E2 Visa FAQ

Q, If I apply for an E2 visa are my spouse and children covered by my application?
Yes. VKM Law Group will ensure that the appropriate forms and documents are included in the application pack for derivative E2 visas for your spouse and any children who are under the age of 21 who will be accompanying you to the United States.
Q, Can my spouse work in the United States?
Yes. Once the E2 visa is approved and you arrive in the United States, your spouse can apply for work authorization. Our US Immigration Attorneys will assist you with this once you are in the United States.
Q, Can my children work in the United States?
No. Your children are not authorized to work in the United States while they hold a derivative E2 visa based on your E2 approval.
Q, Can my children attend school in the United States?
Yes.
Q, How will I know what school to choose for my children?
Research - Do as much research as you possibly can to look at schools in the area that you want to live. Contact the schools and ask for information, and look online and look online at the schools' websites. Look at Private vs. Public school options.
Q, I've heard that your children are forced to leave the United States when they reach 21, is this true?
When your children reach the age of 21, they are no longer permitted to stay in the United States on a derivate E2 visa (i.e. on the basis of a parent’s E2 visa approval). Your children would have to either leave the United States or apply for a visa in their own right. For example, if your child was studying at a University, they could apply for a Student's visa to allow them to finish their studies. Prior to them completing their studies and obtaining a degree qualification, they could try and secure employment from a United States employer and apply for a H1B Visa. Alternatively, your child could buy a business or start a business and apply for an E2 visa in their own right.
Q, Do I need to be in the United States to start the process and instruct my immigration attorney to assist me?
No. Our Florida Immigration Law Firm can correspond with you via Skype, email, telephone etc. Contact us to arrange a consultation.
Q, Do I need to travel to the United States before the E2 application is submitted?
No. However, you may want to consider whether you are comfortable buying a business without seeing what you are buying and talking to the sellers? We strongly recommends that you visit the United States prior to deciding which business to purchase. The business broker can send you details of any business you are interested in and you can create a shortlist of businesses you want to find out more in-depth information about. Once you have your shortlist, you can come over to the United States on a 90 day visa waiver or on a 180 day B1/B2 visa. Both methods permit you to look at potential businesses to purchase, sign an Asset Purchase contract, however, they do not permit you to operate any business until you have been approved for and E2 visa.
Q, What happens after the E2 application is submitted to the Embassy?
Once your application pack is completed and filed, you will then be called to attend an interview at the Embassy. It is currently taking approximately 8 to 10 weeks from the date of receipt of the application for the interview to occur. The Embassy may contact you and our immigration law firm and ask for further evidence to be provided prior to the interview. Sometimes the Embassy asks for such further evidence to be submitted immediately or sometimes they ask you to bring the information to the interview.
Q, What will the interview be like and what should I say?
The interview should be straightforward. The Embassy Officer may ask you questions about your reasons for wanting to apply for the E2 visa, they may ask you to explain your business growth plans that are detailed in your business plan, and they may ask any other questions about your personal life or personal intentions. What should you say? Tell the truth! You and your spouse and any children over the age of 14 years are required to attend the interview. You can take younger children with you if you want. Remember to take your passports with you to the interview! This is where your visa will be printed if your application is approved on that day.
Q, What happens if my visa application is denied?
If your visa application is denied, the Embassy officer will give you reasons for the denial. You should contact us immediately if this happens.
Q, What happens after my visa application is approved?
The interview should be straightforward. The Once your visa application is approved, the Embassy will send your passports by courier service to your home address. You should receive these within 3 to 5 days of the interview. You are then free to travel to the United States.

H-1B visas

Q, How many H-1B Visas are available each year?
85,000 H-1B Temporary Visas are made available each year. Unfortunately there are never enough visas to supply all the workers who want them – and once the limit is reached, no more H1-B visa petitions can be approved until the start of the next fiscal year, October 1.

