Obtaining an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Despite Travel Complexities of Covid-19: Case Study

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Approved for a Canadian National who applied at the US Consulate General in Sydney during the pandemic

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

Prior to the lockdown, D&A started to work on an E-2 visa application for a Canadian national who was temporarily in Australia for a vacation. The original plan was to apply at the US Embassy in Toronto where new E-2 applications for Canadians are filed and processed. It is worth noting that the Department of State encourages nonimmigrant visa applicants to apply at the US Embassy or Consulate in their home country as they are in a better position to determine the ties to the home country.

Due to safety concerns, travel restrictions and lockdowns, our client decided that she wants to apply for the E-2 visa in Australia instead of traveling back to Canada. For this to be possible, we had to advise the client to apply for extension of temporary stay in Australia. The request was granted and so we prepared, finalized and submitted the application at the US Consulate in Sydney. While the applicant had to wait a little longer, she was scheduled to appear for interview and her application was approved at the end of the interview.

While the Department of State cautions applicants of higher chance of getting a denial by applying at the Embassy or Consulate other than the one in the home country, D&A successfully demonstrated the applicant’s ties to the home country. D&A prepared a strong E-2 application which meant that the client had a smooth interview experience.

What was the E-2 Business?

Our client is a Chief Executive Officer of a cosmetics company based in Hawaii. The company specializes in developing and selling sun care products to be used before, during, and after sun exposure. The E-2 Company is dedicated to developing innovative sunscreen formulas that meet the ever changing and evolving skin and sun care needs. The Company’s formulas combine effective cosmetic active and beneficial natural ingredients to create products that achieve the sustainable beauty, health, and wellness goals of modern women.

The E-2 Company’s products are developed in collaboration with a third-party contract manufacturer. The Company carefully selects high-quality ingredients to be used in the manufacturing process in order to develop high-quality, effective sun care products that will simultaneously help users achieve their tanning goals in a sustainable and healthy way.

What is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa allows a person to move to the US to set up or acquire a business. Applicants must come from a country that holds an E-2 Treaty with the United States. Both Canada and Australia hold E-2 Treaties with America.

People from countries that do not have an E-2 Treaty with the US have to first become citizens of E-2 Treaty countries, like Grenada or Turkey. Citizens of India, China and Vietnam are not directly eligible for an E-2 Visa.

There is no fixed investment requirement for an E-2 visa, but it is usually expected to be in excess of $100,000. Ultimately, however, the investment amount needs to be appropriate for the business being proposed. A business plan is required as part of the application and the consular officer will assess the E-2 application on the basis of this plan.

E-2 is a non-immigrant visa, which means it does not offer permanent residency. It can, however, be renewed permanently provided the underlying business continues to operate successfully.

National Interest Exception

This case study raises the issue of travel difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic. The United States border has been closed to people who have been in countries with especially bad outbreaks of the virus. This includes Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Davies & Associates has been able to obtain travel waivers for L-1 and E-2 visa clients from these countries. By building the case that it is in the economic interest of America to admit these people, the US authorities have granted special permission to travel.

Read more about National Interest Exceptions.

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.


Switching from an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa to an O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa: Client Case Study

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

In 2015, D&A assisted a Romanian national to apply for E-2 Treaty Investor visa by investing $100,000 in a start-up company. The company specializes in intellectual property assets technical and financial consulting with a focus in global brokerage and facilitation of Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) addresses and AS Numbers.

Despite having grown into a multi-million-dollar private company, the company has not been able to meet its employment targets within 5 years because it made better business sense to employ independent contractors. The E-2 Visa requires a business plan as part of the application, which helps the authorities with the subsequent evaluation at the time of renewal.

As the E-2 visa was about to expire, we advised the client that renewing the visa prove to be very challenging due to the employment situation. D&A discussed all other options for the client and it was determined that the client may have a good chance of qualifying for the O-1A category based on his credentials and qualifications.

O-1A is for people with extraordinary ability in education, business, science or the arts.

Since the client has established networks in the US through his E-2 company, it was easy for him to find a petitioning US employer. Since the US employer has been a client of the E-2 company and since they saw how valuable the client us based on his expertise and experience, they did not hesitate in filing a petition for our client.

