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Switching from an E-2 Visa to an H1-B or Green Card April 18, 2018

Financial District, Manhattan
Switching from an E-2 Visa to an H1-B or Green Card, Manhattan, New York

The E-2 visa, reserved for independent foreign investors who plan to make substantial capital investments in an American business, is one of the few visa programs that does not require an employment sponsor. Fortunately, U.S. immigration law allows those with an E-2 visa to switch to another classification if their circumstances change or they decide to pursue permanent residency. Depending on your situation, you may apply for a visa transfer to an H1-B status or apply for a green card.

Transferring Your E-2 Visa

Switching to an H1-B Visa

immigration lawIf the enterprise in which you invested is sold or closed, you’ll no longer be able to renew your E-2 visa. Fortunately, you may apply for an H1-B visa, which has significantly lower eligibility requirements than other classifications. While this visa will allow you to remain in the United States, it is only valid for six years, and you will have to find a U.S. employer willing to sponsor your application. Because U.S. immigration law has no established process for transferring an E-2 visa, you will also have to submit a new application.

Applying for a Green Card

The E-2 is considered a “dual purpose” visa, meaning holders are allowed to pursue permanent resident status while in the United States. For example, if you have $500,000 to $1 million to invest in a new business, you may be able to apply for an EB-5 green card. Other EB green cards require petitioners to find a U.S. business willing to sponsor your application and have varying educational and skill requirements.


The lawyers at Berd & Klauss, PLLC have made their name helping clients from across the globe navigate the complexities of U.S. immigration law. Whether you’re applying for a visa or seeking permanent status, their dedicated team has the expertise to help you achieve your goals. To discuss your immigration law issues with an NYC attorney, visit their website or call (212) 461-7152 today.