The USCIS determines the terms and conditions of E-2 treaty status at the time of admission or approval of a request to change nonimmigrant status to E classification. A treaty investor or treaty employee may engage in only in employment which is consistent with the terms and conditions of his or her status and the activity forming the basis for the E treaty status.
(1) Subsidiary employment. Treaty employees may perform work for the parent treaty organization or enterprise, or any subsidiary of the parent organization or enterprise. Performing work for subsidiaries of a common parent enterprise or organization will not be deemed to constitute a substantive change in the terms and conditions of the underlying E treaty employment if, at the time the E treaty status was determined, the applicant presented evidence establishing:
(A) The enterprise or organization, and any subsidiaries thereof, where the work will be performed; the requisite parent-subsidiary relationship; and that the subsidiary independently qualifies as a treaty organization or enterprise under this paragraph;
(B) In the case of an employee of a treaty trader or treaty investor, the work to be performed requires executive, supervisory, or essential skills; and
(C) The work is consistent with the terms and conditions of the activity forming the basis of the
(2) Substantive changes. Where there will be a substantive change in the terms or conditions of E status, USCIS approval must be obtained. A treaty alien must file a new application on Form I-129 and E supplement, in accordance with the instructions on that form, requesting extension of stay in the United States.
In support of an alien's Form I-129 application, the treaty alien must submit evidence of continued eligibility for E-2 visa in the new capacity. Alternatively, the alien must obtain from a consular officer a visa reflecting the new terms and conditions and subsequently apply for admission at a port-of-entry. A fundamental change in the employing entity's basic characteristics, such as a merger, acquisition, or sale of the division where the alien is employed, would be deemed substantial change which necessitating filing a new Form I-129 application.
(3) Non-substantive changes. If there is no substantive or fundamental change in the terms or conditions of the alien's employment that would affect the alien's eligibility for E classification, there is no need to file a new Form I-129. Further, prior approval is not required if corporate changes occur which do not affect the previously approved employment relationship, or are otherwise non-substantive.
To facilitate admission, the alien may:
(A) Present a letter from the treaty-qualifying company through which the alien attained E classification explaining the nature of the change;
(B) Request a new Form I-797, Approval Notice, reflecting the non-substantive change by filing with the appropriate Service Center Form I-129, with fee, and a complete description of the change, or;
(C) Apply directly to the U.S. State Department for a new E visa reflecting the change. An alien who does not elect one of the three options may have to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the immigration officer at the port-of-entry his or her admissibility.
Advice. To ascertain whether a change is substantive, an alien may file Form I-129, with fee, and a complete description of the change, to request appropriate advice. In cases involving multiple employees, an alien may request that a USCIS service center determine if a merger or other corporate restructuring requires the filing of separate applications by filing a single Form I-129, with fee, and attaching a list of the related receipt numbers for the employees involved and an explanation of the change or changes. Where employees are located within multiple jurisdictions, such a request for advice must be filed with the service center in Lincoln, Nebraska.
For more information on the E-2 category, please click one of the following links:
Duration of E-2 visa, Stay and Extension
Terms and conditions of an E-2 visa
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
Change to Other Non-immigrant Status
Frequently Asked Questions About E-2 Visa