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USA Business Visa Help

E-2 Visa for USA, the preferred immigration visa if you wish to take up residence in the United States and operate a business.

Questions and Answers:

  1. Who are International Business & Introduction Brokers (INBIB)?
  2. Where are the offices located?
  3. What documents do I need?
  4. What are my chances of success?
  5. What is an E-2 visa?
  6. What happens when I get my E-2 approval?
  7. What about my spouse and children?
  8. What happens when my visa expires?
  9. How long does it take you to file my application?
  10. Where are the applications filed?
  11. How long will it take to get my approval?
  12. What do you need to know about me?
  13. What if I have a criminal record?
  14. What if I have overstayed my visa in the U.S. now or in the past?
  15. What if I already have (or have had) an E-2 visa?
  16. What if I already have (or have had) another kind of visa?
  17. What happens if I get married?
  18. What happens if I get divorced?
  19. What happens if my children reach 21 or get married?
  20. Why don’t I just make the application myself?
  21. Do I have to have a medical?
  22. What about social security numbers?
  23. What is an Alien number?
  24. What about a Green Card?
  25. What about Citizenship?
  26. What if the law changes?
  27. What about September 11th, 2001?
  28. What if I have other family and friends that need Immigration help?
  29. A friend told me ......
  30. Are fees refundable?
  31. How much will it REALLY cost me?
  32. How can INBIB help?

Who are INBIB?

'INBIB' is a global organization of 300 immigration agents in over 80 countries . Barry Robinson heads the Immigration Division here in the United States. Go to www.inbib.com.

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Where are the offices located?

Burbank, California USA, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Europe and Asia. Go to www.inbib.com Partners Worldwide menu.

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What documents do I need?

The only documentation usually required about the applicant him/herself are a resume and photocopies of all pages of the investor/applicant’s passport. Although not needed to file the initial petition, applicants should also provide us with copies of their birth certificates (showing parentage), visas and I-94 cards (if applicable) as well as marriage and birth certificates (showing parentage), and passports, visas and I-94 cards of spouse and children that may be applying with you.

If an applicant has made any previous applications to I.N.S. for any immigration benefit whatsoever, we should be provided with a copy of that application and supporting documentation. Simply ask for a copy of your file – you are entitled to it by law!

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What are my chances of success?

Each case is decided on an individual basis by an I.N.S. examiner. While some cases are stronger than others, nobody’s case is either a guaranteed success or a certain failure. However we have a proven track record over many years and we will not take your case if we do not feel your application will be successful.

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What is an E-2 visa?

First of all, what is a visa? A visa is a temporary non-immigrant document that is stamped in your passport by a U.S. Consulate in your home country. A visa has a specific ‘start’ and ‘end’ date and an application for renewal can be made prior to expiry. With a visa in your passport, you may present yourself to an I.N.S. officer at a port of entry to the U.S. where the officer will, in all likelihood, allow you entry into the U.S. for the time period allowed by your visa. (Note that the officer may admit you for a period longer or shorter than the expiry date of your visa – the decision is at his discretion). The officer will issue you with an ‘I-94’ card that will show the date of entry, port of entry, status that you have been admitted in, and date your authorized stay will expire. It should be noted that you are allowed to stay in the U.S. until the date shown on the I-94 cardnot the date of expiry on your visa. The visa is used to get you into the U.S. but the I-94 card tells you how long you can stay.

It should also be noted that a visa does not guarantee you entry into the U.S. Entry, even with a visa or Green Card is always at the discretion of the I.N.S. officer at the port of entry. While 99.9% of people with visas and Green Cards are admitted, one should be aware that it is a privilege and not a right.

There are several different types of visas available and they are distinguishable by name. For example, there are B1/B2 visas, E-1, E-2, F-1, H-1A, H-1B, J-1, K-1, L-1, M-1, O-1, P-1 & V-1 visas. They are commonly known as alphabet visas for obvious reasons. Some visas allow the holder to work in the U.S. If you hold a visa that allows you to work, you are only allowed to work for one business – the business that petitioned for the visa and whose name will be printed on your visa. There is no such thing as a ‘work visa’ that allows you to work anywhere – it does not exist. An E-2 visa holder’s SPOUSE, however, can and should apply for an unrestricted Employment Authorization Card once physically present in the U.S. with their spouse in E-2 status. Most visa categories (including the E-2) allow the holder’s spouse and children under 21 to obtain ‘dependent’ visas allowing them to travel also. Dependent children are allowed to go to school in the U.S. (See Section 7).

