Martin Lawler is an immigration attorney based in San Francisco, California serving many international clients from China, Vietnam, and many other countries. Recently, their have been some important changes that may affect your ability to qualify for an E-2 entreprenuer visa.

According to Martin Lawler the recent E-2 visa news took affect on August 20th, 2019 when the E-2 non immigrant visa underwent changes for French nationals. Previously, a qualifying candidate was assured a 5 year immigration approval into the United States after qualifying for the E-2 Visa. After August 20th, 2019 French immigrants were notified with surprising news that their visa approval would only be approved conditionally for a period of 15 months.

            So what is an E-2 Visa as understood by Martin Lawler?

Currently the United States has reciprocal treaties with over 80 countries that allow foreign nationals to obtain an E-2 Visa after meeting the standards that are intended for business people who have reason to work in the United States as an executive, a manager, or what is considered as an “essential” worker for the success of the business. To qualify the foreign national must hold the same nationality as the majority of the owners of the business that does business in the United States.  So to be considered for the E-2 visa, according to Martin Lawler, the candidate must be from a country where the business is owned by nationals from the same country.

            What is the best way to qualify for the E-2 Visa according to Martin Lawler?

            If you are an entrepreneur from a qualifying country, and you have a business relationship that meets the requirements detailed in the previous section, then you also need to keep in mind that to qualify you will have invest a substantial amount of money into the business. Broadly speaking, this is one of the ways that the United States of America’s immigration department is able to see proof that you have a substantial interest in working in the U.S. while also positively stimulating the U.S. economy. The amount of money invested is generally measured in what it will take to properly operate the business, or by an investment of a substantial amount of cash. If you are a business person who feels like they qualify for the above requirements, but are low on cash, Martin Lawler indicates that your E-2 Visa can be approved with borrowed funds under certain circumstances. Ultimately, the United States is interested in stimulating its own economy, so it is up to the applicant to make a convincing case for E-2 visa approval. After the E-2 visa is approved, the qualifying applicant is usually approved for up to 5 years of life within the United States of America. Yet as Martin Lawler mentioned previously, this approval time has recently changed for French nationals.

What do the recent changes to the E-2 Visa requirements mean for French Nationals Martin Lawler?

The United States embassy of France has indicated that the E-2 visa can still be granted to qualifying French nationals for the 5 year period if they were approved before the change took effect on August 29th, 2019. So if you were already in the middle of the application process as the changes were underway, you still stand a good chance of getting the longer term approval. If you have already been interviewed by a consular officer then it is still likely you will remain eligible for the 60 month, or 5 year, visa stamp. Martin Lawler indicates that it is worth mentioning that the time of your visa approval is still subject to the discretion of the consular officer. If you are in the middle of the visa process and are unsure how long your visa will be approved we suggest speaking with an immigration attorney at Lawler and Lawler for the latest information and guidelines on the subject. Since these changes are still quite new in the visa world, it can be navigated alone, but the offices of Lawler & Lawler are well connected to the pulse of the E-2 visa system, and will be able to guide you through the changing rule set.


What will happen if I don’t get the 60 month (5 year) E-2 Visa stamp Martin Lawler?

The United States has been making many changes to the immigration rules under the Trump presidency, but the shortening of the E-2 visa approval time does not necessarily indicate that your business in the United States of America will be cut short. It is more a symptom and signal of the constriction of the immigration process to the United States, so be prepared with a substantial amount of documentation to indicate the validity of your business in the states and you shouldn’t have too many problems. Although the time of approval has been changed for French nationals for the E-2, the good news is that it is only for the conditional approval of your continued stay in the United States. If your business is legitimate, your investment is substantial, and your proof of business effort is clear, the E-2 visa can be renewed indefinitely according to Martin Lawler. The E-2 visa will need to be conditionally approved every 15 months under the new regulations, so it is wise to consult an attorney on the best way to meet the more rigorous e-2 visa conditions. For example, the channel in which you submit your E-2 visa application as well as the documents you use in the application can have an affect on the success of your visa application. There is a difference between submitting the application through the USCIS versus with the U.S. embassy so if you are interested in a quick and easy guide through the best practices for E-2 Visa applications contact Martin Lawler here.

Martin Lawler’s Other Immigration Resources

The E-2 visa application process, as well as other United States of America visa requirements, are likely to continue to change in the coming days. For updates in the E-2 Visa world, and other information from Martin Lawler’s law office Lawler & Lawler, here is a helpful portal to all of Martin Lawler’s online resources.