E2 Visa

Can I Bring My Wife & Children With an E2 Visa?

What if you and your family could go on an exciting new journey together?

With an E2 visa, you can move to America by investing in a business. And if you are an entrepreneur in your own country, this represents a fantastic opportunity to start a new business and effectively start a new chapter of your life.

However, would-be E2 visa applicants often have a simple question: “can I bring my wife and children with me?”

The truth is more complex than you think. Keep reading to discover the answer!

What Is An E2 Visa?

We are going to review who is eligible for E2 visa benefits…specifically, whether you can bring your wife and children. First, though, we need to review what an E2 visa is.

This is a specialized kind of visa that allows you to live and work in the United States. The E2 visa is designed for entrepreneurs from other countries who wish to start a business in America.

Basically, if you are willing to invest money and begin a business within the United States, you can potentially obtain an E2 visa. But when it comes to who you can bring with you, there are very specific rules that you must follow.

Do I Have To Be the Sole Investor?

As we noted above, getting an E2 visa requires that you invest in a business in America. But that brings up a simple question: do you have to be the sole investor?

The short answer is “no.” The E2 requirements state that you must own at least 50% of the business that you start in the United States to qualify. This means that you can potentially have a co-investor who also wants access to the E2 visa.

If you know a fellow entrepreneur who wants to get a visa, this method makes the entire process much more affordable. And as co-investors, each one of you will be able to take advantage of the different benefits, which include bringing certain other people with you.

Can I Bring My Wife and Children With an E2 Visa?

Now you know more about what the E2 visa is and whether you have to be the sole investor. And that brings us to the big question: will you be able to bring your wife and children with you?

The answer to this question is “yes.” While there are age restrictions that will apply to your children (more on this later), both your wife and kids can get an E2 visa.

While most who research the E2 visa ask if they can “bring their family with them,” the truth is that they must apply for E2 visa status as well. And when it comes to these applications, it’s important to get the timing just right.

When Do My Wife and Kids Need to Apply?

In order to come to America with you, your family members are going to need to complete their own E2 visa applications. Fortunately, they have some options when it comes to filling these applications out.

The easiest option is to fill out their applications at the same time that you are filling out your own. This can streamline the process because everyone is likely to get approved around the same time.

However, nothing keeps your family from submitting applications after your own E2 has already been approved. Some entrepreneurs and their families prefer this approach because they don’t want to fill out a lot of paperwork only to find out the investor application has not been approved.

The Age of Your Children Is a Factor

Earlier, we mentioned that the age of your children is a factor when it comes to E2 visa eligibility. The reason for that is that your children must be under the age of 21 to qualify for this visa.

This doesn’t mean that it is impossible for a child over the age of 21 to live in America with you. It is simply that once they reach 21, these kids are no longer considered E2 dependents. In order to stay in America, they must complete a new visa application on their own.

There are multiple visa options that a child over 21 may utilize. One of the most popular options is the F1 visa. This allows children who are studying at college to stay in the country and finish their education.

What Can My Wife and Kids Do In America?

Now you know that it’s possible to bring your wife and children to the United States with an E2 visa. But what can they actually do upon arrival?

Your children will be able to attend any local schools that are available. This gives you the option of putting them through either public school or private school. 

As the children get older, they will be able to enroll in an American college or university of their choice in order to start their college education. Though as we noted before, they will need to apply for an F1 visa to complete their college education once they reach the age of 21.

As for your spouse, they can apply for a work permit known as the Employment Authorization Card. This allows your spouse to obtain a job at most of the businesses and organizations throughout the country. One of the only exceptions is that they cannot obtain certain governmental jobs that may only be available to United States citizens.

Other Spouse Job Opportunities

Once your spouse has the Employment Authorization Card, they have many different potential job prospects. And these prospects extend beyond applying for a job and working for someone else.

For example, it’s possible for your spouse to be an employee in the business that you start. This is actually a popular option for startup businesses because it is easier for spouses to work together as part of a small team than hiring outsiders.

