E2 visas are granted to entrepreneurs, investors, or business owners who wish to start or purchase a business in the United States. The E2 visa is exclusive to nationals of countries that maintain a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States.
An E2 visa holder must show at least 50% ownership of a company and play an active managerial role in the development and direction of the enterprise. The company should be actively producing services or goods for profit and meet the legal requirements for operation within its established jurisdiction.
Once your E2 visa is approved, you are permitted to work and live in the United States as long as your business is sustainable and generates enough income to provide a minimum living standard for you and your family. But what about your spouse? Can they obtain work authorization in the United States?
Employment authorization for E2 dependent spouses
In the past, E2 dependent spouses needed to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
To begin the process, E2 dependent spouses, preferably with the guidance of a US immigration lawyer, had to complete an Application for Employment Authorization Form I-765. Along with the completed Form I-795, they also had to submit:
- Most recent I-94s showing that you and your spouse entered the country on an E2 status
- Copy of the bio page of your spouse’s passport
- Copies of both you and your spouse’s E2 visas
- Your marriage certificate (in English)
- A letter of verification from your E2 company stating your role within the company
- Two recent passport-sized photos
- Copies of the front and back of previous employment authorization cards issued in the United States
- Copies of any previous I-797 approval notices of employment authorization, where applicable
- Previous I-20s, where applicable
- Payment via a cheque for USCIS filing fees
Now, thanks to recent USCIS policy updates, E2 dependent spouses are automatically granted a US work permit along with their E2 status. They are no longer required to apply to request employment authorization by filing Form I-765 but may choose to file Form I-765 if they wish to receive an employment authorization document.
As an E2 visa holder, you are limited to working within the company used to obtain your E2 visa. With a US work permit, your spouse has the flexibility to work in your company, start their own business, or work with another organization in the United States. Their employment authorization will be valid for the period your E2 visa or your spouse’s E2 dependent status is valid.
E2 visa application guidance
Are you or your spouse applying for an E2 visa or US work permit? It would be beneficial to have a US immigration lawyer guide you through the process.
If you are searching for a US immigration lawyer in Montreal, contact us at Silver Immigration.
At Silver Immigration, you can expect to receive personalized and focused customer service. We will work assiduously to help you achieve your goals of building your new life with your family in the United States. There is no charge for your initial consultation, so why wait? Call us today at +1(888) 799-4769 to schedule an appointment to discuss your case with our experienced US immigration lawyer.