D&A filed the petition for our client as a person of extraordinary ability to occupy the position of  Global Internet Resources Manager and Facilitator.  In the petition, we carefully outlined as to how the client meets the requirements for an individual to be classified as someone with extraordinary ability in his field.

With a tailor-fit solution, the client no longer has to leave the US despite the inability to renew the E-2 visa. With a change of status application approved, he and his family maintain their lawful nonimmigrant status for an additional period of three years on O-1A status. Should they need to depart the US prior to the expiration of the three-year period, they can apply for the O-1 visa at a US Embassy or Consulate by submitting an application and presenting the O-1A approval notice.

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa allows a beneficiary to move to the United States to run a business. It is a non-immigrant visa in that it does not offer a Green Card, but our attorneys are able to advise on options for transitioning to a Green Card at a later stage. The visa is also renewable indefinitely provided the underlying business is still operating and meeting its targets.

There are not annual quotas or caps for the E-2 visa based upon country of origin. However, eligibility is determined by the applicant’s country of citizenship. You must hold citizenship of a country with an E-2 Treaty with the United States. If you do not, please contact our attorneys. We have helped people from non-E2-treaty countries like India and Vietnam become citizens of E-2 Treaty countries like Turkey and Grenada.

The O-1 Visa is available to people with extraordinary ability. It is also a non-immigrant visa, which means it does not offer a Green Card. However, it is possible to subsequently switch to a Green Card through the EB-1A Visa. Applicants for EB-1A visa from India and China are subject to a short wait because the category is capped annually by country and both countries are slightly oversubscribed. Please see our most recent blog post on the Visa Bulletin to understand this in greater detail.


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.


L-1A Intracompany Transfer Visa Client Testimonial

India L-1 Visa Client Testimonial

Davies & Associates helped a client from India obtain an L-1A Intracompany Transfer Visa despite the pandemic. The L-1A Visa allows for the transfer of a management or executive-level employee from the overseas office to the US office of the same company. The L-1B Visa allows the same for an employee with specialized knowledge.

It is possible to set-up a new US office and transfer yourself or a member of staff to the U.S. to grow the U.S. operation. L-1 Visa applicants can take a spouse and children under the age of 21 with them. Spouses can apply for work authorization.

The L-1A Visa is limited to a maximum of 7 years and the L-1B visa is limited for a maximum of 5 years. The validity of the initial visa will be less than the maximum and initial validity depends upon country of origin and whether or not the applicant is applying for a New Office L1.

The L-1 has no annual quotas. It is possible to transition to a Green Card. Typically this is through the EB-1C visa but the EB-3 visa is also an applicable option.

Learn more about the L-1 Visa by clicking here.

View our latest L-1 Visa Client Testimonial Here

In the words of the client:

“I am pleased to say that with the help of Davies and associates actually significant amount of help from them we have made a successful application and in the next few weeks i will start my new role with my uh existing uh organization uh nowhere was i felt that you know this is out of depth very very clear expectations in terms of uh personal documents that are needed workplace documents that are needed subsidiary company documents that are needed you know and this is the first attempt from my organization site to uh transfer uh indian workers uh or indian managers i would say uh to the us uh for uh managerial and senior managerial roles it took us some time there were a few road uh roadblocks along the way where um suddenly due to cove 19 the u.s immigration services made a temporary ban on issuance of visa but the organization which is u.s immigration services division associates were very very clear in communicating to me that this is a temporary hurdle and there are uh options available to us right so yes it took us nine months uh with certain changes uh significant changes in the u.s immigration policy and yet nine months later we’ve had a successful application converted to a visa for three years and uh i myself am going to be going back to them uh for a eb1c um later this year so yes overall they’re 10 on 10 in terms of feedback in terms of transparency of the process documentation was up to mark in fact there was a point where i was kind of wondering the amount of documentation that we have generated would somebody actually read through it and they actually read through everything they designed a business plan around the documents that were submitted uh and we moved forward very very quickly uh once everything was you know as per expectation so they kept going back to the drawing board until they were satisfied that the us immigration services will be satisfied with the uh our case application that we have provided and you know that’s the type of people you want in your team uh when you’re making uh an application uh visa application in a challenging uh immigration policy environment that we faced in 2020 so overall i i just want to say thank you and i appreciate all the hard work that uh Davies and associates and their consultants and their lawyers did on my behalf so thank you very much Davies and associates we’re a full service immigration law firm we have a core team of immigration specialists that will guide you through every step of the visa process in addition to that we have a core corporate team our corporate lawyers assist our foreign clients such as investors entrepreneurs foreign businesses seeking to expand or invest into the united states with a full suite of corporate services this can involve company formation and the drafting of key corporate documents establishing the u.s bank accounts and getting the necessary tax id numbers reviewing a commercial lease amongst many other items that our clients find necessary and useful for their business in their early stage operations in the united states”


