Guide To UK E2 Visa 2024

The UK E2 visa allows UK nationals to enter the US by directing and advancing operations within an invested enterprise.

What are E2 Visa Requirements for UK Nationals?

UK E2 Visa Requirements

The application process involves rigorous enterprise registration and requires professional guidance to enhance the likelihood of securing US entry.

For British citizens, the initial validity of an E2 visa is three to five years, with the potential for an extension of up to five years upon renewal, subject to the business’s continuous operations within the US. If you’re a British citizen interested in further exploring E2 visa opportunities, continue reading to discover essential information tailored to your E2 visa journey.

To qualify for the E2 visa, UK citizens need to meet certain criteria:

US and UK E2 Visa flags

What Constitutes 'Substantial Investment' for the E2 Visa?

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Investment requirement for the E2 visa

An investment is regarded as substantial when it meets the following criteria:

What Makes the E-2 Visa Different for UK Nationals?

Specific conditions of the E2 visa for British citizens

The E2 visa process follows a set of overarching rules, but individual countries’ treaties with the United States can introduce variations to these regulations. The United Kingdom’s treaty with the US offers distinct conditions that UK nationals must adhere to when seeking an E-2 visa. Specifically, UK nationals must reside in the UK at the time of their application to be eligible for the E2 visa.

Interpreting "UK Residency"

The treaty between the UK and the US doesn’t explicitly define the concept of “residency” in detail, allowing room for interpretation. It’s clear that individuals living and working in the UK during the E-2 visa application process fulfill the residency requirement.

But what about UK nationals residing abroad? Is there a possibility for them to satisfy this requirement?

The answer typically tends to be negative; UK nationals residing abroad don’t meet the residency requirement. However, a nuanced approach comes into play. There are instances where UK citizens living abroad can navigate the residency requirement by demonstrating ongoing ties to the United Kingdom.

Sufficient Ties to the UK

A UK national can showcase a continuing connection to the UK, despite residing abroad. These ties can be established through various means, such as:

  • Owning real estate properties within the UK

  • Maintaining a bank account in the UK

  • Filing tax returns in the UK

  • Having temporary work assignments outside the UK while maintaining UK connections

  • Having a spouse and/or children still living or attending school in the UK

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How Long is an E2 Visa Valid?

UK E2 visa duration and renewal

The maximum duration of the E2 visa is 5 years. Typically, the first E2 visa is issued for three years due to the often volatile nature of small businesses. Renewals are generally granted for the full five years, particularly for large companies with substantial turnover and US citizen employment.

The decision to issue the maximum length or a shorter period depends on the specifics of the business and its viability, as well as on the discretion of the consular officer handling the case. This flexibility allows UK nationals to manage and grow their US enterprises effectively while adhering to the conditions of their E2 visa.

How Long is the E2 Visa Processing Time?

UK E2 visa processing times

Once you’ve identified the business for your E-2 visa endeavor, the application process unfolds through several stages:

  • Business incorporation in the US: Establish your business entity and gather the required corporate documents. This phase typically spans 1-8 weeks, depending on administrative processes.

  • Crafting a business plan: Devote 2-4 weeks to meticulously creating a comprehensive business plan. This blueprint outlines your business’s nature, financial projections, and development and operational strategies.

  • Filing the E2 Case: Initiate the formal application process by filing your E2 Treaty Investor Visa case. This phase involves compiling and submitting required documentation to the appropriate authorities. This step generally takes around 4 to 6 weeks, depending on factors like document preparation and processing time.

  • Consular interview: Attend the consular interview. The duration of this phase varies based on the current consular waiting times, which can differ from one location to another.

Florida bird eye view taken by UK E2 visa holder

Where to Apply UK E2 visa?

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UK E2 visa application locations

The primary locations where you can apply for an E2 visa interview in the UK include:

  • US Embassy London: The US Embassy in London is a common venue for E2 visa interviews. Located in the capital city, it offers comprehensive visa services.

Address: 33 Nine Elms Ln, SW11 7US, London

  • US Consulate General Belfast: If you’re located in Northern Ireland, the US Consulate General in Belfast is another option for your E2 visa interview.

Address: 223 Stranmillis Road, BT9 5GR, Belfast, United Kingdom

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The E2 visa offers UK citizens a remarkable opportunity to invest in and manage a business in the United States. By understanding the eligibility requirements, application process, benefits, and challenges associated with the E2 visa, you can embark on your entrepreneurial journey with confidence.

If you’re interested in exploring franchise opportunities for your UK E2 visa investment, E2VisaFranchises is here to guide you every step of the way. We offer tailored support to help you find the right franchise that aligns with your goals and assist in crafting a compelling business plan. Contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, as an E2 visa holder, you can bring your family with you to the United States. Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 are eligible for dependent visas. This allows them to accompany you and live in the US during your E2 visa validity. Additionally, your spouse can apply for work authorization, providing more flexibility for your family's financial situation.

Yes, you can study while on an E2 visa in the United States. E2 visa holders are generally allowed to pursue studies. However, there are important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Relevance to E2 Work: While studying in a field relevant to your E2 business is generally permissible, enrolling in formal studies unrelated to your E2 work or for unrelated entities might be restricted.

  • Part-time vs. full-time: E2 visa holders can typically engage in part-time studies while maintaining their E2 status. However, engaging in full-time academic studies might require a change of visa status.

The primary locations where you can apply for an E2 visa interview in the UK include:

  • US Embassy London: The US Embassy in London is a common venue for E2 visa interviews. Located in the capital city, it offers comprehensive visa services.

Address: 33 Nine Elms Ln, SW11 7US, London

  • US Consulate General Belfast: If you're located in Northern Ireland, the US Consulate General in Belfast is another option for your E2 visa interview.

Address: 223 Stranmillis Road, BT9 5GR, Belfast, United Kingdom

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