This is a complete guide to termination of E2 visa employment. The E2 Treaty Investor visa is a nonimmigrant visa available to nationals of treaty countries who make a substantial investment in a US business. The US business must be real and operating, not be marginal, and the treaty investor has to be in a position to successfully develop the enterprise.
While the E2 visa is widely used and popular among foreign investors and entrepreneurs in the US, it is less known that E2 visa can be used to bring a non-owner employee if they are from the same treaty country as the E2 investor or otherwise be more than 50% owned by citizens of the same treaty country as the employee.
In order to qualify for an E2 visa as an employee, an individual has to either be coming to the US to perform the duties of an executive or a supervisor, or otherwise come as employee with special qualifications.
Typically, an E2 employee may be admitted for an initial period of stay of up to 2 years and can apply for an unlimited number of 2-year extensions provided the E2 employee has maintained lawful E2 status and continues to be eligible for E2 status. An E2 employee may only engage in employment authorized by his or her E2 status and only for the E2 employer that petitioned for the employee.
While an E2 employee will get E2 status for up to 2 years, the E2 employer is not required to guarantee employment during the period and is allowed to terminate the employee.
An E2 employee can be fired for nonperformance or otherwise be laid off due to economic reasons or when their services are no longer needed. Other reasons for terminating an E2 employee can be a substantive change to the business, such as a merger or an acquisition, that makes the businesses no longer eligible for E2 visa due to a change of ownership.
In either case, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows for a 60-day grace period during which the E2 employee can file for transfer to a work visa such as H-1B visa, seek a change of status to a different visa type such as B1/B2 tourist or business visitor or F1 student visa, or put her or his affairs in order and depart the US.
It is important to note that the grace period end is limited up to the validity of the E2 status. For example, if the I-94 of an E2 visa employee shows a status expiration date 30 days from the date of termination, the grace period will be limited to 30 days instead of 60 days.
Employer responsibilities are limited when it comes to terminating an E2 employee as there are no mandatory provisions to notify USCIS and offer to pay return plane ticket fare. However, it is recommended that the E2 employer notifies the US consulate that issued the E visa that employment was terminated.
If you are considering hiring an E2 employee in either executive, supervisory or with special qualifications, contact our best E2 visa lawyers in Miami, Florida USA or schedule a consultation. Our experienced business and immigration law firm in Miami, Florida can assist with your E2 visa needs and advise you on the termination of E2 visa employment.
Malescu Law P.A. – Business & Immigration Lawyers