How to convert a E2 visa into a green card and US citizenship?

In order to obtain an E2 nonimmigrant visa, you must explicitly state that you do not have the intent to become a permanent resident in the U.S.

Converting your E2 visa into a green card

However, there are a few possible ways to convert your E2 visa into a green card that are worth exploring.

Have an employer sponsor you

An employer (a different employer than the one that sponsored you for the E2 visa) can sponsor you for an immigrant visa.


In this situation, the employer needs to take a number of steps in preparation for petitioning on your behalf including,

  1. applying for a prevailing wage determination, and
  2. demonstrating that there are no U.S. citizen workers capable of filling the position through a recruitment process.

Next, the employer must file an application for Permanent Employment Certification. Lastly, upon its certification, the employer can file and I-140 Immigrant Petition in a category based on your qualifications.

While this long process takes place, you can continue to work in the U.S. with your E2 visa, renewing it as necessary.

Have a family member sponsor you

A U.S. citizen or permanent resident to whom you are closely related can sponsor you for a green card while you continue to direct and develop business in the U.S. on your E2 visa.

a family member e2 visa to green card

If the petition is filed by a U.S. Citizen spouse, child over 21, or parent, one can expect to become a permanent resident faster than if the petition is filed by a U.S. citizen brother/sister or permanent resident spouse/parent.

Invest more money and get an EB5 Green Card

Applying for an EB-5 investment green card is another option if you have the money to do it. Under this program, investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) EB-5 investor who invests from $900,000 to $1,800,000, into a U.S. business or venture is eligible to apply for a green card.

The investor must make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time workers.

The required amount depends on the unemployment rate for the particular geographic area in which the business or venture exists. It’s important, however, that the money used for this investment be traceable.


If invested from abroad, the source and path of funds need to be documented and be clean. The extra funds cannot have been generated inside the U.S. by the E2 business unless they are paid out to the investor and the investor pays U.S. taxes on the amounts taken before reinvesting them so as to qualify for the direct investment EB-5 green card.

Obtaining an EB-5 is also a time-consuming process but the E2 investor again can continue to operate their business in the U.S. while they wait.

Permanent residence through the National Interest Waiver

If an E2 visa holder has exceptional ability qualifications, they may be able to forego the PERM labor certification through the process known as the EB-2 National Interest Waiver.

This would significantly speed up and simplify the path to a green card. Unlike the process described above, E2 visa holders can obtain residency without the sponsorship of an employer and without having to undergo the difficult and time-consuming PERM process.

In order to be eligible for a Green Card through this category, the E2 visa holder must be able to demonstrate that

1) The foreign national’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;

2) The foreign national is well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and

3) It would be beneficial to the U.S. to waive the requirements of a job offer, and thus the labor certification.

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