E2 Visa Processing Time For 2024: Less than 6 Months?

e2 visa processing time
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Published on 22 Aug 2022 Time to read 10 min read Last update on 7 Jun 2024

Obtaining an E-2 visa, a pathway to entrepreneurial endeavors in the United States, is a journey laden with anticipation and intricacies. The E2 visa processing time, pivotal for aspiring investors and entrepreneurs, is influenced by various factors, each shaping the timeline of approval. Whether one opts for investing in a franchise, initiating their business venture, or pursuing franchise acquisition, distinct pathways unfold, each with its unique set of advantages and challenges.

In this article, we delve into the dynamics that underpin the E2 visa processing time, drawing upon over eight years of industry expertise. Our insights, derived from a spectrum of successful cases, aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the timeline from initial contact to visa approval. By exploring the nuances of different application routes and leveraging our experience, we aim to empower prospective visa seekers with actionable information and informed decision-making tools.

Insights into E2 visa processing time via business acquisition

For entrepreneurs pursuing an E-2 visa through business acquisition, insights gleaned from the experiences of self-funded acquisition seekers offer valuable perspectives. Research conducted by the “Search Investment Group” sheds light on the timeframe involved in this approach. According to their findings, self-funded searchers who successfully acquired a business tended to undergo a comparatively shorter search phase than their traditionally funded counterparts.

The study reveals that approximately 53% of self-funded searchers managed to close a deal within the span of twelve months. Within this timeframe, the median duration of the search phase ranged between seven and twelve months, indicating a swift progression from exploration to acquisition. Impressively, a substantial portion, accounting for around 74% of respondents, finalized their business acquisition within 18 months or less, demonstrating the efficiency of this route for E-2 visa seekers.

However, it’s essential to consider the holistic timeline when pursuing an E-2 visa through business acquisition. Finding and finalizing a suitable business, as highlighted earlier, can take between seven and twelve months on average. Yet, this is merely the initial phase of the journey. Subsequently, applicants must navigate the intricacies involved in obtaining the E-2, which typically requires an additional two to three months for completion.

Accordingly, although the business acquisition phase may conclude within a year and a half, the entire process of securing the E-2 visa extends beyond twelve months. This underscores the importance of meticulous planning and proactive engagement in the pursuit of entrepreneurial aspirations in the United States.

E2 visa processing time – Buy a franchise

Securing an E-2 visa through franchise investment unfolds along a dynamic pathway shaped by various factors, including investor readiness and external circumstances such as holiday seasons. Each of these elements plays a significant role in determining the duration of the visa application process. Leveraging our extensive experience in facilitating over 1,200 families towards their American dream through franchise investment, we’ve gained valuable insights into the timeline involved in this pursuit. Generally, the journey towards obtaining an E-2 visa through buying a franchise spans between seven and eight months, based on estimations derived from our past clientele.

However, this does not imply that you cannot secure approval in less time. Recently, we’ve witnessed several instances where clients progressed from engagement with us to the approval phase in less than six months. Therefore, although our estimate from 2015 to the present (2024) suggests a timeframe of between 7 and 8 months, it’s clear that the process can be expedited.

Therefore, when comparing the duration required to obtain an E-2 visa through franchise investment versus business acquisition, it becomes evident that the franchise investment route is considerably faster. We will explore this in more detail later on.

Should I invest in a franchise to get an E-2 visa?

Yes, investing in a franchise to obtain an E-2 visa is a prudent choice for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to navigate the complexities of business ownership and immigration requirements. At Visa Franchise, we specialize in identifying and analyzing the best franchise opportunities eligible for the E-2 visa. Our mission is to facilitate a seamless transition process to the U.S., with the ultimate goal of achieving personal and business success over the initial years.

With our money-back guarantee solution, entrepreneurs can embark on this journey with confidence, knowing that if we fall short, we will make it right. This assurance provides peace of mind right from the outset, ensuring a smooth and risk-free experience.

From the moment you engage with us, we meticulously guide you through every step of the process, covering everything from franchise and business search to arranging calls with franchisees and attorneys, collecting documents, and obtaining visa approval. We are dedicated to ensuring that no detail is overlooked, offering comprehensive support at every stage of your path towards franchise ownership and securing your E-2 visa.

Imagine the prospect of purchasing a franchise and swiftly transitioning to enjoying the vibrant lifestyle of sunny Florida or capitalizing on the myriad opportunities and benefits that the U.S. has to offer, with your family comfortably settled.

If you’re keen on obtaining a free guide detailing the process of buying a franchise, simply click here.

Starting your business and applying for the E-2 visa

Starting your own business and applying for the E-2 visa is entirely feasible. Whether you’re delving into startups or already have a business concept in mind, this avenue offers the freedom and control to shape your path as an entrepreneur.

Drawing from our experiences, the timeline for securing the E-2 visa typically spans between 4 and 5 months, presenting a comparatively swift process compared to other methods we’ve discussed previously.

An illuminating instance from our recent endeavors at Visa Franchise underscores this efficiency.