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What happens when I get my E-2 approval?

When an application for an E-2 visa is approved you will need to contact the U.S. Embassy in your home country to arrange for the visa to be stamped in you and your family’s passports. Visa Issue procedures vary from country to country and are subject to fairly regular change. Our office can provide you with up to date information on Visa Issue procedures in your country. Once issued, the beneficiary may travel to the U.S. immediately or at any time during the term of the visa.

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What about my spouse and children?

When an applicant is approved for an E-2 visa, an E-2 visa is automatically available for spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. Spouses and children apply for their visas through the U.S. Embassy at the same time as you once the application has been approved. Spouses and children may apply for their visas at the same time as you or at a later time but they may not apply before you have applied for your E-2.

The E-2 dependent visa allows them to travel in and out of the U.S. for the same period as you – children may go to school on an E-2 visa. As of January 2002, spouses (not children) holding E-2 visas are eligible to apply for UNRESTRICTED ‘Employment Authorization’ for the length of time that their visa has been issued!! Both the principal applicant AND the spouse must be physically present in the U.S. in E-2 status in order to apply for the spouse’s ‘Employment Authorization’ Card. Approximately 60-90 days after the application is submitted, the work permit is issued allowing the E-2 spouse to apply for a Social Security number (approx 2 weeks). With the Work Permit & Social Security number in hand, E-2 spouses have unrestricted employment authorization. It can be seen that the E-2 spouse visa is actually a very powerful visa in that the holder may work anywhere in the U.S. while the principal E-2 visa holder may only work for the U.S. business that he/she has invested in!!

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What happens when my visa expires?

E-2 visas are renewable for indefinite periods (usually in 1-5 year increments) provided it can be established that the U.S. business continues to be an ongoing, viable concern. We will apply for your visa extensions on your behalf when necessary. Be sure to contact our office at least 6-8 weeks before expiry to commence processing.

Clients may remain in the U.S. after the expiry date on their I-94 card provided an extension application was submitted prior to the expiry date. It is extremely common to have to wait several weeks after your expiry date before receiving confirmation of the extension approval. One should not leave the U.S. until the extension has been approved. Once it HAS been approved, the newly approved extended visa needs to be stamped into your passport at the U.S. Embassy in the same way that the original one was.

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How long does it take you to file my application?

Normally we can file your application within 2-4 weeks of receipt of your Retainer Agreement, fee and supporting documents. However during particularly busy periods, processing may take longer. Our philosophy is that this is an extremely important application that is going to affect the rest of your life – we will not rush an application just to get it filed quickly. We are sure you will appreciate that this is the correct stance to take.

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Where are the applications filed?

The applications are filed at the nearest U.S. Embassy in your country of birth.

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How long will it take to get my approval?

Approximate processing times under normal circumstances are usually 6-8 weeks.

However, it must be stressed that this is an ESTIMATE. This estimate is based upon what we are seeing coming back from the Embassy on a regular basis.

PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE TO GET THE CURRENT ESTIMATED PROCESSING TIMES.

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What do you need to know about me?

At the time of the initial E-2 visa application, we need only submit a copy of your passport and we will need to know your overseas address. We will also need a detailed CV (resume) showing your experience and ability to supervise and manage in the U.S. business. However, the U.S. Embassy will eventually need copies of all of the family’s passports, birth certificates and your marriage certificate (if applicable). A member of our staff will contact you to ensure we have all relevant information on file. If your contact information changes during the application process, be sure to keep us informed.

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What if I have a criminal record?

A criminal record is not necessarily a bar to a visa – but be sure to call our office to confidentially discuss the implications of any arrests that you or your family have ever had whether in the U.S. or overseas.

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What if I have overstayed my visa in the U.S. now or in the past?

Overstaying your visa is not necessarily a bar to a visa – but, once again, be sure to call our office to confidentially discuss the implications.

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What if I already have (or have had) an E-2 visa?

We will need a copy of your previous application and all supporting documents that were submitted to get the original visa approval. Ask the original filer for a copy of your application and relevant file – you are entitled to it by law!

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What if I already have (or have had) another kind of visa?