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.


US Immigration Check

Obtaining an L-1 Visa Despite President Trump’s Ban

The L-1 Visa allows for the transfer of qualifying staff to the existing or newly established U.S. office of the same company.


By Verdie Atienza, Senior Attorney in Charge of L-1 & E2 Visa Practice

A prospective L-1A beneficiary from India approached our firm sometime in June 2020 to seek assistance in filing an L-1A petition for him. During that time, Former President Donald Trump had already imposed a ban on the issuance of the L-1A visa until December 31, 2020.

The client was a General Manager of a manufacturing and exports company in India which exports exports fully machined sand casts / die casts and other sheet metal pressed components made of aluminum alloys, zinc alloys, copper alloys, stainless steel, mild steel, and cast iron.

Our firm advised the client that despite the ban, USCIS continues to accept  and process L-1A petitions. We suggested that it was a good time to take advantage of the period of time to prepare the L-1A petition so that he would have an approval of the petition by the time the ban lapses. The client was fully informed that there was a risk for the ban to be extended beyond December 31, 2020. The client decided to move forward with the L-1A process as per the firm’s advice.

In the L-1A petition that D&A prepared, the US company requested that the beneficiary be transferred as a Senior Strategic Project Manager. The US company was established as a product distributor, but it has grown to become a value-added manufacturer in North America, with expanding supply chain in China and India.

We explained in detail that the L-1A beneficiary’s role at the US company will involve incorporating management of essentially all substantive areas, functions, and processes. The petition also outlined how  he will also serve as the ultimate director and manager of the lJ .S. employees constituting the Strategic Project Management Team.

The L-1A petition was approved without RFE and the L-1A beneficiary immediately applied  for the visa in India. Despite the fact that the ban was extended to March 3, 2021, the client, with D&A’s guidance, was able to schedule a visa appointment and obtain the L-1A visa in the midst of a pandemic where lockdowns, travel and quarantine restrictions are in place.

D&A was able to successfully explain that the applicant is a a senior-level manager  who has spent multiple years with the company overseas, indicating a substantial knowledge and expertise within the organization and that he will fill a critical business need for the employer meeting a critical infrastructure need in a designated industry.

Benefits of L-1 Visa

  • Set up and grow a new U.S. office
  • Can be used for managers & executives (L-1A) or employees with specialized knowledge (L-1B)
  • Take spouse and dependent children with you
  • Spouses can apply for work authorization in U.S.
  • No annual caps or quotas based upon country of origin
  • “Dual Intent” – you can pursue lawful permanent residency status during your stay in America

Watch our Video on the L-1 Visa

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.


Immigration Outlook for 2021

Happy New Year from the entire team at Davies & Associates. With a global vaccination program underway, 2021 looks set to bring a welcome return to something closer to normality.

Despite the difficult circumstances, we were delighted to move so many families and businesses around the world in 2020, and we look forward to serving many more in the coming year.

