For E-2 Visas, do I apply at U.S Consulate or at a US Service Center? What are the Advantages of Each?
Q. I am in the US as a visitor and wish to buy a US business and apply for an E-2 Visa. Since I am in the US, can I file the E-2 Visa application at a US Service Center in the US rather than at the US Consulate outside the US? I am from Toronto.
A. You can indeed file the E-2 Visa from within the US at your local Service Center. But there is a major downside to this. Even if you are approved for the Visa, should you wish to leave the USA after receiving the E-2, you would have to re-apply at a US Consulate in order to reenter the US. This is because only consulate issue Visas, that is, travel documents. At the Service Center, you get an E-2 but its not really a Visa properly understood. Rather it’s a status document that gives you E-2 status to work in the US. But there are no travel features associated with it.
In order words, for applicants who require to travel while on an E-2 Visa, it is strongly recommended that you apply for the E-2 at a US Consulate rather than at a Service Center. For more information about E-2 Visas see our website here and our blogs here.
About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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