E21 Visa: Everything You Need to Know

Are you looking to launch or grow your startup in the United States? Have you heard of the E21 visa?

The E21 visa is a relatively new visa option that allows foreign entrepreneurs to establish and run their businesses in the U.S. The visa was introduced in 2017 as a result of the International Entrepreneur Rule, which aimed to boost the American economy by attracting top international talent to the startup scene.

What is an E21 Visa?

The E21 visa is a non-immigrant visa that grants foreign entrepreneurs temporary permission to stay in the U.S. while they build and grow their startup. It is valid for five years, with the possibility of a two-year extension.

To qualify for the E21 visa, an applicant must:

  • Have a significant ownership stake in the U.S. startup (at least 10%)
  • Hold an executive or managerial position in the company
  • Demonstrate that their presence in the U.S. is beneficial to the national interest
  • Show that the startup has the potential for rapid growth and job creation in the U.S.

How to Apply for an E21 Visa

To apply for an E21 visa, an applicant must submit:

  1. Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  2. A letter describing their qualifications as an entrepreneur and explaining how their presence in the U.S. is in the national interest
  3. Supporting evidence, such as business plans, financial statements, and other documentation that proves the startup’s potential for rapid growth and job creation in the U.S.
  4. A letter of support from a qualified U.S. investor, government entity, or other reputable source
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The applicant must also pay a non-refundable application fee, currently set at $1200.

The USCIS will then review the application and, if approved, issue the E21 visa.

Benefits of the E21 Visa

The E21 visa offers many benefits to foreign entrepreneurs looking to establish their businesses in the U.S. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • No minimum investment requirement: Unlike some other visa options, there is no minimum investment required to qualify for the E21 visa. This makes it a feasible option for startups with limited funding.
  • Flexibility: The E21 visa holder can travel in and out of the U.S. at will, which can be helpful for entrepreneurs who need to visit other countries for business purposes.
  • Spouses and children may accompany the visa holder: E21 visa holders can bring their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old to the United States with them.
  • Possibility of a green card: E2 visa holders may also be eligible to apply for a green card, which would grant them permanent residency in the U.S.


The E21 visa is an excellent option for foreign entrepreneurs looking to launch or expand their startups in the United States. It provides a way to stay and work in the U.S. without having to meet minimum investment requirements. The application process can be challenging, but with proper documentation and a well-crafted business plan, entrepreneurs can increase their chances of success.

If you’re interested in applying for an E21 visa or want to learn more about your options for establishing a startup in the U.S., speak with a qualified immigration attorney. They can guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions about your entrepreneurial journey in the U.S.

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About the Author

Latasha W. Bolt

Latasha is a travel writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a degree in journalism and has been traveling the world since she was a teenager. Latasha is experienced in navigating the visa and passport application process and shares her knowledge and experiences on the blog. Her articles are personal and engaging, providing readers with a unique perspective on the joys and challenges of international travel.

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