Best wishes,
Mark I. Davies Esq.
Global Chairman, Davies & Associates



United States Immigration

Much of how immigration policy plays out during Biden’s first two years in office will depend on which party ends up in control of the Senate after a run-off election in Georgia today, January 5. Then tomorrow, January 6, Congress is required to sign off on the election results in what will be President Trump’s last opportunity to contest them ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. The political theater may calm down in late January, but questions will remain about how Biden will approach immigration policy as he attempts to repair the nation’s finances after Covid-19.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program in 2021

The EB-5 Investor Visa brings investment and jobs to the United States. It offers Green Cards for a qualifying family group in exchange for a minimum $900,000 investment that creates ten jobs. It is for this reason that the EB-5 Program was deliberately not suspended by President Trump in 2020. The program has enjoyed the support of politicians from both main political parties and showcases how the immigration system can be a net benefit to the economy and employment.

The EB-5 program will find itself on the agenda of Congress this year as it faces reauthorization in June and as a bipartisan reform bill gains ground. While this could have a positive impact, some investors may wish to act in the first half of the year to lock in their investments with the surety of the current regulations. 

Read More

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa in 2021

The E-2 Treaty Investor is governed by treaties with sovereign countries, meaning it is more insulated from political changes than other types of visa. In fact, the oldest treaty (with the United Kingdom) was signed more than 200 years ago. The E-2 visa allows a person to move with their families for the purpose of investing in and running a business in the United States. It brings investment to the U.S. and creates jobs for U.S. workers. It was not covered by the Presidential Proclamation which banned the issuance of certain visas last year. 

Read Why You Should Apply for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa in 2021 in Silicon India magazine, by Verdie Atienza, the Senior Immigration Attorney in charge of our E-2 and L-1 Visa Practice.

Read More

L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa in 2021

The issuance of L-1 Visas was suspended by President Trump last year. The President just extended the ban on L-1 (as well as H-1B visas) through to March 31, 2021. This means Joe Biden will need take the decision on whether to immediately roll back on President Trump’s policy on the L-1 category or let it lapse in three months time. Increasingly our firm is helping business owners make use of the L-1 visa to be allowed to move to America to set up a new office and oversee the expansion of their businesses. Despite the ban, our clients have been using the time to prepare an application for when the ban is lifted. 

Read More

National Interest Exception

The U.S. border has been closed to the citizens of select countries with high rates of Covid-19. However, it is possible for L-1 and E-2 visa holders to apply for special permission to travel to the United States if they can make the case that this is in the national interest. Our firm obtained multiple National Interest Exceptions to allow our L-1 and E-2 clients to travel to the U.S. in 2020. Please contact us if this affects you. 

Read More

Italian Immigration

Our Italian business grew rapidly in 2020, in spite of challenging circumstances. This year is set to be even stronger as the Italian government looks to the immigration system to help rebuild the economy. To that end, it cut the cost of the Italian residency-by-investment visa in half for certain types of investment. It has also fully reopened the Elective Residency Visa after some consulates stopped accepting applications because of Covid. Elective Residency, which is our most popular Italian visa, allows a person to obtain Italian residency if they can prove a regular income of at least €32,000 / year among other conditions. 

Our firm also helps clients with all matters relating to Italian tax, citizenship and property. At the end of 2020 we hosted a webinar on the famous One-Euro Homes project featuring an expert panel covering all aspects of the program – including someone who has been through the process.

Read more

Click Here to Watch our One Euro Homes Webinar from December 2020

United Kingdom Immigration

The United Kingdom officially left the European Union at the end of 2020 and is gearing up its new points-based immigration system. It also recently launched a Global Talent Visa to attract future leaders in digital technology, academia, and the arts. The U.K. investor visa, skilled-worker visa, and start-up visa are all still available. Some of the details of the new system are yet to be determined, so we advise you to set up a consultation with our UK team.

Read more

Grenada Citizenship by Investment

Demand for the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme grew during 2020 as more people sought dual citizenship amid the uncertainty of Covid-19. Grenada offers citizenship within a matter of months in exchange for an investment in Real Estate starting from $220,000 or a donation starting from $150,000. Grenada is an E-2 Treaty Country, which means people from a non E-2 Treaty Country (e.g. India, South Africa, Vietnam, Russia & China) can become eligible for the U.S. E-2 Treaty Investor Visa after obtaining citizenship of Grenada.

