Lauren Gray has lived in a small Missouri town, where her parents own a restaurant and hotel, since she was four years old. But when she turns 21, the former cheerleader and college grad may be forced to return to England, where she was born. Because her parents immigrated to the United States through an E-2 treaty investor visa, she has never been granted permanent residency in America.
This issue is just one of many that immigration reform advocates believe should change in the near future, and unfortunately, it is one of the major drawbacks of the E-2 visa. While this non-immigration visa is a great choice for foreigners from treaty countries who wish to actively run a business in the United States, it is vital that all applicants understand the challenges and disadvantages of the visa before committing to it.
- It is a non-immigration visa. Unlike some other investment visas, this visa is not designed for those who wish to secure a green card or U.S. Citizenship. The visa must be renewed every few years, and there is a possibility it could be rejected years down the road, especially if your business closes.
- It carries a significant risk. While all investments involve an element of risk, the E-2 visa requires that applicants make their investment before the visa petition is submitted. In addition, there is no guarantee that the investment or the petition will be successful.
- Your spouse and children will face restrictions. Unlike the EB-5 investor visa, your spouse and children are not allowed to work in the United States and are not eligible for the college tuitions offered to citizens.
- You must actively run a business. Unlike some other investment visas, this visa requires the investor to actively run a business – you cannot simply invest in stocks or buy a property. Again, this may mean that your visa will not get renewed if you wish to stop business.
- Your country must have a qualifying treaty with the United States. Some of the largest and most populated countries, such as China and India, are not eligible for this visa option.
Although these challenges and disadvantages are important to consider, you should note that this visa is a great choice for a number of families seeking to open a business in the U.S. To learn more about your immigration options, speak with a California visa attorney at Jatoi & de Kirby, APC today.