One of our esteemed clients recently achieved a remarkable milestone by securing her E-2 visa in a remarkably swift timeframe of under five months. Leveraging an astute investment in the thriving E-Commerce sector, our client capitalized on her existing LLC framework.

At the core of this success story lies our comprehensive support in crafting a meticulous business plan tailored to meet the rigorous requirements of the E-2 visa application process. Recognizing the intricate legal landscape, we seamlessly connected our client with a seasoned immigration attorney from our network of trusted professionals. Together, we meticulously prepared a compelling petition package, navigating the complexities with precision and expertise.

If you are interested in obtaining a free guide on how to start your own business, click here.

Comparing E-2 visa options: Startup, New franchise, or existing business

When considering the E-2 visa, the type of business you choose to invest in significantly impacts the complexity and timeline of the application process. Here’s a detailed look at why buying a new franchise is often the best route compared to acquiring an existing business or franchise resale.

Advantages of buying a new franchise or starting a business

1- Streamlined process: New franchises come with established procedures and support systems, making the process more straightforward. Federal regulations ensure transparency, and the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) provides comprehensive information, enabling quicker decision-making.

2- Faster E2 visa processing time: The journey from initial engagement to visa approval is typically faster with new franchises and startups. As we previously mentioned, starting a new business can take as little as 4 to 5 months, while a new franchise might take 7 to 8 months.

3- Control and clarity: Starting your own business allows for complete control over your investment and operations. This clarity and control can expedite the E-2 visa process, as there are fewer variables and uncertainties compared to buying an existing business.

Challenges of applying for an E-2 visa with a franchise resale/existing business

Extended Search and Due Diligence

Finding a profitable existing business for an E-2 visa is a lengthy and complex process that requires extensive due diligence. Here are the key challenges:

– Market research: Identifying a business that not only meets profitability criteria but also aligns with E-2 visa requirements demands thorough market research. This involves evaluating multiple businesses, which can take more than one year.

– Financial assessment: Analyzing the financial health of a business requires a detailed examination of balance sheets, profit and loss statements, tax returns, and other financial documents. This step is critical to ensure the business is financially stable and sustainable. It often requires the expertise of a corporate lawyer to thoroughly vet the financial aspects.

– Legal and regulatory compliance: Ensuring that the business complies with local, state, and federal regulations is essential. This includes verifying licenses, permits, and any potential legal issues that could affect the business’s operation.

– Operational evaluation: Understanding the business operations, including employee contracts, supplier agreements, and customer relationships, is vital. This ensures that the business can continue to operate smoothly post-acquisition.

The entire process of searching and conducting due diligence can easily extend beyond a year, significantly adding to the timeline for obtaining an E-2 visa.

Complex negotiations and vetting

Once a suitable business is identified, the next phase involves complex negotiations and vetting processes:

– Negotiating purchase terms: Reaching an agreement on the purchase price and terms of sale can be a protracted process. It involves back-and-forth discussions with the seller, possibly mediated by brokers or attorneys.

– Securing financing: If external financing is required, securing loans or investments involves additional negotiations with banks or investors. This step can introduce further delays and complications.

– Professional consultations: Engaging accountants, attorneys, and other professionals to vet the business is crucial. These experts assess the business’s financial viability, legal standing, and operational health.

– Contractual agreements: Drafting and finalizing the purchase agreement, including warranties and representations, is a meticulous process. Ensuring that all terms are legally sound and acceptable to both parties requires careful legal scrutiny.

Higher risk of issues

Investing in an existing business carries inherent risks that can complicate the E-2 visa application:

– Undisclosed liabilities: There may be hidden financial liabilities, such as debts, pending lawsuits, or unresolved tax issues, that only surface after the purchase. Addressing these can require significant time and resources.

– Operational challenges: Existing businesses may face operational issues such as outdated technology, poor management practices, or low employee morale.

– Market position: The business’s current market position and reputation need careful assessment. A business with a declining market share or negative reputation can pose significant challenges post-acquisition.

– Integration issues: Integrating the business into your management style and potentially restructuring operations can be challenging.

– Regulatory hurdles: Ensuring ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements and addressing any past violations can be a lengthy process.

E-2 extension processing times

An important aspect to consider for E-2 visa holders is the requirement to extend their visas every two years to maintain lawful nonimmigrant status in the United States. Although there’s no limit to the number of extensions an E-2 holder can obtain, timely application is crucial. When extending the E-2 visa, individuals have the option to either leave the US and re-apply or stay in the country and submit Forms I-129 and I-539. It’s imperative to file for an extension before the expiration of the I-94 form, as this grants a 240-day period to continue working while awaiting a decision.


In conclusion, there are various avenues through which one can apply for the E-2 visa. Each individual will have their own preference, depending on their interests and objectives—whether it involves purchasing a franchise, establishing their own business in the United States, or acquiring an existing business. It is essential to have a clear understanding of your desires for yourself and your family, as well as the timeline for relocating to the United States. This clarity will shape the remainder of your application process. With the right guidance and dedication, regardless of the path you choose, the ultimate goal remains achievable: obtaining approval for the E-2 visa.

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Mentioned visas

EB2-NIW (green card)

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

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E2 Visa

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

Access E-2 visa details