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How to Apply for US VISA - Family-based Green Cards - E2 Visas

E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa reserved for investors from countries that have commerce
Immigration Law
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  • Registration of Foreigners in India | Regulations Applicable To Foreigners In India | Preserving Residence as a US Green Card Holder While Residing in India

    E2 Visas

    An E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa reserved for investors from countries that have commerce and navigation treaties or bi-lateral investment treaties with the United States who have invested substantial capital in a U.S. company and who wish to come to the United States to develop and direct business operations of the enterprise.

    Who Is Eligible For An E2 Visa

    # Alien investors whose home country maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation or bi-lateral investment with the United States
    # Who have made a "substantial investment" (normally at least $25,000 or more) in a U.S. business
    # The business is 50 percent owned by citizens of that treaty country
    # Who intend to come to the United States to direct the operations of the enterprise in a capacity that is either executive, supervisory, or involves specialized skills
    # Who possess means of support independent of the enterprise.

    What constitutes a "substantial investment" that would justify the grant of an E-2 visa?

    While there is no particular dollar amount specified under the law, the investment must amount to more than 50 percent ownership in an enterprise that generates active income, rather than passive income, such as that derived from rental properties. In practice, some immigration lawyers believe that a minimum of $25,000 is necessary, however. In short, the investment must be substantial in relation to the total amount invested in the enterprise.

    E-2 visa applicants can bolster their case by demonstrating that jobs for U.S. workers would be created through the investment.

    Must the alien invest his or her own money to be eligible for an E-2 visa?

    They usually do. However, under some circumstances, an E-2 visa recipient may be an employee of a foreign company that qualifies as a treaty investor. But the employee must come to the United States in an executive or supervisory capacity to direct the enterprise or possess a specialized skill needed by the enterprise.

    May an E-2 visa holder be accompanied to the United States by his or her spouse and children?

    Yes. The spouse and unmarried, minor children of an E-2 visa holder may accompany him or her to the United States on E-2 visas as well. This visa, however, does not automatically grant the spouse and children the right to work in the United States.

    May an E-2 visa holder apply for permanent residency in the United States?

    Yes. Like other non-immigrant visas, such as the H1-B for alien professionals, an E-2 visa entitles its holder to apply for permanent residency.

    How Long Are E-2 Visas Valid?

    Two years. E-2 visas are renewable for an indefinite period, as long as the visa holder continues in the same capacity and the business is actively engaged in trade or services.

    Countries that Maintain Treaties of Navigation and Commerce with the United States for E-2 Visa Purposes

    Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Congo, Romania, Senegal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.

    Obtaining a non-immigrant visa can be a complicated process and may not always end with the desired result. While it is possible to obtain such visas successfully on your own, you may wish to save time and effort by hiring a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer. Our Find-a-Lawyer feature can put you in touch with an experienced attorney right now.

    Family-based Green Cards

    You can become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act allows for the immigration of foreigners to the United States based on relationship to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

    Family-based immigration falls under two basic categories: unlimited and limited. Unlimited family-based immigrants are immediate relatives. The INS defines an "immediate relative" for U.S. citizens as parents, spouses, widows and children. For a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), an "immediate relative" is defined as your spouse and unmarried minor children. The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative is filed for them and approved by the INS. An immigrant visa number will be immediately available for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent relatives.

    Preference System
    Limited family-based relatives fall under the following preference system:

    Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their children, if any. (23,400 per year + unused from fourth preference)

    Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (over age 20) of lawful permanent residents. (114,200 per year + unused visas from first preference) At least 77 percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder will be allocated to unmarried sons and daughters.

    Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children. (923,400 per year + unused visas from first and second preference)

    Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of United States citizens, and their spouses and children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age. (65,000 per year + unused visas from first, second and third preference)

    If you are a U.S. citizen you may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the United States; however you must be able to provide proof of the relationships:
    * Husband or wife;
    * Unmarried child under 21 years old;
    * Unmarried son or daughter over 21;
    * Married son or daughter of any age;
    * Brother or sister if you are at least 21 years old;
    * Parent, if you are at least 21 years old.

    If you are a lawful permanent resident you may file this form for:
    * Your husband or wife
    * Your unmarried child.

    How Do I Apply?
    U.S. citizen files the following items with the INS:

    # I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative ($110)
    # Proof of relationship to alien relative (e.g., marriage certificate, birth certificate)
    # I-864 Affidavit of support (no fee) requires the immigrant's sponsor to demonstrate an income level at or above 125 percent of the federal poverty line.
    # U.S. citizen's proof of citizenship (e.g., passport, birth certificate)

    Once INS receives your packet of information, it will be approved or denied. Once the petition is approved, they will send the petitioner a notice of approval, form I-797. INS will also forward the approved petition to the Immigrant Visa Processing Center, which will contact the intending immigrant with further information.

    Numerical Limitations
    Whenever there are more qualified applicants for a category than there are available numbers, the category will be considered oversubscribed, and immigrant visas will be issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed until the numerical limit for the category is reached. The filing date of a petition becomes the applicant's priority date. Immigrant visas cannot be issued until an applicant's priority date is reached. In certain heavily oversubscribed categories, there may be a waiting period of several years before a priority date is reached. Check the State Department's Visa Bulletin for the latest priority dates.

    Obtaining an immigrant visa can be a complicated process and may not always end with the desired result. While it is possible to obtain such visas successfully on your own, you may wish to save time and effort by hiring a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer. Our Find-a-Lawyer feature can put you in touch with an experienced attorney right now.

    To contact Immigration lawyers in USA click on the links below:
    lawyers in Chicago | lawyers in New York | lawyers in Los Angeles | lawyers in Philadelphia | lawyers in San Francisco | lawyers in Boston | lawyers in Houston

    Immigration Laws in India:
    Immigration Laws, provisions under the Constitution of India, The Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, The Immigration (Carriers' liability) Act, 2000 and the complete procedure to be followed for immigration into India.

    Certain US Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Processes:
    The US Embassy in India, which has a visa section, is located in New Delhi. There are three additional consular posts at Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta) and Chennai (Madras).

    Want to Experience the India Story Firsthand?- Get the Appropriate Visa: Growing interest in doing business in India has seen a rise in the number of foreigners traveling to India.

    Foreigners: Visa and Registration:
    All foreigners desirous of visiting India should have a valid passport, all accredited travel documents.

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