Read more

Start a Business Anywhere in the World in 2021

Davies & Associates has helped hundreds of clients move their existing businesses overseas or start new ones around the world. The tasks of setting up an overseas office and of applying for the necessary visas are intricately linked. Our teams of corporate lawyers and immigration lawyers work closely together to ensure the business is set-up in a way that complies with all local immigration regulations. We then remain by our clients side, providing all the necessary ongoing corporate and immigration support as they grow and thrive in their new home.

Read more

 

Vương quốc Anh và Việt Nam ký biên bản kết thúc phiên đàm phán Hiệp định Thương mại Tự do: Khám phá các lựa chọn nhập cư vào Vương quốc Anh

Chiều ngày 11/12, lễ ký kết Biên bản Kết thúc đàm phán Hiệp định Thương mại Tự do (FTA) Việt Nam-Vương quốc Anh (UKVFTA) chính thức diễn ra tại Hà Nội.

By Simon Ngyuen

Theo số liệu của Tổng cục Hải quan, năm 2019, tổng kim ngạch xuất nhập khẩu hai nước đạt 6,6 tỷ USD, trong đó xuất khẩu đạt 5,8 tỷ USD và nhập khẩu đạt 857 triệu USD. Tuy nhiên, khi Anh rời EU, các ưu đãi mang lại từ Hiệp định thương mại tự do Việt Nam-EU (EVFTA) sẽ không được áp dụng tại thị trường Anh. Bởi vậy, việc ký kết một FTA song phương sẽ tạo điều kiện cho hoạt động cải cách, mở cửa thị trường, thuận lợi hóa thương mại ở hai quốc gia trên cơ sở kế thừa các kết quả đàm phán tương đối tích cực ở EVFTA, tránh gián đoạn các hoạt động thương mại do hệ quả mang lại của Brexit.Sau 6 phiên làm việc chính thức và nhiều phiên làm việc kỹ thuật, 2 bên đã chính thức đi đến ký kết biên bản kết thúc đàm phán Hiệp định thương mại tư do Việt Nam-Vương quốc Anh.Bộ trưởng Bộ Công Thương Trần Tuấn Anh khẳng định, đây là bước quan trọng để 2 nước sớm đi đến ký kết chính thức Hiệp định này trong thời gian tới.Hiệp định song phương UKVFTA giữ nguyên các lợi ích trong quan hệ thương mại hiện tại giữa Vương quốc Anh và Việt Nam thông qua Hiệp định Thương mại EVFTA, đồng thời có những điều chỉnh để phù hợp với cả 2 bên. Hiệp định UKVFTA được kỳ vọng sẽ tiếp nối động lực thúc đẩy quan hệ thương mại, đầu tư của hai bên trong những năm tới.Những cơ hội và lợi ích lớn nhất tạo ra từ Hiệp định UKVFTA là thúc đẩy xuất khẩu các mặt hàng chủ lực của Việt Nam. Các ngành hàng xuất khẩu được hưởng lợi là thủy hải sản, gạo, dệt may, gỗ, rau quả, da giày… Theo đó 99% thuế xuất nhập khẩu giữa 2 nước sẽ được xóa bỏ sau khi kết thúc lộ trình cắt giảm thuế quan.Theo Bộ trưởng Thương mại quốc tế Anh Liz Truss, Vương quốc Anh và Việt Nam có chung cam kết chiến lược đối với thương mại toàn cầu và tự do hóa giao dịch vốn và đầu tư. Thỏa thiện UKFTA là một bước tiến quan trọng trong bối cảnh nước Anh sẽ chính thức xin gia nhập Hiệp định Đối tác Toàn diện và Tiến bộ xuyên Thái Bình Dương (CPTPP) vào đầu năm 2021.