Please note: not all 85,000 are freely available. 20,000 are reserved for people with a minimum Master’s level degree from a US academic institution. And of the remaining 65,000 a certain number are earmarked for Chile and Singapore – which both have signed trade agreements with the US allocating H-1B visas to citizens of those countries.
Q, Are there any exemptions from the H-1B Visa limit?
The interview should be straightforward. The Yes. H-1B workers who are employed by or have a job offer from institutes of higher education (and their non-profit affiliates); as well as non-profit research or government organizations.
Q, What is a 'specialty occupation' for the purposes of the H-1B visa?
For the purposes of an H-1B visa, a 'specialty occupation' is when the nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree, or its equivalent.
Q, Can my spouse and children travel with me to the US?
Yes. When you qualify for an H-1B visa, your spouse and our unmarried children under age 21 can apply for H-4 visas by providing proof of their family relationship to you.
Q, Can my spouse and children study in the US?
Yes. With an H-4 visa they can study in the US
Q, Can my spouse and children work in the US?
No. They are not authorized to work in the US as an H-4 visa holder.
Q, How long can a foreign citizen be in H-1B status?
Six years. As an H-1B Visa holder, you may be admitted for a period of up to three years. However, this can be extended, but generally cannot be extended beyond a total of six years. After that time, you must remain outside of the United States for one year before another H-1B visa petition can be approved. (Certain H-1B visa holders working on Defense Department projects may remain in H-1B status for 10 years.)
Q, Can an H-1B visa holder apply to immigrate permanently to the US?
Yes. Even though it is a Non-immigrant visa, the H-1B is a 'dual-intent visa'. This means that the visa holder can have legal immigration intent (apply for and obtain a green card) without affecting their H-1B status. You can get a green card through family or employer sponsorship.
Q, How long does it take to obtain H-1B visa status?
The H-1B visa processing time varies because all cases are different. Your employer can submit the Labor Condition Application up to six months before you plan to start work and H-1B petitions are normally approved within two to five months.
Q, Is it possible to speed up the process?
Yes, it is possible to speed up the process for an H-1B visa. For $1225 over and above the standard filing fees, USCIS promises “premium processing” of the visa petition, including action on your case within 15 calendar days.
Q, Can an H-1B visa holder travel outside the US?
Yes. You may travel in and out of the US or remain continuously until your H-1B status expires.

K-1 visas

Q, What if my fiancé (e) has children? Can they immigrate with him/her?
Children of the Fiancé (e) can immigrate using a K2 visa. These types of visas are issued with a K-1 visa and are requested as part of the initial K-1 visa application. Furthermore, the children can apply to become legal permanent residents provided their parent marries within the required 90 days. However, because the Child Status Protection Act has been interpreted as not applying to K2 visa holders, it is important that any K2 visa holder has their status adjusted before they turn 21. If they do not, they will exceed the age limit and may not be able to stay in the US.
Q, What if my fiancé (e) has children? Can they immigrate with him/her?
Children of the Fiancé (e) can immigrate using a K2 visa. These types of visas are issued with a K-1 visa and are requested as part of the initial K-1 visa application. Furthermore, the children can apply to become legal permanent residents provided their parent marries within the required 90 days. However, because the Child Status Protection Act has been interpreted as not applying to K2 visa holders, it is important that any K2 visa holder has their status adjusted before they turn 21. If they do not, they will exceed the age limit and may not be able to stay in the US.
Q, What if my fiancé (e) has children? Can they immigrate with him/her?
Children of the Fiancé (e) can immigrate using a K2 visa. These types of visas are issued with a K-1 visa and are requested as part of the initial K-1 visa application. Furthermore, the children can apply to become legal permanent residents provided their parent marries within the required 90 days. However, because the Child Status Protection Act has been interpreted as not applying to K2 visa holders, it is important that any K2 visa holder has their status adjusted before they turn 21. If they do not, they will exceed the age limit and may not be able to stay in the US.
Q, Can I work when I arrive with my K-1 visa?
Yes, you can apply for work authorization as soon as you arrive in the US.
Q, Do need to hire an attorney for my K-1 visa application? Why should I not just do this on my own?
There is no law in the US that states you need an attorney to file a K-1 visa application. However, as mentioned previously, the main cause of delay, and denial, in K-1 visa applications would be in a case with an inaccurate and poorly prepared application. When you hire an immigration attorney to represent you, you decrease the amount of strain and insecurity you will experience as you go through this process. The chances that everything will be prepared correctly and your case will be approved (without delays) are increased while ensuring all the correct procedures are followed.
Q, What if I have had some criminal problems in my home country?
Criminal problems can become a serious obstacle to immigration to the US. However, it does depend on the severity of the crimes committed. These crimes would need to be expertly examined to determine the likelihood of you seeking immigration to the US. To discuss this further, please contact us.
Q, How long will it take to obtain my K-1 visa?
The length of time can vary greatly. The time scale can depend on things such as how busy the consulate is with immigration applications. Please contact us for a more accurate breakdown of time, as in order for this to be accurate, we must check close to the time of filing.
Q, What sort of things will I get medically examined on?
Regardless of age, every applicant must undergo a full medical examination by an authorized medical Physician. The medical examination will include a review of the applicant's medical history, physical examination, chest X-ray, and blood tests. The physical examination will at least include examination of the eyes, ears, nose and throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin, and external genitalia. There are several steps involved in seeking a medical examination. The doctor that carries out the test must be permitted to do examinations for immigration purposes and you must inform the doctor that the medical test is for immigration purposes. Furthermore, you will incur separate costs. For further information, please contact us
Q, What if I am ineligible for a K-1 visa?
Some activities may make you ineligible for a visa. Examples of these ineligibilities can include: drug trafficking or submitting fraudulent documents. Fraudulent documents can include false dates of births or false financial records. If you are ineligible for a visa, you will be informed by the Consular Officer. There are many forms of ineligibilities, but VKM Law Group will discuss such issues at length and ensure that you meet the criteria before you undergo any significant undertakings.

