This is the story of an E-2 visa family who has been here in the U.S. since 1991.

This is the story of an E-2 visa family who has been here in the U.S. since 1991.

I chatted at length with this next E2 visa holder. Most of the conversation was about their concerns regarding what happens to their children when they turn 21. I will write a separate blog post about that at length, since it is such an important issue for so many E-2 Visa holders.

This family prefers to remain anonymous, but wanted to share their story in hopes of helping other perspective E2 Visa applicants get a glimpse of what life is like once you come over to the U.S.


Name. Anonymous

What country did you originate/emigrate from?  U.K.

Describe your business.

Retail sales and installation of flooring and blinds

How many people do you employ? (Fulltime?/Part-time?)

On average over the years 6-10 fulltime employees

What year were you granted your visa and how long did it take to get your E-2 Visa approved?

Our first visa was in 1991 we have renewed 5 times since then. Leave approx. 3 months for the process.

Were you approved for your E-2 Visa on your first attempt? If not, how many attempts did you make before you granted your visa?

We have not had any problems getting the initial visa or renewing.

What were your biggest obstacles when applying for the E-2 visa?

It is a stressful process and time consuming putting together the package
as your whole lives depend on getting the visa renewed.

How did you determine where in the U.S. to move to?

We had come on vacation and fell in love with the town and lifestyle.

How did you determine what type of business to pursue?

We looked for a business that was for sale that fit in with the visa requirements.

What were your biggest issues when choosing your business?

There were no big issues choosing a business, however you really research the business, market size etc. so you have a good idea that you can make a success of it as well as fitting all the visa requirements.

What resources did you find most helpful when you started your E-2 visa application process?

We had a friend who was a lawyer in the UK. There was no internet 21 years ago.

What is the biggest benefit you and/or your family have enjoyed by making this move?

Lifestyle, education,

What do you miss the most about your home country?

Family and friends


If you were to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

My only regret is that my first child was born in the UK and we moved when he was 4 months old. At 21yrs kids age out from their parents E2 Visa and have to get a visa of their own. There is no pathway to citizenship for E2 Visa holders or their children.

What are some of the key lessons learned you would like to share with others?

More importantly than what business you decide to set up or purchase
you need to think about how the E2 visa will affect your family and you
personally. This is a temporary visa and has no pathway to a green card.

  • What will your kids do when they age out?
  • What will you do if you want to retire? You cannot retire with a E2 Visa.
  • How are you going to remain financially stable if the economy crashes as it did end 2008?
  • How will you cope if you do not get your visa renewed?
  • You need to set up your own retirement fund. Even though you pay into social security and other payroll taxes you cannot draw on it.

Is there something you would like to add, that we did not cover in the previous questions?

  • Spouses of E2 visa holders can get a work permit, however they only last for a max of two years and then they need to be renewed. They are linked to the E2 Visa holders, visa and I94, and your I94. It’s a complication in itself.
  • What will you do if you get divorced? You will lose the right to stay in the US if you are a visa Holder’s spouse. How will you cope with the kids?

Would you like to to share your E-2 Visa story? Share your story here.

We want to help perspective E-2 Visa hopefuls understand what others have experienced when trying to obtain their E-2 Visa.

If you don’t feel comfortable answering all the questions, that’s fine, just provide the information you care to share.

If you know anyone who has an E-2 Visa story to share, please let them know about this site.