E-2 Visa. # Treaty, #Investment, #Substantial.
Updated: May 22, 2018
There are two types of visas: immigrant and non-immigrant. Non-immigrant visas are obtained outside the United States, at a consulate or embassy. People with valid I-94s can change or extend their status inside the United States.
Certain countries enter into Friendship, Trade and Navigation Treaties and Bilateral Treaties with States. Some of these treaties include immigration benefits for people with that citizenship. The list of countries changes according to the policy, but there are some countries like Colombia, Macedonia, and Costa Rica that have treaties with the United States that date back to the 1800s. Individuals and companies whose owners (50%) have Honduran or Costa Rican citizenship, for example, can obtain an E. Mexico visa for Mexicans the right to apply for an E-1 / E-2 visa in 1994 through NAFTA. Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua are still waiting. . .
How an E-2 visa works:
Assume that an American citizen is 50% owner of a business and a Costa Rican person (not a permanent resident or American citizen) is 50% owner of the same business. For purposes of the E-2 visa, the company is Costa Rican despite having been incorporated in the United States. The Costa Rican citizen (not American, nor permanent American resident) must have invested or be in the process of investing in a business, developing and directing it. The amount of the investment must be substantial. In my opinion, although defined by law, the substantial term leaves much to the discretion of the consul and diplomacy. An investment in a coffee shop, for example, can also provide jobs for U.S. workers, give opportunity to the manager and essential Costa Rican workers. Both the E-1 visa and the E-2 visa can be extended indefinitely, as long as the investment remains in place and people with an E visa intend to leave at the end of their legal stay in that status. The list of reasons why you can be denied an E visa is long and this example assumes that the person meets all other legal requirements.
Attorney Maria M. Cordon can help you determine if you are eligible, prove the facts and how the facts comply with the law to apply for an E visa.