But what if your spouse is also an entrepreneur? In that case, their work permit actually authorizes them to start their own part-time or full-time business. 

Ultimately, if your spouse is hoping to earn money in America, the E2 visa and Employment Authorization Card offer them a world of opportunities.

Can My Other Family Members Get an E2 Visa?

Now you know that it’s possible to bring your spouse and children to America with an E2 visa. But what if you want to bring over some of your extended family?

It’s possible to bring your extended family to the country. However, doing so will take a bit of creativity.

For example, do you remember when we said that E2 visas require that you own at least 50% of your business? If you let one of your parents or siblings own the other 50%, then they could enjoy the E2 benefits. And that includes the ability to bring their own spouse and children under 21.

Another potential “loophole” is that E2 visas allow you to bring other members of your country with you to America to work for your business. This is meant to make it easier for you to get such a business started sooner because you can bring over your most trusted workers.

However, you could potentially bring over parents, siblings, and children over 21 to the country as workers for your new business. But this isn’t always guaranteed.

Such family members would need to work for your business in some kind of supervisory capacity. Otherwise, they’d need to have special qualifications to get an E2 visa for working in a subordinate capacity. 

Advantages of Getting An E2 Visa

Are you still on the fence about whether getting such a visa is the right move for you and your family? To help you make a decision, we are going to review some of the advantages that this visa offers.

One benefit is that you can start a franchise rather than build a business from scratch. This takes much of the risk from starting a new business away and lets you begin earning money right away.

Compared to other visas, the E2 is very “family-friendly.” This visa makes it easy to bring your immediate family with you to another country and, as we have outlined, provides options for bringing your extended family.

These visas are also processed very quickly. Our guide will delve into this in more detail, but you can rest assured that getting an E2 is much quicker and much easier than getting a green card.

As an added bonus, starting a business with an E2 visa may offer you certain tax advantages. And there are low legal costs associated with this business, so you don’t have to worry about your profits being eaten up by legal fees.

Does It Take Long To Get My Visa?

Previously, we touched on the fact that it is usually quicker to get an E2 than to get a green card. But how quickly can you reasonably expect to get this visa?

Most of the time, E2 visa applications are processed within six to eight months of your initial application. And this relatively fast process is very beneficial when you are trying to make arrangements for your spouse and children.

For example, a six to eight-month window gives you a perfect amount of time to explore the public and private school options available to your children. And you can go ahead and register, make payments, and do anything else necessary to enroll them for the upcoming academic year.

This short waiting time also lets your spouse consider what they will do once you are all in America. Whether they will work for you, work for others, or start their own business, you have time to make a plan as a family.

How Often Can the Visa Be Renewed?

We often think of visas as temporary. So before you invest a lot of money and bring your wife and children to America, we need to answer the question: how often can E2 visas be renewed?

In many ways, this is the best part: unlike most other visas, the E2 can be renewed indefinitely. You don’t have to constantly stare at a calendar and worry that you are running out of time.

And this is particularly beneficial if you have a family. The fact that you can indefinitely renew this visa offers your family the sense of stability they have been looking for. So long as your business is successful, you and your family can start making plans for many years down the road.

Starting a Franchise

What do you imagine when you imagine starting your own business? If you’re an entrepreneur, you likely have memories of sleepless nights trying to get the business up and running. And you might have had to go a year or more before the business started making any money.

This is why many who apply for an E2 visa look to buy a franchise instead of starting a business from scratch. Franchising basically takes most of the “guesswork” out of starting your own business. You can simply invest in a successful franchise and almost immediately start enjoying a profit.

Why take a gamble on your family’s future when you can invest in franchises with a proven formula for success?

Invest In a Franchise Today

Now you know that you can bring your wife and kids with you with an E2 visa. But do you know how to start a successful business to keep your family in America?

As we noted above, franchising is a great option for anyone taking advantage of E2 visas. If you’re not sure how to get started with your franchise, you can sign up for our free online course and learn all about it!