You need to know the difference between an E-2 Visa and E-2 Status

Posted by Camilo Espinosa on July 29, 2013

There is difference between having a non-immigrant visa and non-immigrant visa status. Briefly, a non-immigrant visa gets placed in your passport. You have to show this document (the E-visa) to the immigration officer from the U.S. Customs at a port of entry. Once you are admitted to the U.S. (based on your E-2 visa), you are considered to be in E-2 visa status. You will be given a form I94 arrival/departure card or you will get a stamp in your passport as evidence of your E-2 status.

For an E-2 visa holder, the authorized period listed on the form I-94 or stamped in your passport will be typically for 2 years. As a result, please note that the Form I-94 (or the stamp in your passport) dictates how long you can stay in the U.S. not the E-2 visa. Your E-2 visa “essentially” has no effect on your authorized period of stay in the U.S. However, some attorneys recommend that if your visa is expired (even if your E-2 status is not), you should go back to your home country and re-new your E-2 visa. However, note that the controlling document when you are admitted to the U.S. is your I-94 form (or the stamp place in your passport when you are admitted in the U.S.). Either way, you as an E-2 visa holder should not remain in the U.S.

beyond your authorized period of admission because you will be unlawfully present in the U.S. and that can accrue negative consequences for your immigration and business plans in the U.S.

This article should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. For legal advice, consult one of our immigration law attorneys.

Camilo A. Espinosa is an attorney in LOIGICA, P.A. Mr. Camilo Espinosa is fluent in both Spanish and English. You can reach Camilo A. Espinosa via telephone at (305)390-0450 or via e-mail at

Topics: Immigration Law