The E-2 Visa and Real Property Investments

The E-2 investor visa was created to allow entrepreneurs from countries which maintain a trade and commerce treaty with the United States to establish new businesses in the U.S. through investment. Though E-2 visas are less often granted for investments in real property, there is a possibility that this type of investment may qualify for an E-2 visa if certain conditions are met. Here, we elaborate on these conditions. Before qualifying for an E-2 visa using a real property investment, a real property investor must first qualify for the E-2 visa through three requirements. Firstly, the entrepreneur must have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States. The investment cannot be a relatively small amount of capital in a marginal enterprise initiated solely for the purpose of earning a living. The business must also be active, meaning that an investment that is earned through minimal activity and with little daily effort or upkeep, such as investments in stocks, would not qualify. Secondly, the investor must be seeking entry into the United States solely to develop and direct the enterprise. And thirdly, the investor must intend […]
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DHS Proposes to Rescind the International Entrepreneur Rule

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing to end the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER). IER is a USCIS regulation that aims to encourage foreign entrepreneurship in the U.S. This proposal follows DHS’s review of parole programs, as mandated by the Executive Order titled Border Security and Enforcement Improvements, issued on January 25, 2017.  Under IER, foreign entrepreneurs can be granted parole to temporarily work for and develop their start-up business while living in the U.S., based on evaluation of certain criteria. A major consideration is whether there are urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefits to be gained. DHS published a rule in July 2017 to delay implementation of IER to March 14, 2018. However, in December of 2017, a federal court vacated this July rule and required implementation of IER immediately. IER has technically been in effect since the December 2017 ruling, and DHS is now proposing to remove it.   DHS presents three reasons why it wishes to remove this rule. First, it believes that IER represents an overly broad interpretation of parole authority. Second, DHS states that IER lacks sufficient protections for U.S. workers and investors. Third, DHS proposes that IER is not the appropriate vehicle […]
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American Consulate in Toronto Implementing New Appointment Scheduling System for E-Visas

On December 5, 2017, the American consulate in Toronto implemented a new appointment scheduling system for E-visas. The new system is strictly a processing change that will allow the consulate to receive and review E-visa applications before the applicant schedules an in-person interview. Compared to the old system, which permitted applicants to schedule an appointment before submitting an application or supporting documentation, the new appointment scheduling system is anticipated to speed up processing times. When an E-visa application is submitted under the new system, it will be sorted into two processing streams based on the time needed to review the required documentation. First-time applicants and any individual wishing to renew the registration status of their E-visa company will be offered a “deferred interview” appointment. Also, keep in mind that first-time applicants and those wishing to renew the registration status of their E-visa company must apply in Toronto and will be provided with instructions on how to electronically submit their application and supporting documents to the U.S. Consulate in Toronto via [email protected] In addition, an applicant will still be required to create an appointment profile and pay the necessary visa application fee online, but the interview will be deferred until applicants […]
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Temporarily Working in the U.S.

There are numerous options available to foreign nationals who wish to enter the U.S. and work on a temporary basis. The first step is acquiring a nonimmigrant visa or work permit. This allows an individual to enter and work in the States for a limited period of time. The application process begins with an employer filing a paper-based petition with USCIS, and if approved, the beneficiary (foreign national seeking temporary work authorization) may then apply for a visa or work permit at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. This process is a little different for citizens of specific countries seeking entry based on specific work permit categories. Thanks to NAFTA, Canadian citizens may apply for L-1 and TN status in-person at a Class A port-of-entry. As an added bonus, this on-the-spot adjudication procedure means that if approved, the beneficiary can begin working that same day. Here is a breakdown of the nonimmigrant categories available to foreign nationals seeking temporary employment in the U.S.: NAFTA Professionals (TN): The TN category was created under the North American Free Trade Agreement. It enables citizens of Canada and Mexico to enter the U.S. to engage in business activities at a professional level. The applicant […]
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