A MUST READ FOR ANY E-2 VISA HOLDER
A press release and information as received from Congresswoman Heather Wilson’s office.
This should excite every E2 holder, but what now becomes crucial is making contact with every Congress representative throughout the US wherever your business is located..Ideally you need to speak with the person who handles “immigration” issues, alert them to this Adjustment act, ask for a meeting so that you can fully explain your personal & business situation.
The Wilson Bill Will Help Small Business Success Stories Stay in the US
Change would allow legal business owners to gain permanent status
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Heather Wilson today introduced legislation to help legal residents in the U.S. with an E-2 Investor Treaty Visa gain permanent status after building a business here.
Bob and Patricia Franklin, who live in Albuquerque, came to America on an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa 15 years ago and have built a thriving business, Budget Transmissions. Under current law, they cannot even apply for permanent residency in the U.S. no matter how long they have been here or how much of a contribution they have made to the community by creating jobs.
“People like Bob and Patricia need to be able to plan for their businesses, their families and their futures. I want to change the law so that they can apply to change their status to permanent residency so they’ll stay here and keep growing jobs in our community,” Wilson said.
Like the Franklins, people here on E-2 Visas run businesses, have invested in America, and created jobs. The Franklins purchased Budget Transmissions, an automotive repair shop, which included 7 employees and a $350,000 turnover. Fifteen years later, they are half way through the purchase of a 13,000-square-foot building valued in excess of $1 million, employ 11 full-time employees, and bring in about $1.4 million dollars annually. Their employees receive competitive pay, benefits and training. They also have a 16-year-old son who is an aviator and a student at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque.
Wilson’s legislation, the E-2 Nonimmigrant Investor Adjustment Act of 2007, will fix a glitch in the law and give individuals on an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa the opportunity to apply to change their status to permanent resident after meeting certain requirements.
Currently, individuals who come to America on an E-2 Treaty Investor visa cannot become permanent residents and their children cannot stay in the country as adults.
The legislation could help 165 people in New Mexico and 143,786 nationally, according to 2005 data.
What is an E-2 Investor Treaty Visa?
· It is a visa category dating back to the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
· It provides a way for non-immigrants to legally live in the United States by investing in an enterprise and making a positive impact on the economy.
· These individuals operate a small business and pay taxes.
· It is typically issued for 2 or 5 years and must be renewed in order for them to stay in the U.S.
What is the problem with E-2 Investor Visas?
· Children face uncertainty. When children turn 21 they must return to their country of origin or apply for a separate visa – in most cases a student visa. Many of these visas are capped meaning they might not receive another visa.
· If they ever decide to retire or sell their business they must return to their country of origin regardless of the sometimes lifelong investment they’ve made in the American economy.
· No matter how long they’ve been in the U.S., currently they are not allowed to adjust their status to a permanent resident or begin a path to American citizenship.
What does the Wilson legislation do?
· The legislation would allow 3,000 people in America on E-2 Investor Visas each fiscal year to change their status to permanent resident if they meet the criteria.
· To qualify, they must be present in the U.S. for 5 years before being able to apply for permanent residency.
· They must make measurable and significant contributions to the economy:
· Invest $200,000 in an enterprise.
· Employ at least 2 full-time employees when the business starts up and by the end of the third year employ at least 3 full-time employees.
· People already in America on an E-2 Visa, would have to have a minimum continuous presence of 5 years in the U.S. and have a continuous operation of a business.
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