The E2 Spouse Visa

Hello everyone, I’m Ben Frear, an immigration lawyer with a strong focus on assisting entrepreneurs. Today, I’m excited to delve into the world of the E2 spouse visa, a subject of immense significance for families seeking to broaden their horizons within the United States.

The E2 Visa: A Gateway for Entrepreneurs and Their Families

The E2 visa stands as a remarkable avenue for entrepreneurs, providing them with the means to manage a U.S.-based business while residing in the country. However, there’s an often-overlooked aspect that holds equal excitement – the E2 spouse visa. This facet of the visa allows spouses in the United States to work, which is a game-changer for families, opening doors to income opportunities and significantly enhancing their freedom.

Empowering Spouses to Work

Unlike many other dependent visas, the E2 spouse visa empowers the spouse of the primary applicant to work in the United States for any employer. The added bonus? They can work without navigating a lengthy process of applying for work authorization and enduring months of waiting for a decision. Thanks to a relatively new policy, the process has been streamlined, granting immediate work eligibility upon entry with the E2S designation on their I-94 arrival record.

The Application Process Demystified

So, how does the application process work for the E2 spouse? It’s refreshingly straightforward. The investor spouse shoulders the burden of presenting a meticulously organized application package, which includes a marriage certificate. Both spouses complete DS-160 applications and attend an interview. Upon approval, the non-investor spouse receives an E2 spouse visa. When they utilize this visa to enter the United States, they should obtain an E2S designation on their I-94 upon arrival. With this designation, the non-investor spouse gains the ability to apply for a social security number and work in any capacity – whether starting their own business, working for their spouse’s enterprise, or any other employer of their choice.

A Real-Life Success Story

To illustrate the practical implications of the E2 spousal visa, let’s examine a recent success story. I had the privilege of assisting a Canadian family where the husband, a talented IT professional on a TN visa, served as the sole breadwinner. Unfortunately, his equally talented wife was unable to work due to her dependent status, a situation that was undoubtedly frustrating. However, they managed to find an innovative solution. The wife established her own IT consulting business, invested substantially in her venture, and subsequently applied for the E2 visa.

A Family’s Transition

Following a seamless application process and a successful interview in Toronto, the E2 visas were granted, marking the beginning of a new chapter for the family. The wife could now resume her career by operating her consulting business, while the husband, armed with an E2 spouse visa, gained more options. He could choose to remain with his current employer, contribute to his wife’s business, or explore other job opportunities within his field. The possibilities became virtually limitless.


I hope this information has illuminated the incredible possibilities offered by the E2 spouse visa. If you found this blog post helpful, please consider liking and sharing it with anyone who might benefit from it.

Thank you for your time and for joining me in exploring the E2 spouse visa – a pathway to a brighter future for entrepreneurs and their families.

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Ben Frear, Esq.

Immigration Lawyer for Entrepreneurs

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