WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR APPLYING FOR AN E-1/E-2 VISA IF I AM INSIDE THE US?
If you are already in the US and meet the eligibility criteria for the E-1/E-2 visa, you can follow these steps to change your status from your current visa status to E-1/E-2 status:
- Change of Status Application: If you are currently in the US under a different nonimmigrant status, you can apply for a change of status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, along with all required supporting documentation. You can also file Form I-907, for an additional fee, so that USCIS guarantees communication with you within 15 days of filing your application. Note: “communication” does not mean approval. It could mean approval, but it could also mean a request for more information or a denial.
Extension of Stay: If you are already in the US under E-1/E-2 status and your authorized stay is about to expire, you can apply for an extension of stay using Form I-129 as well. This will allow you to continue your E-1/E-2 activities in the US for 240 days or until the I-129 is approved, whichever comes first.
The fee structure for E-1 and E-2 visas can vary, and it’s essential to check the latest fee information on the official website of the U.S. Department of State or consult with an immigration attorney. Generally, the fees may include:
- Application Fee (Form DS-160): This is a non-refundable fee paid when submitting the online visa application.
- Visa Issuance Fee: Also known as the reciprocity fee, it depends on the applicant’s nationality and the treaty country’s treatment of U.S. visa applicants.
- Filing Fees (if applicable): Some cases may require filing fees, such as the I-129 petition filing fee for E visa applicants.