The E-2 Visa Consular Interview

Jun 23, 2020

An E-2 Visa Interview is one of the steps you will need to complete when you are pursuing a visa based on an investment.

E-2 Visa Basic Requirements

Having in mind the E-2 Visa requirements is essential to preparing for your E-2 Visa interview.

E-2 Visa’s basic requirements include an investment, specific eligibility, and other ownership requirements. E-2VisaWolrd can help you prepare.

E-2 Visa Investment

Although there is no minimum E-2 Visa investment, applicants should expect to invest at least $80,000. The funds should be irrevocably put at risk and entirely committed to the business, which means that if your venture fails, your investment will not be recovered.

The U.S. enterprise in which you invest should be engaged in an active trade of goods or services with the goal of generating profits. Funds should originate from a legitimate source, typically from other activities of the beneficiary, a loan or gift. The business in which you invest should not be marginal, e.g., it should secure a living for more than just the beneficiary of the Visa and his family.

E-2 Visa Eligibility

E-2 Visa eligibility is reserved to nationals of countries who maintain certain treaties of commerce with the United States, which is the majority of the countries worldwide (see the list of E-2 Visa countries below). Notable exceptions are Brazil, China, and Russia, but other E-2 Visa-related solutions are available.

E-2 Visa Ownership Requirements

As an E-2 Visa applicant, you are required to own at least 50% of the U.S. business in which you decided to invest.

For more detailed information regarding the E-2 Visa requirements, you can read our article here.

Navigating the E-2 Visa Interview

When starting the application process for an E-2 Visa for the United States, it is essential to be well prepared for the consular interview to avoid refusal. Indeed, one of the toughest and most important steps throughout the process of getting an E-2 Visa for the United States is attending the interview at the Embassy in your country. The E-2 Visa interview is conducted by a consulate officer that will ask you a series of questions to ensure you meet all the set qualifications.

It is worth noting that the U.S. consulate officers can exercise total discretion in granting or denying your E-2 Visa application for a number of reasons and virtually with no chances of appeal (except re-filing the E-2 Visa application based on different grounds or producing additional evidence).

What to Bring to the E-2 Visa Interview

You are only required to provide a few documents at your E-2 Visa interview. The majority of the documents will have been submitted with the E-2 Visa application to the U.S. Consulate a few months before the interview by your attorney.

The documents that you have to bring with you at the E-2 Visa interview include:

  • Appointment Confirmation
  • Passport
  • Passport-size photographs
  • Proof of ties with your country, such as bank account statements, leases, property deeds, cars, tax returns, etc.

Gathering and organizing your documents before the day of the interview will help you feel more prepared and confident.

Questions You May Be Asked at the E-2 Visa Interview

Questions that you may be asked during your E-2 Visa interview can vary, but some examples can help you prepare. Remember, the officers are trying to ascertain whether someone’s intentions are legitimate, so being honest and ready is crucial.

Always keep in mind that the E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa. Therefore the U.S. Consulate expects you to state your intention of going back to your home country when the E-2 Visa expires (which may never happen because E-2 Visa is renewable indefinite times, but this is what you have to state).

Here are a few questions that an immigration officer may ask you:

  • Have you ever visited the U.S. before?
  • What do you plan to do after your E-2 Visa expires?
  • Have you ever held U.S. visas, and what were they for?
  • Do you own or lease real estate, vehicles, businesses?
  • Do you have family in your home country?
  • What enterprise are you investing in in the United States for your E-2 Visa?
  • How much cash or assets have been invested in the company?
  • Who provided the funds, and how was the money spent so far?
  • How do you plan to develop the business?
  • What are the projected revenues?
  • What will be your role in the company?
  • What are your qualifications to cover that position? What is your experience in the field?

All of the answers to the above questions will be available for you to read before the interview in your E-2 Visa application, which your attorney will have previously submitted to the U.S. Consulate. Although at the time of the E-2 Visa interview, the Consular officers will have already reviewed your application, they will expect you to know at least the basic information. Your attorney will provide you with a copy of the previously submitted E-2 Visa application.

Who Should Attend the E-2 Visa Interview

Those who should personally attend the E-2 Visa interview would include the applicant and his / her family members – if they applied as the E-2 Visa applicant’s dependents. Family members that may qualify for an E-2 Visa as dependents – and therefore need to appear at the interview – are the spouse and any underage children. However, children under 14 years old are typically not required to attend the E-2 Visa interview.

To schedule the E-2 Visa interview, a DS160 online form is required for the applicant and each dependent family member. For instance, if you applied for yourself, your spouse, and three underage children, you will have to submit five DS160 forms and pay a separate fee for each one of them.

What to Expect at an E-2 Visa Interview

All E-2 Visa interviews, for the most part, go through the same routine. Once the E-2 Visa officer has reviewed any documents pertaining to your E-2 Visa application, he will ask you a number of questions about your business and goals in the U.S., as briefly outlined above. The interview will last about 20 minutes. The good news is that right after the interview is completed; the immigration officer will let you know if your E-2 Visa application has been approved, denied, or if additional evidence is required.

After the interview, if your Visa is approved, you will be sent to another section of the U.S. Consulate, where you will be required to pay the reciprocity fee, if existing based on the Treaty between U.S. and your country.

Following the interview, your passport will be ready for pick-up at the location you have previously selected, or it will be sent to your address via DHL within a couple of days.

E-2 Visa Interview Tips

You will never be told step-by-step how to pass an E-2 Visa interview, but there are some general tips to follow to help improve your chances. It is vital to follow these tips, as they could play a significant role in your access to the United States.

E-2 Visa Interview First Impression

First impressions are important when arriving at your E-2 Visa interview, just like any other interview. An immigration officer will begin assessing you as soon as you walk into the room. Keeping a positive and inviting attitude will go a long way. Dress and behave nicely!

Being Prepared for the E-2 Visa Interview

Preparation is a must when attending your E-2 Visa interview, which starts with bringing necessary documents. Revise your application in-depth and keep in mind your role in the business, which position you will cover, your resume, and your qualification. Marking notes and tabs on the second copy of your application for yourself is a great way to be ready for questions you may be asked throughout the interview.

Be Polite and Confident at the E-2 Visa Interview

Presenting a polite and confident attitude goes a long way when speaking to a consulate officer. Your fate on immigrating to the U.S. is in that officer’s hands. Remain confident and friendly when trying to pass this milestone within the process.

Seek Counsel for the E-2 Visa Interview

Going through an E-2 Visa interview process can be nerve-wracking and overwhelming, but it is very manageable. Over 90% of the E-2 Visa applications are approved each year. The disapproval rate for the E-2 Visa is relatively low.

Being prepared for an E-2 Interview is especially important, and we can help. The secret to success is a technically correct application and thorough preparation for the E-2 Visa interview. Our E-2 Visa lawyers have helped hundreds of applicants to file their E-2 Visa application and get ready for their interview. Contact E-2VisaWolrd today so we can help you as well!

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