In 2021 and 2019, I successfully renewed my E2 Visa without an attorney or lawyer. I am sharing my experience so that you can take some anxiety away from applying for your E2 visa again, on your own. If you are applying for the E2 Visa the first time, your embassy requires more documentation for your application, so please read How to Apply for E2 Visa Without an Attorney in 3 Steps.
I first got my E2 visa in 2017 which was valid for 2 years. The term depends on the reciprocity your country has with the United States. For example, the US embassy in Canada issues E2 visa with the term of 5 years whereas the US embassy in Poland issues E2 visa with the term of only a year. Some other embassies even issue E2 visas with the term of only 3 months!
Fortunately, there are only 3 main stages for the E2 renewal:
1. Preparing the Documents
Preparing the documents took me less time this time as I already had a running business with years of tax returns. I was able to put together the documents in less than a month in 2019 and less than a day in 2021.
This time, the documents required were mostly tax returns, as well as hiring records of employees and my plan for hiring more employees. The number of jobs you created or will create for US citizens and permanent residents is the main focus, not the amount of money invested.
2. Scheduling an Interview
Again, I had to fly to Singapore after I scheduled my embassy interview on ustraveldocs.com. The website’s user interface did not seem to change over the years so the familiarity helps a little.
Just like the last time, I did not need to send my supporting documents before scheduling my embassy interview. I dropped it off about a week before my interview at a collection point provided for on ustraveldocs. So this part of the process should be relatively easy and straightforward.
3. Passing the Interview
In 2019, I felt the interview was more thorough than the last one when I first applied for the E2. The embassy officer had clearly reviewed my documents just like the last time. But she had more questions about the business and my plan on hiring more Americans. In 2021, the embassy officer asked me roughly about 10 questions, way more than the previous two times. Again, his questions mostly pertain to my business and indicated that he had read my documents thoroughly.
So go in with the plan for hiring more Americans and a thorough understanding of your business. If you run a real business, the latter should not be hard. The harder part should be the plan to hire more Americans as well as your current number of American employees. To hire more or maintain the current number, your business needs to be in good health and growing. So focus on your business growth and it will automatically take care of the E2 visa renewal!
Once you are approved, you can expect to get your passport with the visa in about a week or two so plan your travel accordingly.
If you have specific questions about the supporting documents which I did not cover in depth in this post or want to share your experience, please leave me a comment below.
Ever since 2017 when I first shared about my E2 experience, many have asked me to share with them any templates or a step by step approach. Four years later, I have spent some time during the great lockdown to put together an E2 Visa Renewal Guide – which contains detailed insight into whether more investment is needed, what to do if you did not manage to hire Americans, maximizing your chances, the timeline and progressive steps for the renewal. The guide also includes templates for business plan, executive summary, cover letter, letter of intent to depart and so on, as well as my availability to consult you on the finest details of your application. If you are interested in purchasing the guide, please fill in the form below and more information will be sent to you. Half of the earnings will go to charity.