The E2 visa is a powerful option for investors and entrepreneurs to live and work in the US. In this guide, I will explain all of the E2 visa fees that you should know about before applying for your E2 visa. If you have any questions, or you need help with your E2 visa, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com.
There are 5 main E2 visa fees that are necessary throughout the E2 visa process:
- E2 Visa Application Fee or USCIS Filing Fee
- Immigration Lawyer Fee
- Business Entity Formation
- Business Plan
- Investment in Your E2 Business
E2 Visa Application Fee or USCIS Filing Fee
To process your application the US immigration department that you submit your case to will charge a fee. There are 2 ways to apply for the E2 classification. You can either do a change of status through USCIS or you can apply for an E2 visa at the US embassy or consulate of your home country. Click here to learn more about the difference between a change of status and applying for an E2 visa.
Change of Status
- If you are filing a petition for a change of status through USCIS, the filing fee for the Form I-129 is $460.
- If you have dependents included in your change of status petition (such as a spouse and child) you will have to file a Form I-539. The filing fee for the Form I-539 in $370.
- The E2 visa is also eligible for premium processing. This means that you have the option to pay an additional $1,225 to have your E2 petition processed in 15 days.
- If you are applying for an E2 visa at a US embassy or consulate in your home country, you will have to file a DS-160. You and each of your dependents (spouse and children) will be charged a fee of $205 (each) to process your DS-160.
- Depending on your country of citizenship, you may also be charged a small fee once your E2 visa is issued at the consulate or embassy.
Immigration Lawyer Fee
The immigration lawyer fee is the fee your immigration lawyer will charge you to handle your E2 visa application. The amount your immigration charges you will depend on many factors including their experience and expertise, the specific services they will be providing you, and their particular billing practices.
- Work with a lawyer who will charge you a flat-fee: Make sure to work with an immigration lawyer who will bill you on a flat-fee instead of on an hourly rate. By working with an immigration lawyer who charges a flat-rate, you know exactly what your immigration legal fees will be from the start. By working with a lawyer on an hourly basis, you never know exactly how much your E2 case is going to cost you. Your immigration lawyer will most likely bill you every time they respond to one of your emails or answer one of your calls. Its best to avoid this by working on a flat-fee.
- Choose experience over the lowest price: It may be tempting to work with the lawyer with the lowest fees. Do yourself a favor and look beyond the fees. Make sure that the immigration lawyer you choose has experience handling E2 cases. The E2 visa has many detailed requirements that must carefully be followed. How your immigration lawyer prepares and presents your case will have a big impact on your chances of approval. This is why it is highly important to work with an immigration lawyer that knows how to properly file an E2 petition.
Business Entity Formation
If you will be forming a new business for you E2 visa, such as an LLC or a corporation, you will most likely work with a lawyer or a company to set-up your company for you. This fee will vary depending on the lawyer or company you work with.
In most cases, you will need to submit an E2 compliant business plan along with your E2 case. Your E2 business plan should be created by a company that specializes in immigration business plans. The fee for an E2 business plan varies depending on the company you work with.
Investment in Your E2 Business
Your investment isn’t really considered a “fee” however I decided to mention it anyway. To get an E2 visa you are required to make a “substantial” investment in a company. While there is no minimum amount specified by the regulations, a general rule of thumb is to invest at least $100,000 or more in your business. These funds should actually be put at-risk by being spent and/or committed to the business. If the funds are just sitting in the business bank account, they will not be sufficiently at-risk, as required by the E2 visa requirements.
If you have any questions regarding the E2 visa fees, or if you need help getting your E2 visa, email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com.