Comments by Sanwar Ali:
The E2 visa scheme is not affected by the Trump work visa ban. So this visa category is especially useful to Mexican nationals right now. At the same time Mexicans and Canadians benefit from visas such as the TN visa under NAFTA the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is not available to nationals of other Countries. The E2 visa allows greater flexibility in the type of work that can be done in the US compared to the TN visa. However, the investor needs to buy an existing business or invest in a new business for the investor and overseas employees to come under the E2 visa scheme.
Following the latest Department of State periodic review and update of US visa reciprocity in accordance with an executive order issued in January 2018, E1 and E2 visa validity for Mexican citizens has been increased.
According to the latest Department of State reciprocity schedule, E1 and E2 visas for Mexican nationals can be granted with a validity period of up to four years (48 months). Under previous rules, E1 and E2 visa validity for Mexican citizens was 12 months.
However, processing fees for E1 and E2 visas have increased substantially, rising from $46 to $296. The extended E1 and E2 visa validity for Mexican citizens seemingly suggests an improvement in reciprocal Mexican investor visa policies toward US nationals that are favorable to the interests of American travelers and businesses.
Advantages for Mexican citizens applying for E2 visa and E1 visa
The extension in E1 and E2 visa validity for Mexican citizens comes with many advantages. Most notable is that business owners and key staff members will benefit from visa validity that allows an extended, uninterrupted stay in the US.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the closure of US borders and restrictions on travel means that having a visa with an increased validity period has additional value.
Business owners who depend on key staff with E1 and E2 visas can now plan cross-border business trips without having to worry about any delays or impact on business operations because of personnel having to renew their visa.
The extended visa validity period also means that business owners and key staff members have the opportunity to drive business growth and explore new business ventures in the US over at least four years.
H1B and L1 visa validity also increased
Alongside E1 Treaty Trader and E2 Treaty investor visa validity being extended, H1B and L1 category visa durations have also been increased. L1 category visas, reserved for Intracompany Executives, Managers or Specialized Knowledge personnel, can be issued to Mexican nationals for up to four years, increasing from 12 months.
However, processing fees have risen sharply from $57 to $311. Meanwhile, the validity period for H1B visas issued to Mexican nationals has increased from 12 months to three years. Processing fees for H1B visas have also significantly increased, rising from $57 to $252.
The increase in H1B and L1 visa validity will ensure that current holders of these visas will benefit from having a visa that authorizes a return to the US for an extended and uninterrupted period of time.
US work visa ban
The US E1 and E2 visas escaped Trump’s work visa ban implemented back in June. However, new applications for H1, L1 and other types of employment-based visa have been banned until at least the end of 2020. It’s possible that the ban could be extended in 2021.
Workpermit.com recently reported that the Trump administration will increase US visa fees from October 2, including H1B and L1 visas. H1B visa fees will increase from $460 to $555, while L1 visa fees will be increased by a staggering 75%, rising from $460 to $815.
Workpermit.com can help with US employment-based visas
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