A recent “practice pointer” (1) from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)/Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Liaison Committee highlights a critical issue for E-1 and E-2 visa holders. A foreign national applying for admission to the United States with an un-expired E-1 (Treaty Trader) visa or E-2 (Treaty Investor) visa should be admitted for a period of two years from the admission date, provided that the individual’s passport does not expire before the end of the two-year period and the individual is otherwise admissible.
The two-year admission period applies to all E-1 and E-2 admissions, regardless of whether it is the first or subsequent admission. As long as the E-1 or E-2 visa is valid on the date of admission, the foreign national should be admitted for two years, regardless of when the visa expires.
Example #1: If you present an E-2 visa that will expire four years from the date of admission, you should be admitted only for a period of two years from the date of admission, provided that your passport will remain valid throughout this period.
Example #2: If you present an E-2 visa that will expire one day after admission, you should be admitted for a two-year period from the date of admission, provided that your passport will remain valid throughout this period.
Take away #1: Keep track of your passport expiration date!
Take away #2: The CBP agent may be unaware or unmindful of your right to a 2 year admission, so you might want to bring a copy of this blog entry with you.
(1) AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12020660. (Posted 02/06/12)