Điều này cũng mở ra cơ hội cho nhiều doanh nghiệp Việt Nam muốn mở rộng thị thường và hoạt động kinh doanh tại Vương Quốc Anh thông qua các chương trình thị thực dành cho các doanh nhân, quản lý. Trong số đó, phải kể đến các lựa chọn đang là ưu tiên với quy trình giải quyết nhanh, chi phí thấp như:

1.    Sole-Representative Visa: Thị thực yêu cầu người nộp đơn thiết lập sự hiện diện thương mại đầu tiên của công ty tại Vương quốc Anh, bằng cách mở một chi nhánh hoặc công ty con đã đăng ký tại Vương quốc Anh

.2.    Start-up Visa: Một trong những loại thị thực được giới thiệu gần đây, thị thực này đã thay thế thị thực Doanh nhân (Entrepreneur) và tốt nghiệp (Graduated). Thị thực này rất phổ biến do người nộp đơn không yêu cầu bất kỳ khoản tiền nào trong giai đoạn nộp đơn. Thị thực này dành cho những cá nhân có đầu óc kinh doanh với mong muốn xây dựng một công ty theo ba tiêu chí chính là (i) ý tưởng kinh doanh sáng tạo, (ii) tính khả thi và (iii) có thể mở rộng

3.    Innovative Visa: Loại thị thực này nhằm vào những doanh nhân có kinh nghiệm hơn, những người đang muốn thành lập doanh nghiệp tại Vương quốc Anh với quỹ đầu tư tối thiểu 50.000 bảng Anh. Tương tự như thị thực khởi nghiệp, người nộp đơn phải được sự chứng thực từ cơ quan được chỉ định của Vương quốc Anh đối với ý tưởng kinh doanh.

Liên hệ ngay với Davies and Associates LLC để biết thêm thông tin chi tiết và chúng tôi có thể tư vấn lựa chọn phù hợp nhất cho dự định làm việc, sinh sống của bạn tại Vương quốc Anh.

Explore UK Immigration Options as Vietnam & UK sign Free Trade Agreement

On the afternoon of December 11, the signing ceremony of the Agreement on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Vietnam-UK (UKVFTA) officially took place in Hanoi.

According to the General Department of Customs, in 2019, the total import-export turnover of the two countries reached 6.6 billion USD, of which exports reached 5.8 billion USD and imports reached 857 million USD. However, when the UK leaves the EU, the incentives brought in from the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will not be applied in the UK market. Therefore, the signing of a bilateral FTA will facilitate the reform, opening of markets and trade facilitation in the two countries on the basis of inheriting relatively positive negotiation results in EVFTA. and avoid disruptions in commercial activities as a result of Brexit.

After 6 official working sessions and many technical sessions, the two sides officially came to sign the conclusion of the negotiations on the Vietnam-UK Free Trade Agreement.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh affirmed that this is an important step for the two countries to soon come to the official signing of this Agreement in the coming time.

Bilateral Agreement UKVFTA retains the interests in the current trade relationship between the UK and Vietnam through the EVFTA Trade Agreement, and at the same time makes adjustments to suit both sides. The UKVFTA Agreement is expected to continue the driving force of the two sides’ trade and investment relations in the coming years.

The greatest opportunities and benefits created from the UKVFTA Agreement are to promote the export of Vietnam’s key products. The export sectors to benefit are seafood, rice, textiles, wood, vegetables, leather and shoes … Accordingly, 99% of import and export taxes between the two countries will be eliminated after the tax cut is completed. concerned.

According to British International Trade Minister Liz Truss, the UK and Vietnam share a shared strategic commitment to global trade and liberalization of capital transactions and investment. The UKFTA agreement is an important step in the context that the UK will officially apply to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in early 2021.

This also opens up opportunities for many Vietnamese businesses to expand their markets and do business in the UK through visa programs for entrepreneurs and managers. Among them, there are options that are priority with a fast, low-cost process such as:

  1. Sole-Representative Visa: The visa requires the applicant to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK, by opening a branch or subsidiary registered in the UK.
  2. Start-up Visa: One of the recently introduced visas, this visa has replaced the Entrepreneur (Entrepreneur) and Graduated (Graduated) visa. This visa is very popular because the applicant is not asking for any money during the application stage. This visa is for business-minded individuals wishing to build a company under three main criteria: (i) innovative business idea, (ii) feasibility and (iii) open wide
  3. Innovative Visa: This visa is aimed at more experienced entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business in the UK with a minimum investment fund of £ 50,000. Similar to a start-up visa, an applicant must obtain endorsement from a designated UK agency regarding the business idea.


Am I a Citizen of Country that Holds an E-2 Visa Treaty with the United States?