Having another kind of visa does not have any effect on your eligibility to apply for an E-2 visa. Many clients are incorrectly led to believe that having a different kind of visa will affect their chances negatively – this is simply not true. It is possible to have every kind of U.S. visa available in your passport – the only requirement is that you qualify for each visa that you are applying for at the time that you apply for that visa. For example it is possible (though admittedly not probable) that a person could have a tourist visa allowing him to enter the U.S. in tourist status (B1/B2 visa). The same person may work for a foreign business that wishes to transfer him to a U.S. company (L-1 visa). The same person may be offered a different position with a different U.S. company (H-1B visa). While in the U.S. the same person may invest his savings in a U.S. business (E-2 visa). While in the U.S. the person may wish to further his education and take a college course (F-1 visa). While the above scenario is highly unlikely, the point being made is that having one type of visa does not preclude you from applying for another type of visa.

Once again we will need a copy of your previous application and all supporting documents that were submitted to get the original visa approval. As stated above simply ask for a copy of your file – you are entitled to it by law!

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What happens if I get married?

If you get married at any time during the entire Immigration process, it is possible for your new spouse to join in the process and receive a dependent visa for the remaining period left on your own visa.

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What happens if I get divorced?

If you get divorced during the immigration process, there are various implications depending on the timing of the divorce and the stage that you are at. Contact our office if the situation arises.

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What happens when my children reach 21 or get married?

One of the drawbacks of the E-2 visa is the status of dependent children who reach the age of 21 or get married. Unfortunately once a child reaches 21 (or gets married), they will no longer qualify for dependent E-2 status. When visas are issued, a child who reaches his or her 21st birthday during the allotted visa period will only receive a visa until the date of their 21st birthday. e.g. the principal applicant may receive a 5 year visa while the child’s visa may be for a considerably shorter period. When the dependent child’s visa expires (or the child marries), he or she must depart the U.S. This is a significant issue for potential applicants to consider before starting the E-2 application process. Possible long term options when a child reaching the end of their approved visa stay wishes to remain in the U.S. are: 1) marriage to a U.S. citizen, or 2) going to college university on a student visa and securing a Bachelors Degree that is the minimum requirement for a possible future employment based visa and/or Green Card application. Please call our office if these scenarios may be applicable to your circumstances.

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Why don’t I just make the application myself?

A fair question – and one with a fair answer. You may if you so wish. However, a commonly used expression is … ‘you wouldn’t take out your own teeth – you’d use a dentist’. The same scenario would apply to using an Accountant or a Lawyer where expertise and knowledge are the key considerations. For example, why would you attempt to file an important application, the success of which will affect you and your family’s future in America? There are a host of applications that are filed each and every year by individuals. There are also a host of them that are delayed through incomplete and incorrect application forms and supporting documentation and ultimately denied. Any immigration application is complicated – the ‘E-2 investor category’ in particular has extremely specific requirements that must be satisfied. There are also many, many red flags that an inexperienced applicant may raise if they submit their own application. This application will affect the rest of your life – do it once and do it right!

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Do I have to have a medical?

No. Medical examinations are not currently required of visa applicants.

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What about social security numbers?

A Social Security number is an individual number assigned to every U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) or work-authorized visa holder. The number is not just used to obtain Social Security benefits from the State – it is a tracking number that is used in every day life for all sorts of purposes – e.g. getting a job, opening bank accounts, applying for loans, driving licenses etc… the list goes on. Anyone that has tried to start a life for themselves in the U.S. without an S.S.# will know the problems that arise when you don’t have one.

When an applicant enters the U.S. on an E-2 visa, an application for an S.S.# can be made immediately at any S.S. office. The # is normally issued in 7-10 days. As previously discussed, the E-2 visa only allows the holder to legally work for one company – the one they have invested in. As a result, the S.S. Card with your number will carry the text: ‘Valid only with I.N.S. Authorization’. This will alert an employer to check that he is legally allowed to hire you. However, for all the other functions of the number (bank accounts, driving licenses etc…), institutions will not distinguish your number from that of a U.S. Citizen. E-2 spouse visa holders will be eligible to apply for their own unrestricted S.S.# once they have received their Employment Authorization Card (See Section 8). E-2 dependent children are not allowed to apply for an S.S.# - however, this will not prevent them from attending school in the U.S. In years gone by, it was possible to obtain an S.S.# whether you had a work visa or not. Those days are gone.

