Stewart Rabinowitz Comments on Proposed Legislation that Would Provide Permanent Resident Status to Certain Treaty Investors
Sep 11, 2015
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 11, 2015 – A bill has been introduced in Congress that would allow foreign nationals who are in the United States in E-2 status to become eligible to apply for permanent U.S. residency after 10 years in E-2 status.
As background, the United States has treaties with more than 60 countries that provide for investment. The treaties permit citizens of a treaty country to make an investment in the United States provided the treaty investor meets certain requirements. The E-2 treaty investor visa must make a substantial investment in an active commercial enterprise, and be coming to the United States to direct and develop that investment through a business entity that has the nationality of the treaty country.
Under current law, the treaty investor can renew his or her E-2 visa abroad or extend E-2 status in the United States as long as the approved E-2 investment continues. The E-2 Visa Improvement Act, H.R. 1834, would allow long-term E-2 treaty investors to become lawful permanent residents.
“Offering a path to permanent resident status to long-term E-2 nonimmigrant investors is a good idea,” said Stewart Rabinowitz, a prominent Dallas immigration attorney with Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. “It will enhance the value of E-2 treaty benefits and provide a less expensive way for investors to bring their ingenuity, generate jobs and improve our economy. Overall, it will encourage greater investment in the United States.”
The E-2 Visa Improvement Act of 2015 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. David Jolly (R-FL). Jolly said that business owners who come to the United States on E-2 visas bring an “entrepreneurial spirit” and “fully integrate into our communities,” and they should be able to “take the next step in carrying out the American dream.”
For E-2 treaty investors, there is no direct path to permanent residence, a gap that the proposed legislation would fill. Unlike the EB-5 program, which provides lawful permanent resident status, but requires that the EB-5 new commercial enterprise employ at least 10 U.S. workers and that the EB-5 investor make a statutory minimum investment of at least $500,000, an E-2 treaty investor must make an investment determined to be “substantial,” based on the cost of establishing or purchasing the planned business.
It does not require a statutorily fixed minimum investment amount, which may be out of the reach of many foreign national investors. Under the proposed legislation, to qualify for lawful permanent resident status, the E-2 treaty investor must employ at least two full-time employees in addition to a 10-year period in E-2 status.
Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.
2591 Dallas Parkway, Suite 300
Frisco, TX 75034
By Appointment Only
Three Galleria Tower
13155 Noel Road, Suite 900
Dallas, TX 75240
- Legislation introduced to extend the EB-5 program proposes major changes
Bi-partisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to extend the EB-5 regional center program for immigrant investors, and it includes significant changes. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced Senate Bill 1501 on June 3. The proposed legislation would implement a five-year extension of the EB-5 regional center program, which would […]
- U.S. to Increase Security for Visa Waiver Participants
On August 6, 2015, United States Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced plans to increase security for countries whose citizens can participate in the Visa Waiver program. The Visa Waiver program currently includes 38 countries. Citizens of those countries can apply for admission to the United States as a visitor without first obtaining a […]
- USCIS issues final guidance on when to file an amended H-1B petition
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued final guidance regarding when an amended H-1B petition must be filed, after USCIS’ Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) issued the precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC. Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC concerns the H-1B visa classification, a nonimmigrant category which permits a U.S. employer to employ a […]