Consulate Processing vs. Change of Status: E-2 Visa – Visa Franchise

Written by: Patrick Findaro
Last Updated by Ailen Faiad: August 3, 2022
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This article is based on a video originally recorded on Visa Franchise Youtube Channel.

We have been getting a lot of questions here at Visa Franchise about E-2 Visa consulate processing. Get an actual visa in your passport from a U.S. consulate or embassy outside the United States. Or doing a change of status from within the United States. Pre-COVID, 95%, 97% of our clients would do consulate processing. If it’s a Turkish national, they would apply in Istanbul at the embassy for the E-2 Visa. After they had invested in the business, the immigration attorney prepares a petition. They usually would get in an interview in six weeks, eight weeks, and they would get an E-2 Visa. Consulate interviews, depending on what post you’re applying from, might be two weeks. It could be nine months or more.

consulate processing

Process of Status Change

Depending on the time it takes to get the E-2 Visa, we’ve seen some clients look at doing a change of status, and coming to the United States on a B-1/B-2, not investing in the business yet. To investigate businesses, and look at potential businesses to buy or franchises to buy. Once in the U.S. after a few months of doing due diligence, and investing in the business they could do a change of status for the E-2 Visa with premium processing in 14 days. It’s a very quick process compared to the nine months that it could take you for consulate processing. However, you don’t get a visa and you can’t travel in and out of the United States. You can continuously renew your E-2 Visa status from within the United States. But the next time you travel, you have to do consulate processing. And get the E-2 Visa.

consulate processing

Pros and Cons of Consulate Processing

There are pros and cons to doing consulate processing. Versus doing the change of status through USCIS in the United States. It’s generally advised to do consulate processing, that way you can travel freely with your family, and you’re not locked in in the United States. However, for many of our clients who it’s taking six months, or nine months to get a visa interview, they’re at least considering the option of coming to the United States on a B-1/B-2 Visa, investigating the businesses here, making the investment, and then at a later date, working with their immigration attorney to adjust their status to an E-2 Visa. Consult a U.S. licensed immigration attorney. To see if going the change of status route from within the United States is the right option for you. Or doing consulate processing for the E-2 Visa.