Can I change status while on E-2 visa US? Can I apply for a green card with an E-2 visa?
Changing your status while on E-2 visa USA.
Have Plans to work on the US under E-2 visa and ultimately apply for an E-2 visa green card? That’s very possible. Here’s how to go about it.
The E-2 investor visa is a work permit for foreign investors, from E-2 visa countries, looking to leave and work in USA. There are set requirements for E-2 visa applicants.
If you comply with all the requirements and ultimately get your E-2 visa USA, you can choose to change status at the lapse of your E-2 visa period. Changing status implies opting for a permanent residency in the US. Of course, there are set E-2 visa requirements for a status change.
How to change your status while on E-2 Visa
You can choose to change from the nonimmigrant status to a permanent US resident. If you are on E-2 visa US, there are two ways to go about this. First you can file a 1-129 petition for E-2 visa change of status. Secondly, you can opt for a change of status via consular processing.
The latter option is commonplace. There are many advantages associated with change of status while on E-2 visa USA. It comes with lots of rights and privileges enjoyed by all US citizens.
Requirements for change of status on E-2 visa US.
- Only those on valid E-2 visa may apply for a change of status. You can choose to file for the change while in E-2 visa in USA or do so via a consulate.
- You need to file an I-129 petition under the E-2 investor visa classification.
Approval of your status change request may take 6 months on average. It could take a shorter or much longer duration depending on a couple of reasons. For instance, the number of applications being processed by the particular USCIS service center, etc.
You can expedite the process by opting for premium processing, at a small fee. This option shortens the duration to a maximum of 15 days. Premium status change processing also improves your chances of approval.
Disadvantages of Applying for Status Change while on E-2 Visa
A major disadvantage associated with E-2 visa status change is visa retrogression. That has to do with the exhaustion of your monthly E-2 visa quotas while your application for status change is still pending.
Visa retrogression holds very dire consequences to the investor and their business enterprise. It might compromise the legality of the entire investment. However, you can avoid all that drama by making your E-2 investor visa status application through a US consulate.
The 1-129 petition method of change of status is rather expensive compared to the consular processing.
Consular Processing of E-2 visa USA status change
If you are inside the US, applying for the status change can be done in two ways; USCIS option and consular option. Those outside the US have only one option; consular processing.
The whole process involves a one-on-one interview with the immigration officers. So, you’ve got to be prepared to answer a couple of questions. Be sure to carry all the necessary documentation with you.
Advantages of Consular processing
There are many advantages associated with consular processing of E-2 investor visa change of status.
- It is much faster and more affordable.
You won’t have to pay hefty premium processing fees. You can choose to expedite the whole process by paying a small fee. That is optional though.
- It eliminates the cost of having to travel back to your home country to file for the E-2 visa change of status.
Other than travel to your native country, a non-immigrant status such as H-1B or L-1, consular processing saves you all the hassle.
Disadvantages of consular processing
The consular E-2 visa status change processing also comes with some disadvantages. For instance:
- Little chance of success compared to the 1-129 petition method.
- It is up to the immigration officers to turn down or approve of your request.
Can you apply for a green card with an E-2 visa?
It is possible to change from E-2 visa to green card. The same is true for E-2 dependent visa holders; spouses, children, and employees. However, the E-2 visa US shouldn’t be reason enough to be granted the US green card.
Once you file your application for change from E-2 visa to green card, the USCIS will review it and approve or deny request. If successful, you will be granted a permanent resident status and be entitled to all the rights and privileges associated.
If you are planning to pursue an E-2 visa green card and you have a pending immigration petition, it is advisable to apply for your E-2 investor visa change of status through the 1-129 petition. Steer clear of consular processing for this particular case.