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is one of the most sought-after US visa categories. Little wonder. The E-2 visa allows a person to own and operate a business in the largest economy in the world.

It can be renewed indefinitely provided the underlying business is in operation and still performing; Spouses can apply for work authorization outside the business; Dependent children can join you in America; You are not taxed in the same way as citizens and Green Card holders; You are free to travel to and from the United States; You can opt for an off-the-shelf franchise business or start your own.

Yet to qualify for this popular visa, you need to be a citizen of a country that holds a relevant treaty with the United States. Check out the list below to see if you are eligible.

List of E-2 Treaty Countries

Note: If your country is not on the list, Read on! We can still help.

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Grenada
  • Honduras
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Liberia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Republic of Congo
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Senegal
  • Singapore Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom

If your country is on the list then you can go directly to an E-2 Visa. If it is not on the list (and more than half the world’s population are citizens of countries that are not on the list), then you need to become a citizen of a country that is on the list first.

You see, unlike the EB-5 investor visa program, E-2 is determined by your country of citizenship. (While citizens of all counties are eligible for the EB-5 visa, each country is subject to an annual quota. Which EB-5 country quota you are subjected to is dependent on your country of birth rather than country of current citizenship.)

But with E-2 visa, obtaining dual citizenship or a new citizenship will make a difference to your eligibility.

So you need to become a citizen of one of the countries on the above list.

While several of these countries offer a pathway to citizenship, the timing and cost can be prohibitive. For example, you can invest your way to UK residency for £2 million. This sets you on a path to possible citizenship, that takes six years. You can reduce this time if you invest more. But even with a £10 million investment, it will still take 3 years to be eligible for citizenship.

That is quite the wait for the E-2 visa. Besides, if you ultimately looking to move to the United States and have such sums of money to invest, you might want to consider the EB-5 investor visa instead. Under this program, a family can all receive Green Cards in exchange for a $900,000 investment.

Yet there are two countries on the list that offer fast and cost-effective routes to citizenship: Turkey and Grenada. We have helped clients obtain E-2 visas via both countries. It takes a matter of months to complete the entire process.

Grenada offers citizenship in exchange for a real estate investment from $220,000 or a donation to the government of $150,000 (more depending on how many family members you are bringing). It takes less than three months to obtain the passport, you don’t need to visit during this process, and Grenada allows dual citizenship so you do not need to give up your existing citizenship (unless this is required by the other country).

Turkey offers citizenship in exchange for a $250,000 investment in Real Estate or a $500,000 in bank deposits held with a Turkish bank. The process takes only slightly longer and citizenship can be obtained in just a few months.

Both countries offer many benefits aside from the E-2 visa. Both are dynamic economies with considerable investment opportunities. Some of our clients prefer Turkey because it is an international transit hub often en route between their home country and the United States. Others prefer Grenada for its proximity to their new home in the United States.

A third option is Montenegro. It is newer and a bit more expensive that the other programs. It requires a minimum €250,000 investment in Real Estate as well as a €100,000 donation. Montenegro shares a border with the European Union and it is a candidate for membership.

Our attorneys can talk you through the whole process. Our clients who have pursued this route have found it surprisingly simply. To discuss your circumstances with our team, please contact us to arrange a free consultation.

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.


E2 Visa: You Now No Longer Need a Physical Office Space

By Sukanya Raman, Associate, D&A Mumbai Office

On July 17th 2020, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) was updated by the United States Department of State (DOS). The updates state that an applicant need not have a physical office space to qualify for E Visa.

E-1  Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visa applicants shall benefit the most. E-1 and E-2 visas are non-immigrant visas. Under an E-1 visa, applicants of the treaty country are permitted to enter the U.S. wholly to engage in international trade. Under the E-2 visa, applicants of the treaty country are permitted to enter the U.S. by investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.

The E visa the classification has a lengthy list of requirements, a few of the  general ones are as follows:

Treaty Agreement

Nationality of E visa qualifying country

50% ownership and/or control & possession

Trade is predominantly between the United States and the treaty country

Enterprise must be real and operating a commercial enterprise

Substantial capital investment

Must be in the position to “develop and direct” the enterprise

Physical office space (no longer mandatory)

Above mentioned are a few mandatory requirements for the E visa application. However, having a physical office space is now optional to qualify for an E visa application.

