

  • Certification Fees: Certification fees typically range from $10 to $50 per document, depending on the complexity and the certifying authority.

  • Government Agency Fees: Certain certifications may require verification from a government agency, which can involve additional costs. This includes certifications for business entity formation, financial documents, and legal paperwork.

  • Legal Fees: Hiring an experienced immigration attorney to handle the certification process can ensure accuracy and compliance. Attorney fees vary depending on particular billing practices and the complexity of the documents.

  • Administrative Fees: Additional administrative costs may include courier fees for sending certified documents, translation fees if the documents are not in English, and any other small fees associated with the certification process.

Minimizing Your E2 Visa Expenses

Minimizing your E2 Visa expenses involves careful planning and strategic decisions. Here are some tips to help reduce costs:

  1. Consult Multiple Attorneys: Before hiring an experienced immigration attorney, get quotes from several lawyers to compare fees. Look for those with clear billing practices to avoid hidden costs. This can help you find a balance between cost and expertise.

  2. DIY Business Plan: Instead of hiring expensive services, consider creating your business plan yourself or using affordable business plan software. This can significantly cut down on business plan preparation costs.

  3. Avoid Premium Processing: Unless absolutely necessary, avoid the premium processing fee of $2,500. Plan your application timeline to allow for standard processing, which can save a substantial amount.

  4. Bundle Services: Some immigration services offer bundled packages that include filing fees, business entity formation costs, and legal fees at a discounted rate. This can be more cost-effective than paying for each service separately.

  5. Use Certified Translations: For required document translations, use certified but affordable translation services. This helps avoid unnecessary expenses while ensuring compliance with USCIS requirements.

  6. Administrative Fees: Minimize administrative fees by preparing and organizing all necessary documents ahead of time. This includes setting up a business bank account and obtaining required certifications.

  7. Plan Your Investment: Ensure your investment meets the substantial amount required for the E-2 Visa without overextending. Proper planning helps avoid overspending and ensures all expenses are correctly calculated.

E-2 Visa Change Of Status

Changing status to an E-2 Visa from within the United States involves several steps and associated costs:

  1. Filing Form I-129: Submit Form I-129 to USCIS to change your status to E-2. The USCIS filing fee for this form is $460.

  2. Business Entity Formation Costs: Ensure your business entity is properly formed, which includes costs for legal fees, business bank account setup, and other administrative fees.

  3. Business Plan: Prepare a comprehensive business plan outlining your investment and operational strategy. Costs for a professional business plan can vary.

  4. Attorney Fees: Hiring an experienced immigration attorney can help navigate the process. Attorney fees vary depending on particular billing practices but typically range from $3,000 to $10,000.

  5. Premium Processing (Optional): For expedited processing, you can pay an additional premium processing fee of $2,500 to ensure a 15-day processing time.

Conclusion

In summary, the E-2 Visa application process involves various costs, including business entity formation costs, immigration services, visa issuance fees, and filing fees. Key steps include preparing a comprehensive business plan, managing administrative fees, and potentially hiring an experienced immigration attorney. Thorough planning and budgeting are crucial to minimize expenses and avoid unnecessary costs.

For detailed guidance and support, consider consulting US immigration lawyers in Singapore who specialize in E-2 Visa applications. For more information on the E-2 Visa process, visit the E-2 visa guide. Proper preparation and professional advice can significantly enhance your chances of a successful application.


E-2 Visa Cost Frequently Asked Questions

If I don’t have a passport from a treaty nation, can I still apply for an E-2 visa?

No, you must be a citizen of a country that has a bilateral investment treaty with the United States to qualify for an E-2 Visa. For a list of treaty countries, visit the USCIS website.

How much money must you invest to qualify for an E-2 visa?

There is no minimum investment amount specified, but the investment must be substantial and sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the business. Typically, investments of at least $100,000 are considered substantial.

Can I make an investment in any kind of company to be eligible for an E-2 Visa?

The investment must be in a real, active commercial enterprise. Passive investments, such as buying real estate, do not qualify. The business must also create jobs for U.S. workers.

Is there a set deadline for making the investment?

No specific deadline exists, but the investment must be at risk and committed at the time of the E-2 Visa application. Evidence of funds transfer and business expenses should be provided.

Once I obtain an E-2 Visa, can I work for any other company or establish a different business?

No, E-2 Visa holders are authorized to work only for the enterprise they invested in. Any substantial changes to the business or employment status require notification to USCIS.

For detailed guidance, refer to the E-2 visa guide and consider consulting with US immigration lawyers in Singapore.

 

Jeremy Abernathy

9 January 2024

I had the pleasure of working with Verdie and Nessa to obtain my E2 Visa. Their in-depth knowledge and experience allowed me to be fully prepared in my application and they were able to answer all questions leading up to the Visa interview.

Saeed Muhammad

15 December 2023

Verdie was an amazing attorney, providing exceptional client care throughout the process. He had a great depth of knowledge in all areas on business visas in the US.

Satya Choudhury

20 September 2023

I had a great experience with Davies & Associates. They are very thorough in the approach and their have experts in this field who know the domain very well.I would certainly be leaning onto them for any future needs as well.

Hoshino Ryuichi

12 September 2023

Thanks to them for handling my E2 visa very professionally. I had a study visa from F1 and changed it to E2. I encountered many problems during the application process. Verdie and Etta were very patient in helping me and it took a long time. I highly recommend this place.

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This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

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