L-1 visa

Q, What are the benefits of an L-1 visa?
  1. The most beneficial aspects of an L-1 visa are that the visa holder can carry dual intent, this means that the L-1A visa holder can apply for permanent residence. This is a big advantage over other types of visas such as the E-2 investor visa which specifically does not allow dual intent.
  2. Your dependents, meaning your children and spouse, can apply for a derivative L-1 visa.
  3. The L-1 visa does not have an education requirement. This is unlike the H-1B which requires a bachelor degree or its equivalent.
  4. The pressure to create employment opportunities is relatively low in the L-1 visa; this is unlike the EB-5 which requires at least ten jobs to be created.
  5. If you opt for the premium processing procedure, then the L-1 visa can be processed within about two weeks. Furthermore, unlike the H-1B visa, there is no upper limit on the amount of L1 visa's that can be issued.
  6. The L-1A holder who applies for permanent residence will be able to skip the labor certification process (a highly costly and technical procedure) when applying for a permanent green card.
  7. You can travel in and out the US while the L-1 visa is valid.
  8. The minimum investment required for the L-1 visa is much lower than that of the E-B5, half a million or million-dollar investment program, thus allowing a wider pool of selection.
Q, What type of business do I need to be to apply for the L-1 visa?
As long as there is an international relationship between the companies, then any company can apply for L-1 visas.
Q, What kind of documentation do I need to get my L-1 visa approved?
There is a lot of documentation required for the L-1 visa. The petitioner must submit self proving documents from the foreign company to prove all the facts required under immigration regulations. It is our job to take this burden from you and streamline the process, guiding you on the exact documents that are required for a successful applicant.
Q, What about my family, can they work and (or) go to school there?
Your spouse will be eligible to work. Furthermore, your children will be able to attend private and public school within the US. Your children cannot seek paid employment.
Q, What is the normal processing time for my L-1 visa?
In order for an L-1 visa to be fully processed it will take between two and five months under the normal applications. However, if you request premium processing, then it can take only two weeks.
Q, What is 'premium processing' and how much extra will it cost me?
It is a service that USCIS offers where petitions are eligible for faster processing. It comes with a guarantee of within fifteen days, but the applicant must pay a fee of $1,225. For further information on premium, processing please contact us.
Q, What if I don't like my job, can I transfer jobs under my L-1 visa?
As long as you continue to work for one of the companies' branches or an affiliated company, then you will be allowed to transfer. However, you must notify the USCIS. Alternatively, you can inform your Attorney who will carry out the necessary paperwork.

If you intend to work for a completely different company, then you must apply for a different visa.
Q, When I am in the US, will I be able to change my visa status?
Yes, this should not be a problem providing you are eligible for this particular type of visa.

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