E visa can now be available for businesses with virtual offices in the U.S. This gives the flexibility to  the applicants to save a huge amount of money from the substantial capital investment in leasing office space and other associated costs to it. We see a lot of clients substantial capital investment amount was invested in leasing the office premises, which they can now utilize in the business for explanation or for development, provided the other requirement of the E visas are met.

The new FAM  reads as “An applicant does not necessarily need a physical office space to qualify for an E visa.  Although having physical office space may be relevant in determining whether the requirements for an E visa have been met, it is not a requirement to qualify for the visa.”

The E-2 Visa is available to citizens of Treaty Countries. Click here to see if your country is on the list. If your country is not on the list, it is possible to become eligible by first obtaining citizenship of an E-2 Treaty country. Click here to learn more about this process.

sraman@usimmigrationadvisor.com

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.


EB-5 Visa, L-1 Visa, E-2 Visa

E2 Visa Validity and Authorized Stay in the United States: Know the Difference

Cost of EB 5 Visa

Mark I. Davies is the Global Managing Partner and founder of our firm. Mark also Chairs our Global Business and Investor visa team and focuses his practice on EB5, L1, E2 and other business and investor visa solutions.

 

There is significant confusion as to the difference between E2 visa validity and the period of authorized stay in the United States.

What an E2 Visa Does?
A valid, unexpired, E2 visa gives you the ability to come to the US border and seek entry to the United States in E2 status.  Although an E2 visa does NOT grant the right to be inside the United States in E2 status or any other status it ordinarily results in a visa holder being lawfully admitted to the United States in E2 status.Beyond the tweet, there is very little detail on what would be covered in the executive order. Immigration is a broad concept in the United States, ranging from asylum and the rights of undocumented workers to green cards for investors under the EB-5 Visa program. Would, for example, spouses of Americans (K-1 visas) be included in a ban?

What is E2 Status
E2 status is legal status granted to individuals located in the United States who have been admitted to the United States under the terms and conditions of the E2 program or had their status changed to E2 status from another visa category.

How do I obtain E2 Status?
There are two ways to obtain E2 status:

  1. Using an E2 Visa to Seek Entry to the United States at an International Border
    When you use your E2 visa to come to a US border and seek entry to the United States the CBP officer at the border will approve or refuse your admittance into the United States in E2 visa status. Usually the officer at the border will admit the holder of a valid E2 visa holder into the United States for a period of two years of authorized stay, regardless of when the E2 visa expires.Please note that while a period of two years is usually granted on occasion CBP officers have granted a period of authorized stay of less than two years.  In addition, CBP officers often make mistakes when documenting the period of authorized stay in the US Government’s computer systems.
    Retrieve your Form I-94 here
  2. Change of Status
    If you are already in the United States in another visa status it is possible to “change status” to E2 status from within the United States.   In this way it is possible to be in lawful E2 status in the United States without ever having obtained an E2 visa.


My Authorized Stay is About to Expire but my E2 visa is still Valid?

The fact that you have a valid E2 visa is irrelevant to your period of authorized stay in the United States.  To extend your period of stay in lawful E2 status you can either:

  1. Apply for an extension of status form USCIS; or
  2. Leave the country and re-enter the US using your valid E2 visa. You will likely be given another two (2) year period of stay when you re-enter the US.

I am Inside the US and my E2 Visa has Expired
The fact that your E2 visa has expired is completely irrelevant to your period of authorized stay in the United States.  You can continue to live and work in the US until your period of authorized stay has expired.

When you next leave the United States you will need to go to a US consulate to obtain a new E2 visa renewed.  You will need a new E2 visa to re-enter the United States.

How do I know How Long my Period of Authorized E2 Stay is or if a Mistake has Been Made?
Every time you enter the US you must, within 24 hours, download a copy of your I-94 after entering the US.

Make sure the details are correct and that you have been granted a period of stay of two years.  If there is a mistake you can return to CBP at the port where you entered the US to have changes made.