E2 Visa Denied? Here’s What You Need to Know


If your E2 visa is denied, don’t worry — you have options. Learn more from the experts at E-2VisaWorld.

E2 Visa Denied: Learn Why it Happens

The United States will sometimes establish a treaty with a foreign country and allow residents of that country to come to the States on an E2 visa. This arrangement is typically allowed when a person of a foreign country invests substantial money into a U.S. business.

Also known as the Treaty Investor Visa, the E2 visa lets the holder live in the U.S. for a predetermined amount of time and carry out business. The visa holder’s employees and family members may also be eligible to come to the U.S. on E2 visas. Additionally, if a person’s status is lawful nonimmigrant, they may fill out the necessary paperwork to change their status to a classification of E2.


Is Your E2 Renewal Visa Being Denied?

While this is a great option for many foreign entrepreneurs, the requirements to obtain an E2 visa can be difficult to prove or satisfy, leading to unfair denials. However, if your E2 visa application or renewal is being denied, don’t give up hope just yet — you may have options. With the help of a skilled E2 visa lawyer at E-2VisaWorld, you can identify the reasons why your visa was denied and create an effective action plan to ensure the future success of your petition.

E2 Visa Denial Reasons

If you are facing an E-2 visa denial, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will outline the reasons why you were denied in your decision letter. If you are currently petitioning to receive an E2 visa, there are a few common reasons why your application may have been denied.

The first is that your investment may not be substantial enough. While there is no specific amount for what counts as a substantial investment, it can be difficult to get approval. To meet the E2 visa investment requirements, USCIS states that the investment you make must match the value of the business or the start-up cost. In other words, the applicant’s investment must show that they are committed to ensuring the success of the business and want to advance it.

If it is a small business the applicant is investing in, the investment should be most of its value. For example, if the applicant wants to put money into a small shop worth $150,000, they will need to invest almost all of that amount. If the applicant wants to invest in a multi-million-dollar chain of businesses, the necessary percentage would be lower. The best thing to do in this case is to work with an immigration attorney who is knowledgeable in E-2 visa applications.

The second reason is that the enterprise may not make sense financially. USCIS will determine if the business venture will generate revenue and whether it will not merely be marginal (i.e. it will not just provide an income for the applicants and their families). The future of the business will be judged if the enterprise is not currently making money. If the USCIS officer believes that the enterprise is unlikely to reach a good level of cash flow within five years, the E2 will probably be denied.

The third reason is if there is a suspicion that you may try to alter your investment and cheat the system. If your money is set up so you can get it back when you set foot on U.S. soil, the investment may be seen as fraudulent. To avoid being seen as potentially fraudulent, you should have already invested in the business, rented property, or gathered resources. This means your funds will be “at-risk” in a business sense.

The fourth reason is you are not, at minimum, half the owner of the business. While having half-ownership shows that you are committed to the business, USCIS says you can have operational control in other ways. If you believe that your petition was wrongly denied for this reason, the legal experts at E-2VisaWorld can help you establish evidence of your ownership. Alternatively, you can take our E2 eligibility survey to determine whether you do, in fact, qualify.


E2 Visa Extension Denied

If you were denied an extension of your E2 visa, it is likely you did not meet the requirements, or the enterprise is now considered problematic when it comes to cost or percentage. To ensure that your extension application is approved, it is up to you to prove that your enterprise can succeed and that you will make it successful with an E2 visa. Please seek the services of an experienced attorney for assistance.

Visa Denial Appeal Process

If you do not agree with USCIS’s decision and you did not use consular processing, you can use the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) to appeal it.

Unfortunately, the AAO often upholds the decision of USCIS. Namely, only a fraction of cases are overturned by the AAO. If you decided to go through consular processing, you cannot appeal their decision. In any case, reaching out to an E2 visa expert is your best course of action. Call us today at +1(347) 589 8823 for more information.


E2 Visa Renewal Denied: What Else to Do

Sometimes, appealing is just not an option, so you may want to consider just reapplying for your visa. When this happens, you will have to fill out the paperwork again – like Form I-129E – and an appointment will be scheduled at your home country’s consulate. Since your decision letter will tell you why you were denied, you can use that as an opportunity to fix any issues and then reapply for your E2 visa.

What if E2 Visa Gets Denied for an Administrative Reason?

You may still get your visa under the US Immigration and Nationality Act if you were denied for an administrative reason. This is more of an evidence request than an outright denial. The reasons you may need to submit evidence are:

  • Insufficient documents.
  • A closer look or re-examination is necessary.
  • More background checks are needed.

You will receive a list of documents to submit to avoid E-2 visa denial. If you still need assistance, a US immigration attorney at E-2VisaWorld will be able to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, where we will listen to your story and guide you through your options.


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If you need personalized and professional assistance applying for an E-2 Investor Visa or an E-1 Trader Visa for the United States, reach out to our team of legal experts using this form and we’ll get back to you promptly.