Business, Immigration

The Road to our E2 visa


Although we are now ensconced here in the USA on an E2 visa, I thought I should start my blog from the very beginning of our journey, so you can understand and maybe relate to what brought us to this point in our lives – a point where we could have been happily retired, surrounded by grandchildren, friends and family, and in a familiar country with recognizable rules and regulations – one from where we can not be kicked out of if we don’t turn a profit and create jobs for the native citizens.

My husband and I decided that we were going to take a year off in 2010 and travel around the USA, immersing ourselves in their history and culture and basically see what we could see…….

It all started with a series of persistent phone calls from the alarm company on the morning of September 17, 2007. Up until that point, I had been more than happy in the rat race, enjoying every minute of the mania that comes with being a self-employed workaholic.

That all went, literally, up in a puff of smoke when I went to answer the alarm callout. I turned the corner of Blackburn Street to be confronted with the surreal scene of blue and red flashing lights and the street cordoned off.

My lovely Wellness Centre that I had built from the ground up was on fire, and I stood there for the next 3.5 hours watching the black smoke billow out as the firemen went around the building, breaking my windows and shattering my passion.

So as I dealt with the realities of insurance and landlord vagaries and salvaged what was worth saving, I experienced a monumental shift of priorities. Why work this hard when it can all be taken away in the blink of an eye?

And out of the ashes of my fire came a steely resolve . . . rebuild, repaint, restock . . . and then sell!

Our first thought was to buy a boat and sail off into the sunset, but it wasn’t just the fact that neither of us have any sailing experience that made us realize how unrealistic our thoughts were; it was the reality that we have never spent more than five consecutive weeks in each other’s company . . . ever . . . in nearly thirty years.

We have lived the FIFO life (Fly In/Fly Out) for the last twenty years with Nick employed offshore in the oil industry, and me doing what all other Rig Pig wives have to do to survive and keep the home fires burning!

The likelihood of us surviving a journey on the waves without one of us going overboard is pretty close to nil. I would have to handcuff myself to him as a deterrent to being thrown overboard!

Once the decision had been made, it took all of that two years to wind the business down, terminate the tenants, discontinue the student enrollments, discourage the clients from returning, encourage the staff to move on . . . and get my head around the fact we were actually going to do this—leave our home, family, and friends and spend 24/7 together, traipsing around the good ole USA for a year.

Many, many hours were consumed with searching the internet, whetting our appetites for anything American. I read as many blogs from itinerant RVers as I could, joined Good Sam’s and KOA Camping Associations, and bookmarked relevant websites listing RV parks, boon docking sites, free camping, cheap petrol, dump stations . . . Anything that would help facilitate our adventure.

I ordered a travel card from the bank, in U.S. currency, and that we could recharge on the internet. Nick bought a travel trailer for us to live in and a truck to tow it with, and most importantly, booked us into Sturgis for ten days, the only specific appointment with time we had for the next twelve months!

So after tacking the SOLD sign on one Wellness Centre and the LEASED sign on the other, packing up the house, sorting out the perpetual bills and insurances, cutting off the phone and internet, attaching the battery chargers and covers to far too many cars and motorcycles, and holding the obligatory “Stars’n’Stripes” Farewell Party, we asked our daughter Nikki and her boyfriend Chris to shift to our house and we rented out theirs for a bit of on-the-road income.

Nick quit his job and underwent surgery yet again on his shoulder, and just before the surgeon gave him the final all clear, we were packed, ready to go . . . kiss the kids, pat the dogs, jump in the car, rush to the airport . . . Finally—on our way - at last!

Claire Coleman is the new guest columnist at InvestUSA360 and is happy to now share on a series of posts all the trials and tribulations they have discovered on their journey to living life as legal aliens under the E2 visa. Stay tuned for the next chapter! 


If you are considering applying for an E2 Visa we recommend that you speak to an Immigration attorney. Our recommendation for knowledgeable and esteemed experts to guide you are the attorneys at

If you are already in the USA on an E2 Visa  please feel free to contact Zoe Adams with E2 Visa Reform to meet like minded individuals who are lobbying to have changes made to the rules around this visa or email

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