Duration of an E Visa Stay and Extension

The length of the time on an E visa is determined by the time granted by the alien's country of nationality. This time period is published in the Department of State’s reciprocity schedule. The maximum time is usually 5 years. The spouse and children of the principal applicant will also receive E visas for the same period of time. An E-2 visa holder, when entering the United States, will initially be given a two year period of stay.

Extension of Stay:

There are two ways to extend stay:

First, every time the treaty alien travels out of the United States, he or she is admitted for a new one-year period on readmission.

Second, when a treaty investor does not travel out of the United States prior to the expiration of a period of admission, he or she must apply for an extension of stay in the United States through the USCIS Texas or California service centers.

The extension request on Form I-129 and the E supplement must be filed with the supporting documentation regarding the trading or investment enterprise that was originally filed with the initial nonimmigrant visa application.

An alien who overstays his or her period of authorized admission must submit his or her visa application at the consulate located in the country of the alien's nationality.

Requests for extensions of stay may be granted in increments of not more than 2 years. A treaty trader or treaty investor in valid E status may apply for an extension of stay by filing an application for extension of stay on Form I-129 and E Supplement, with the required supplementary documents. Therefore, an alien in treaty investor status with a five year visa will initially be admitted for only two years. He or she can then apply for an extension of stay of two years or simply leave the United States and seek reentry with the valid visa for an additional two years. There is no limit on the number of extensions allowed under this category.

To apply for extension of stay, the alien must prove that he or she:

(A) Has at all times maintained the terms and conditions of his or her E nonimmigrant classification;

(B) Was physically present in the United States at the time of filing the application for extension of stay; and

(C) Has not abandoned his or her extension request.

If the applicant seeks new employment which changes the terms and conditions of E status, he or she has to file a new I-129 form. Once the new employment is approved, the USCIS shall notify the applicant via a Form I-797. An extension of stay in nonimmigrant E classification may be granted for the validity of the approved application. The alien is not authorized to begin the new employment until the application is approved. Employment is authorized only for the period of time the alien remains in the United States.

Once an extension is granted, the alien can obtain revalidation of the E visa through the U.S. State Department, rather than having to return to the consul to obtain a new visa. An E visa can be reissued by the State Department Visa Office in Washington, D.C. before the termination of the original E visa.

Unless otherwise negotiated, an alien shall not be admitted in E classification for a period of time extending more than 6 months beyond the expiration date of the alien's passport.

Unlike other types of non-immigrant visas, the E visas do not require the alien to establish that he or she is proceeding to the United States for a specific temporary period of time. The regulations merely require that the alien demonstrate intent to depart upon termination of his or her status. Also, the E visa applicant need not demonstrate that he or she has a residence in a foreign country which he or she has no intention of abandoning. There should be some indication, however, that the alien will eventually return to his or her country upon the termination of his/her stay in the United States.

For more information on the E-2 category, please click one of the following links:
Duration of E-2 visa, Stay and Extension
Visa Re-issuance
Terms and conditions of an E-2 visa
Family Benefits
U.S. Port of Entry
Change to E-2 classification in the United States
USCIS Processing Time
The timescale for us to prepare for an E-2 application
Attorney fee
Change to Other Non-immigrant Status
Frequently Asked Questions About E-2 Visa

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