NONIMMIGRANT VISAS - E Visas/Treaty
Purpose of this Visa:
This Visa enables
nationals of certain countries to live and do business in the US by investing
a “substantial” sum in the United States into a business or
to set up a branch in the United States of a foreign company, which already
does substantial trade with the United States.
E 1 Treaty Trader:
The E Visa category is divided into the E1 Treaty Trader and E2 Treaty
Investor category. For E1 status, the Alien has to show 1) that he has
a business in the foreign country 2) that the business in the foreign
country does substantial trade with the United States 3) that there is
a need for expansion of business for the foreign company to set up a branch
in the US to further improve trade. The amount of investment in the US
business is not important.
E 2 Treaty Investor:
For the Treaty Investor class, the foreign national has to show that he
has set up a new business, purchased an existing US business or joined
an existing US business, and that to do so he has invested substantial
amount of funds.
Substantial funds is not defined but if the question whether the investment
sum is sufficient to generate a reasonable income for the Alien and his
family can be answered in the positive, the Visa will probably will be
issued. As a rule of thumb, not with any certainty, any sum in the excess
of US$70,000 would probably be acceptable. The greater the investment,
the greater the chance of Visa approval.
Although for most Visas, the application is initially made through the
United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service in the United
States after approval of which the Alien applies to the United States
Consulate in the foreign country for Visa issuance; in the case of E Visas,
as in the case of B Visitor Visas, the application can be made direct
to the United States Consulate in the foreign country. The work involved
is complex, and the need to engage the services of an attorney skilled
in United States Visa procedures is essential.
Once the Alien has confirmed plans toward proceeding in this Visa category,
the Alien has to commence the establishment of the business to the extent
that the business is ready for operation. This would mean that all contracts
have to be signed, premises leased, equipment purchased and all other
steps be taken to the point that the business is ready for operation.
Upon filing the package with the United States Consulate, the Consulate
makes a determination on the application. If the application is deficient,
the Visa officer will communicate with the Attorney the need to correct
the deficiency. When the Visa officer is satisfied, the Visa will be issued.
Duration of the Visa:
Although the E Visa is a non-immigrant Visa, it is valid for an indefinite
period provided it is regularly renewed and the alien continues to run
the US business.
Conversion to Permanent Residence:
This non-immigrant Visa can be converted into US permanent residency by
showing that the business has generated US $0.5 million (for investment
in depressed high unemployment areas of the US) or US $ 1 million for
investment in any area in the US. The procedure is to re-structure the
business showing the relevant investment and the satisfaction of a second
condition that at least 10 US Citizens or US permanent residents have
been provided employment.
Gopalan Nair Attorneys at Law / E Visa / How
We Can Assist:
Potential clients may contact us on the procedure to obtain E Visas. Gopalan
Nair Attorneys at Law will prepare all papers, oversee all contracts,
ensure proper company registration procedures and ensure that legal requirements
for E Visa category have been met. We will prepare the package for the
foreign United States Consulate, and attend the interview at the Consulate
if requested by the client, to ensure Visa issuance.
As Attorneys for the client, Gopalan Nair Attorneys at Law will ensure
that Visas are properly renewed and the client continues to maintain valid
status in the United States.
The E Visa Category is a valuable visa for foreign businessmen
who wish to do business in the United States. As United States Visas are
generally convertible to other non-immigrant or immigrant Visa categories,
for those who subsequently wish to permanently reside in the United States,
they may convert to permanent residence status. However, at the time of
application of E Visa, the Alien must show non-immigrant intent.
Countries in the E1 Treaty Trader and E2 Investor
(please note that this list is not conclusive and the countries may be
added or taken out according to international relations with the US) The
countries presently in this category are nationals of the following countries:
Singapore, Brunei, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Canada, China (Taiwan only), Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia,
Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Iran (but may be
a problem because of US sanctions), Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea,
Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman,
Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Slovenia, Spain, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland,
Thailand, Togo, Turkey, UK, Yugoslavia, Albania, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh,
Bulgaria, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa, Czech Republic,
Ecuador, Egypt, Georgia, Granada, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova,
Mongolia, Morocco, Panama, Poland, Rumania, Senegal, Slovak Republic,
Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine. This list is not exclusive
as new countries may be added and existing countries being taken out depending
on prevailing state of international diplomacy.