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Can I travel in and out of the U.S. with a valid tourist visa and a pending E-2 application?

I have a B-1/B-2 tourist visa that is valid until 2023. Now I want to apply for an E-2 visa. I know the applications can be complicated and the process can take a long time. I want to make sure that submitting such an application would not impact my ability to travel with my tourist visa.

Answers

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can maintain the B-1/B-2 visa on the passport and travel using that visa until the E-2 is issued. The E-2 visa process does not take a long a time. You can process directly with the U.S. consulate.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, with a valid B-1/B-2 visitor visa, you can apply for admission at any time. Once you file an EB-2 immigrant visa petition, it's an indication of immigrant intent. Hence, such a fact would be known to the CBP/immigration inspector at the port of entry. Thus, when applying for admission as a visitor, you must establish under the concept of "dual-intent" that you are a bona fide visitor with a short-term purpose. This is even though you have a long-term interest in immigrating based upon the EB-2 immigrant visa petition, if same has been filed on your behalf by a U.S. employer.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your purpose for a tourist visa may be to travel to the U.S. to set up an E-2 visa qualifying business if you enter as B-1 rather than B-2. B-1 is a visitor for business and B-2 is a visitor for pleasure. If you have a change of status from B to an E-2 I-129 petition filed with USCIS, you should not travel outside the U.S. until the petition is adjudicated by USCIS and you get an approval notice with the I-94 departure record attached. Otherwise, you need to prepare an E-2 visa packet for consular processing abroad in order to get an E-2 visa in your passport from the U.S. consulate or U.S. embassy once an E-2 business is set up and you made an E-2 investment into this business. Your immigration attorney should guide you on how the process works. If you do not have one, please hire an experienced business immigration attorney to competently prepare your case. E-2 requires an E-2-compliant business plan.

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    Stephanie Lee

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Depending on your home country, the E-2 visa process won't take that long. Meanwhile, you may travel with a B-1/B-2 visa to set up a business, enter into a contract and prepare for E-2 visa.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Are you applying at the consulate? I suggest you wait until E-2 is adjudicated and, if possible, send the packet ahead of the interview.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    Absolutely. You have nothing to worry about. E-2 is an investor visa that is a non-immigrant visa just like B-1/B-2, which is a tourist visa. Under both visas you have no obligation to be on U.S. soil for any specific period of time. You can freely travel.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I usually recommend applying for E-2 directly at the U.S. consulate in your home country, getting you the visa that gets you your two-year E-2 status upon every entry into the U.S. While we are preparing the case, you could continue to use the B visas.

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