US Immigration Check

E-2 Extension Approved Despite Sluggish Performance in Pandemic

By Verdie Atienza, Head of L-1 & E-2 Visa Practice

Two years ago, D&A assisted an investor from Jordan obtain an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa through his investment in a furniture business. He applied to change of status after he entered the U.S. on a visitor visa. With the change of status application, he did not have to appear for interview at the Embassy which made more sense to him since he wanted to immediately operate the business and considering that the reciprocity schedule for Jordanian nationals is only 3 months. His spouse and dependent children thereafter applied for their visas at the Embassy to join him in the U.S.

While the first year and six months were not very good for the E-2 company, D&A managed to secure an extension of status for the client. While things became much harder in the first few months of the pandemic due to store shutdowns and stay-at-home orders,  retail sales rebounded strongly due to sustained consumer resilience.

Extension of Status Approval

D&A highlighted the record percentage increase in sales in 2020 to convince USCIS that the Company is very much poised to achieve the forecasts in the business plan submitted with the initial petition. D&A emphasized the strong stock market, rising home values and record savings boosted by government stimulus payments in 2020 to assert that the Company is slowly but surely moving the path of attaining goals that is expected to ultimately result in positive contributions to the US economy, specifically in the area of employment generation.

While it was certainly not easy to get the E-2 status extended, it pays to have an experienced team on your side to present your application in the best light possible to get a favorable decision from USCIS.

What is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

The E-2 Visa allows anyone with citizenship of an E-2 Treaty Country to apply to move to the United States to invest in and run a business. Anyone not from a Treaty Country can first obtain citizenship of a Treaty Country and become eligible in this way. See Grenada Citizenship by Investment and Turkey Citizenship by Investment. The E-2 Visa application process requires the submission of a credible business plan and renewals are granted on the basis of performance against that business plan.

Our team has successfully filed many E-2 Treaty Investor visa cases, including where the additional step of obtaining citizenship of the E-2 Treaty country is required. D&A is one of the few firms able to support a client across the entire Grenada Citizenship by Investment and E-2 Visa process without needing to outsource the work.


This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.


Case Study: Green Card for L-1 Visa Client Switching to EB1C Visa

Davies & Associates has filed yet another adjustment of status for an L-1 visa client to transition to a Green Card on an EB1C Visa. The client, whose business specializes in satellite solutions for remote communications, initially moved to the United States on an L-1 Visa in 2017.

Back then, he established a US branch of his Australian company so that he could then transfer himself on an L-1 visa. With our teams of corporate and immigration lawyers working together, Davies & Associates is able to help with both setting up a company and then with obtaining the necessary visas.

The L-1 Visa is for the intracompany transfer of employees from an overseas branch to the US branch of the same business. It is typically used by employees of large multinational organizations, seeking to move their employees around the world.

But Davies & Associates specializes in “new office L1 visas“, whereby a client can set up a US branch of their foreign company and then move to the United States to manage that branch.

The foreign entity and the US office need to have a “qualifying relationship”, a term that has a degree of latitude. It is important to discuss what this means with one of our attorneys.

The L-1 Visa allows for the transfer of a management or executive level employee, as well as an employee with specialized knowledge (the latter being eligible for a L-1B visa).

L-1 Visa holders can bring their dependant families with them, and spouses are able to apply to work in the United States outside of the underlying business.

L-1 is a time limited visa. It can be renewed for up to seven years (five years for L-1B). It does not offer permanent residency, so people seeking to stay in the US longer, need to find an alternative solution.

This is precisely what we did for our Australian L-1 client when he wanted to transition to a Green Card.

The optimal route to the a Green Card for an L-1 Visa client is the EB1C Visa. It is an immigrant visa for management and executive level employees.

But timing is important. For beneficiaries of EB1C petition who are currently in the US, they must have been employed by the qualifying entity abroad for at least one year in the three years preceding the date that they entered the US as nonimmigrant working for the US entity.

 

Since our Australian client obtained his L-1 Visa in 2017, the window of opportunity was starting to close on his eligibility for the EB1C visa. The adjustment of status was filed in good time and the adjustment of status can begin.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.