E-2 Treaty Investor non-immigrant visa holders could get Green Card after 10 years and their children can legally work from age 18Posted: May 5th, 2015 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | No Comments »
Sarasota Immigration Law Firm, Jaensch Immigration, are behind a new Bill being proposed by local Congressman David Jolly that would give E-2 Treaty Investor non-immigrant visas holders the right to apply for a Green Card after 10 years. It would also allow their children to stay in the country between the ages of 18 and 26 and be able to work without applying for their own visa.
Sarasota business immigration attorney, P. Christopher Jaensch, thinks that the new bill, if passed, could significantly improve the Florida economy. He says,
“We already use the E-2 Treaty Investor visa as one of the main strategies for Canadians and Europeans who want to spend more time in the U.S. The visa requires them to invest a substantial amount of money—usually more than $100,000—in an active business that will create jobs for U.S. workers. They can start a new business or purchase an existing business, but must own a controlling interest and must come from a country with an investment treaty with the U.S. However, many of our clients express dismay that they are making a major investment in the U.S. without having a way to get permission to stay permanently. For clients with children, they are very concerned about how the children will be able to stay in the U.S. once they are 21. This proposed law would help address these concerns and, I think, would increase the number of investors interested in the E-2 program.”
Karen Galkoff moved to Sarasota from the UK in 2013 with her husband and 3 children to open Fringe Spa Salon on an E-2 visa. Karen explains, “We’ve opened a business and we’re not only creating employment but also putting money back into the local economy by using local suppliers. Fringe has expanded and is growing nearly 100% year on year. Whilst we have a 5 year visa we always have “what if it’s not renewed” and “what happens when the kids want to get jobs” in the back of our minds. The proposed changes would give us the confidence to drive forward with our growth plans in Sarasota.”
Florida congressman, David Jolly, has announced that he will be filing a bill that would allow those on E-2 Treaty Investor non-immigrant visas to gain lawful permanent residence after ten years. The Bill would also remove a huge headache that most investors face and that’s their children being able to stay and work in the USA once they turn 18. Jolly’s proposed Bill “E-2 Visa Improvement Act of 2015” is at the very early stages. The key facts are as follows:
- The E-2 visa holder needs to have lived and successfully worked in the USA for at least 10 years
- They must have created full time employment for no fewer than two individuals
- There will be a limitation of 10,000 visas in any fiscal year
- At 18 Children can work and then remain in the US until they are 26 (regardless of length of time their parents have held an E-2)
- Children 26 years of age or younger would automatically be covered
Speaking to an audience in Pinellas Park, Congressman Jolly said: “Every day the immigration reform debate hits the headlines, but only focuses on those here in the US illegally, what about those who are legally obliged to be here?”
A key driver for Congressman Jolly is to help encourage international entrepreneurs to come to the USA and share their talents and expertise. Speaking to an audience in Pinellas Park, Congressman Jolly said: “Every day the immigration reform debate hits the headlines, but only focuses on those here in the US illegally, what about those who are legally obliged to be here? Those who enter our country legally on nonimmigrant E-2 Treaty Investor Visas come from all over the world to start a business in our country, bringing with them the entrepreneurial spirit to start businesses and fully integrate into our communities. Without an opportunity for permanent residency these visa holders cannot take the next step in carrying out the American dream that initially brought them to the United States. So this week introduced H.R. 1834, a bill that allows business owners in the United States on E-2 visas the opportunity for permanent residency after 10 years. Currently, all E-2 nonimmigrants must maintain an intention to depart the U.S. when their status expires or is terminated. Further, their children must leave the United States or apply for another visa when they turn 21 years old. Under my bill, children of E-2 Treaty Investor Visa holders can stay in the U.S. until they are 26 years old and can apply for work at 18 years of age.”
The Bill does not propose changing the need to re-apply for an E-2 visa until the minimum time of 10 years in the USA has been achieved meaning that those on a 5 year visa will still need to renew at the 5th and 10th year. According to the US Department of State, there were over 35,000 E-2 Visa’s approved in 2013.
Congressman Jolly went on to say: “I think people in Congress will recognize the importance of addressing legal immigration at the same time we’re having a national debate about illegal immigration. It’s only fair that we do so and it’s right that we do so. Whenever you have comprehensive immigration reform, it is hard to pass small provisions. This one, I hope, is a very simple one that we could move outside of the comprehensive immigration reform. Let’s recognize the contribution of legal immigrants now, but it may be that this gets wrapped into comprehensive immigration reform, and I’m okay with that. We’re prepared to have that conversation.”