The provisions of the E2 visa program have a lot of benefits for migrants. Compared to the EB5 Immigrant Investor Visa that has a $500,000 investment requirement and the obligation to create nothing less than 10 jobs, the E2 treaty investor visa is a route for businesspersons to enter the US with their families and employees while making a much lower investment. The E2 visa came under a trade agreement with the US. The first country to sign this trade agreement with the US to enjoy the E2 visa benefits was the UK, way back in 1815.
The E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, but its holder can extend its validity for as many times as they like. It requires the holder to continue running their business in the US. There have been many E2 visa holders who wanted to convert their non-immigrant visas to a migrant visa — the ‘Green Card’ — but generally, it is not an easy process, so many of them were unsuccessful.
The E2 visa scheme no longer covers children of E2 visa holders who have reached the age of 21. This makes it a serious problem for many beneficiaries of the E2 visa. The possibility of staying in the US when a child has clocked 21 is very low. As it is, in many cases, undocumented migrants may be in a better situation than legal migrants like the children of E2 visa holders. Undocumented migrants actually have hope for obtaining an E2 visa following the route provided by DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
Will the bill pass under the Trump administration?
John Rutherford and Ann Kuster, a Florida Republican and New Hampshire Democrat respectively, introduced the E2 Visa Improvement Act in April 2019. But at it is, there is a low likelihood that the E2 legislation will be changed. It was low when Obama was on the seat and is even more difficult now with Trump as president.
The success of the H.R 2124 bill is important to many E2 visa families. The bill is pushing for eligibility for the ‘Green Card’ for E2 beneficiaries after staying for 10 years in the US. Their children will be able to stay till they are 26 years old, by which time, they may already have become permanent residents.
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