The E2 visa residency requirement is unique to E2 visa applicants who are relying on their UK nationality.
Why Do We Have A Residency Requirement?
For the most part, E2 Visa requirements are uniform. However, there are additional requirements that may apply based on the E2 treaty that your country entered with the US. One prime example of additional requirements can be seen in the E2 treaty between the UK and the US.
The Convention that gives UK nationals the ability to seek an E2 visa was entered into force in 1815. The agreement specifically applies to inhabitants of the UK. Without being able to prove that you are an inhabitant, you will not be able to successfully apply for an E2 visa.
What Does Inhabitant Mean?
Although there is no bright line test for determining who qualifies as an inhabitant, there is some guidance in the foreign US government’s foreign affairs manual(FAM). The FAM say…
This term, as used in the Convention, means “one who resides actually and permanently in a given place, and has his domicile there.”
This helps a little.
If someone has lived their entire life in the UK, they will meet the residency requirement.
On the other hand, if someone has UK citizenship but has lived their entire life outside of the UK, they will probably not qualify.
What Should You Do If You Are In The Gray Area?
If you fall between the two extremes mentioned above, there are ways to prove that you are a UK resident even if you do not currently live there.
Here are some some things you could present with your application to prove that you are a UK inhabitant…
- Bank account information
- UK driver’s license
- Tax records(showing that you filed in the UK)
- Employment documentation(showing that you have a temporary assignment outside of the UK)
- Documentation demonstrating that your children attend school in the UK
- Phone account information
- Real estate records
By presenting the documentation listed above, you will increase your odds of proving that you are a UK resident—who is temporarily abroad—and plans on returning to the UK.
Conclusion: The E2 Visa Residency Requirement For UK Nationals
UK nationals who do not currently reside in the UK will have an additional hurdle to clear before they are granted an E2 visa. However, with careful planning, you and your immigration lawyer may be able to make a persuasive argument for why you should be considered a UK resident—who is temporarily living abroad.
If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benjamin Frear, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer For Entrepreneurs