If you already have an S.S.# that you obtained in the past, you will keep the same number all the way through visa processing and for the rest of your life. The number stays the same – only the employment privileges assigned to the number change. Many people foolishly believe that they are allowed to work in the U.S. just because they have an S.S.# that they were given 10 years ago while on vacation! This is not true and these people are risking deportation if caught.

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What is an Alien number?

An individual Alien number (A#) is assigned to each family member that submits a valid ‘Adjustment of Status (Green Card)’ application or is issued a Green Card at an overseas Consulate. E-2 visa holders are not issued an Alien number.

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What about a Green Card?

E-2 visa holders are not entitled to a Green Card. No matter how long the E-2 visa is held or how many times it is renewed, a Green Card will not be issued. Holding an E-2 visa however does not preclude you from making a Green Card application under a different category. If you feel that you qualify (or may qualify in the future) for a Green Card under a different category, please contact our office to discuss the options available.

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What about Citizenship?

One may apply for Citizenship once you have held a Green Card for 5 years. Since E-2 holders do not qualify for Green Cards, they also do not qualify for Citizenship.

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What if the law changes?

Minor Law changes occur frequently and are mainly administrative in nature and do not affect the ‘E-2 investor’ category. If major Law changes affecting the eligibility requirements were proposed (which they currently are not), they would take a significant time to be prepared and then submitted to Washington for approval. We would know about these proposed amendments well in advance and would be able to advise and adapt accordingly. Any changes would normally affect future petitions only – not petitions already submitted.

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What about September 11th, 2001?

The events of September 11th, 2001 make it more imperative than ever that somebody looking to live and work in the U.S. takes the necessary steps to do so legally. The major fall-out from the tragic events is that illegal aliens will find it harder and harder to travel in and out of the U.S. or even within the U.S. Daily living will also become extremely difficult for the illegal alien with police officers and government agencies given increased powers to check the immigration status of suspected illegal aliens.

The good news is that none of the proposed Law changes resulting from September 11, 2001 have targeted the ‘E-2 investor’ category. Additionally, the I.N.S. workload created in developing and implementing the Law changes that have been made will mean that changes to the ‘E-2 investor’ category are unlikely at any time in the foreseeable future.

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What if I have other family and friends that need Immigration help?

Please pass our information on to them. We will be delighted to help. Please do not try and explain the process to them as, while the basic concept and criteria always remains the same, each applicant’s personal circumstances will dictate the route we take.

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A friend told me ......

Frequently our clients hear stories about Immigration and why their application can’t possibly work. ‘You have to hire 10 Americans’, ‘You have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars’ etc, etc ... ...

Please remember that the informant may think that he is helping you – but he is probably relaying information passed on second or third hand about somebody that may have even applied under a completely different category. We implore you to speak to our office alone regarding all Immigration matters. We have an impeccable approval rate with hundreds and hundreds of satisfied clients over a number of years.

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Are fees refundable?

No. Once a Retainer Agreement is signed and a fee paid, refunds are not possible. Bear in mind that the initial payment is $3,000 and the final $1,500 is due upon approval. If there is no approval, there is no final $1,500 (... but there will be!)

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How much will it REALLY cost me?

We want our clients to be fully aware of the costs involved. We categorically 100% guarantee that there will be no fees in addition to those stated on the Retainer Agreement. Applicants will, however, encounter U.S. Embassy filing fees currently $100 (principal) & $205 (per dependent) and various other negligible sundry expenses. The principal’s $100 filing fee is payable with the initial retainer. Family members’ filing fees of $205 per person are payable at the U.S. Embassy following approval.

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How can INBIB help?

INBIB will provide a "peace of mind" service with both the business search and ensuring a professionally prepared immigration application is lodged. As we are also Certified Practicing Accountants we also offer our services to conduct a due diligence audit of the Company you intend to purchase or invest in. We are also a USA appointed notary for the purpose of attesting documentation for immigration purposes.

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GO TO UNITED STATES E2 VISA ASSESSMENT.

For information on E-2 visas please go to the following links:
The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
E-2 Visa Process – Help and Steps
Businesses Wanted for E-2 Visa Clients (USA)



We thank you for your interest in retaining our services and ask that you keep this Q & A for future reference.

If you need clarification on any points or have any further questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to call.

(818) 795 0954

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