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What E-2 Visa Holders Need To Know About Green Card Application

Date : 8/9/2016  
Name :  Alicia Baker 
State :  CA 
URL :  http://www.allgoodlawyers.com 
Category :  Immigration Law 
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What E-2 Visa Holders Need To Know About Green Card Application

E-2 visa holders who have entered the United States to supervise and manage their investment can apply for a green card to make their stay more permanent. They can apply for a green card by filing a petition for their employment-based immigration or family-based immigration.

Most applicants coming to the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa are required to return to their native countries after a specified length of time. In many cases, those applicants must state that they do not plan to apply for a green card so that they can receive the visa they are using to come to the U.S. However, individuals who have an E-2 visa are allowed to come to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant, and still be able to apply for a green card. This doctrine is known as dual intent, meaning that they may receive a green card based on their employment, their relationship to a family member who is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, through an adjustment of status, or via the EB-5 immigrant category.

Basis for Employment-Based Immigration

In order for an E-2 nonimmigrant to obtain a green card, they must be sponsored by a United States employer. The dual intent doctrine allows them to remain in the U.S. during this process. However, in order to be able to file the petition, the employer will have to complete a lengthy Labor Certification process. This helps ensure that no United States residents can fill the position to their liking. Timing is also another important consideration and it may take six to nine or more months for the whole process.

Other Immigration Types

Some types of employment-based immigration visa petitions such as the EB-1 classification do not require Labor Certification. Similarly, the National Interest Waiver for foreign nationals also does not require Labor Certification.

In case of family-based immigration, the individual will not lose their E-2 status during the application process if they are related to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. In that case, the relative may be able to sponsor them for a green card.

Nonimmigrants who have an approved immigration petition can also apply for a green card directly through 'Adjustment of Status.' Although E-2 visa holders are prohibited from applying for permanent residence generally through adjustment of status, it can be done if the E-2 visa holder agrees to waive their treaty trader program rights. However, it is always advised to consult with an immigration attorney before waiving your treaty investor rights in order to understand that you may be giving up important legal rights and tax benefits.

What is the EB-5 Immigrant Category?

The EB-5 immigrant category applies to those E-2 investors who have more than $500,000 to $1 million capital to invest in the United States. This immigrant category provides permanent residence to the investor who invests the amount in a U.S. business and employs at least 10 U.S. citizens or permanent residents on a full-time basis. For more questions, queries, and details, it is advised to consult with an immigration attorney.

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