What to Do if Your Business or Position Changes while Working under a California E-2 Visa

As you are probably aware, one of the biggest restrictions of the E-2 investment visa is that of employment. Both E-2 investors and employees can only work in the job position for which they were granted E-2 classification. Any other employment may violate the terms and conditions of E-2 status, leading to possible deportation for the visa holder.

However, there are special exceptions to this rule for California E-2 visa employees. Immigration law allows an employee to also work for the treaty organization’s parent company or one of its subsidiaries, provided that:

  • The relationship between the parent and treaty organization is established
  • The position in which you will provide subsidiary employment requires supervisory, executive, or otherwise essential skills
  • The terms and conditions of your employment have otherwise remained the same

In some cases, E-2 employees may be affected if the nature of the investor’s business has changed. USCIS requires notification and approval of any “substantive changes” that could affect the terms or conditions of its employees’ E-2 status.  

Here are a few examples of “substantive changes” of which the USCIS must be notified:

  • Mergers with other companies
  • Acquisition of additional businesses
  • Fundamental changes in the employer’s basic characteristics
  • Any major event that affects the investor’s or employee’s approved relationship with the organization
Vaughan de Kirby
California Immigration Attorney

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