E2 Visa Spouse: How to Get Work Authorization and SSN for E2 Spouse
The E2 visa is one of the best options available for you to live and work in the United States. With an E2 visa, you can set-up your own business or purchase an existing business. The E2 visa provides you with unlimited opportunity to grow your business and achieve your financial goals.
The E2 visa also provides major immigration benefits for your spouse as well. An E2 visa spouse can apply for work authorization (EAD), to work in the United States. The spouse of an E2 investor may also be eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).
In this guide, I’ll explain how an E2 visa spouse can get work authorization (EAD) and a Social Security Number. If you have any questions or if you need assistance with your E2 visa, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m very responsive via email and I’d be happy to help you.
- Introduction to the E2 Visa
- Benefits of an E2 Visa for E2 Visa Spouse and Children
- How to Apply for Work Authorization (EAD) and SSN for E2 Visa Spouse
1. Introduction to the E2 Visa
The E2 visa is a special non-immigrant visa category for investors and entrepreneurs. The E2 visa allows you to live and work in the United States based on making an investment in a U.S. business. The E2 visa is not available to everybody. To be eligible for the E2 visa, you must be a national of a country that has an E2 treaty with the United States.
E2 Visa Requirements
- Must be from a country that has an E2 treaty with the United States (Here is a list of the E2 treaty countries).
- Must intend to depart the United States once your E2 status ends.
- Must make a substantial investment in a US business (we typically recommend at least $100,000 or more).
- Your investment funds must be lawfully obtained (the funds you use to invest in the business cannot be obtained through any illegal activity).
- You must direct and develop the E2 business (The E2 investor must actually be involved in the business. This cannot be a passive investment).
- The investment funds must be “at risk” and committed to the business (This means that the funds should actually be spent. The funds cannot just be held in the business bank account).
- The E2 company must be an active for-profit business (a passive investment, such as an investment in real estate or stocks will not qualify).
- The E2 business cannot be a marginal enterprise (this means that the E2 business should project to generate more than enough income for the investor and his/her family).
2. Benefits of an E2 Visa for E2 Visa Spouse and Children
The benefits of the E2 visa for the principal investor are well-documented. An E2 investor can work for and manage their E2 business. What is less well-known are the immigration benefits for the E2 visa spouse and children.
The spouse and children of an E2 investor are also eligible for E2 visas. The E2 investor’s spouse is eligible for work authorization (EAD) to work in the United States. In addition, the E2 investor’s spouse can also apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).
The E2 investor’s children are eligible to attend school in the United States.
Work Authorization for E2 Visa Spouse
- The E2 visa spouse’s work authorization can be more favorable and more lenient than the principal E2 investor’s work authorization.
- Once an E2 visa spouse receives work authorization, they are eligible to work for any lawful company in the US.
- Unlike the principal E2 investor, the E2 visa spouse is not limited in the type of company they are allowed to work for.
- The principal E2 investor is only allowed to work for the E2 visa company.
3. How to Apply for Work Authorization (EAD) and SSN for E2 Visa Spouse
The spouse of an E2 investor may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work in the US. Once the E2 spouse receives work authorization, they can apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).
How to Apply for Work Authorization (EAD)
- To apply for work authorization, you are required to file a Form I-765 with USCIS.
- The Form I-765 is the Application for Employment Authorization.
- This process should be handled by an immigration lawyer.
Required Documents to Apply for EAD
Here is a list of some of the documents that should be included with the Form I-765:
- Copy of the marriage certificate between E2 investor and E2 visa spouse
- Copy of biographic page of principal E2 investor’s passport
- Copy of the principal E2 investor’s E2 visa and I-94
- Letter from the E2 visa company verifying principal E2 investor’s role with the E2 visa company
- Copy biographic page of passport of E2 visa spouse
- Copy of E2 visa and I-94 of E2 visa spouse
How to Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)
- Once your application for work authorization is approved, you may be eligible to apply for a Social Security Number.
- To apply for a Social Security Number (SSN), you a required to file a Form SS-5 with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
- It is a good idea to have a lawyer assist with or handle this process.
The E2 visa is a great option for investors and entrepreneurs. The E2 visa provides many immigration benefits for an E2 investor, their spouse, and their children. The spouse of an E2 investor is eligible to apply for work authorization (EAD). Once work authorization is approved, an E2 visa spouse may also be eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). may work in the United States in any lawful capacity.
The work authorization that an E2 visa spouse is eligible for is even more lenient than the work authorization available to the principal E2 investor.
If you have any questions about the information discussed in this guide, or if you’d like help applying for your E2 visa or work authorization, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I would be happy to assist you!
- Business Immigration: Law and Practice, 2nd Edition Chapter 4 E-1 and E-2 Visas and Status
Michael Ashoori, Esq.
U.S. Immigration Lawyer
I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.
Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.
Got a question? Send me an email.