According to a report published by Josic Media, interest in US business immigration visas both non-immigrant visas and green cards has seen a sharp rise during the first quarter of 2017. Since Trump’s inauguration as US president, the E2 treaty investor visa has been highly coveted by foreign investors. It may be possible for business people to gain entry under the E2 visa scheme without making huge investments. Perhaps in some cases just tens of thousands of dollars for E2 visa registration. The L1 visa may allow entry of businessmen with smaller investments still.
The Josic Media report claims that the US continues to offer significant opportunities to expand into the American market, such as enabling companies to transfer foreign employees to US offices via the L1 intra-company visa route, and also enable investors to obtain a green card by way of substantial capital investment. However, many would dispute these assertions.
As the Trump administration tightens restrictions on the H1B and L1 visa routes, wealthy foreign nationals have turned to the EB5 and E2 visa and L1 visa schemes. However, concerns have been raised that these US immigration routes will soon be subjected to a Trump crackdown.
Sanwar Ali workpermit.com has the following comments to make:
It is important to remember that the US visa system is probably the most complex and bureaucratic in the World. However with the increasing complexities in the UK Tier 2 sponsorship licence and tier 2 visa scheme perhaps the UK visa scheme may now be competing with the US for that honour.
While it is much cheaper for a businessman to obtain an E2 visa and L1 visa than an EB5 immigrant investor visa there is a great deal of paperwork that needs to be submitted. There is also a considerable risk that visas will be refused.
To obtain L1 visas such as the L1A visa for executives and managers and L1B visa for specialized knowledge workers you need to meet very specific criteria. The employee needs to have worked for the overseas business for one year in the last three years and you need to show in great detail that the employee has the skills and experience for the role.
Obtaining US visas under the current system is expensive and difficult. Many would say that making the US visa system even more expensive and bureaucratic is extreme and unnecessary.
High-price to pay for an EB5 immigrant investor green card visa
In particular, Trump has targeted the EB5 investor visa for an overhaul. It has been mooted that the minimum investment level to qualify for the program will be increased from $500,000 to $1,300,000. Meanwhile, the E2 treaty investor visa has so far remained unscathed, but no one knows what the President’s plans are for this visa scheme.
Despite increasing uncertainty surrounding US business immigration, the Josic Media report is adamant that America is still a solid investment opportunity and a great place to grow a business. Since Trump’s immigration rhetoric as tended to focus on the H1B and L1 visas, foreign nationals have shown an increasing interest in the E2 visa.
Equally, there are many foreign nationals that fear the E2 visa will be scrapped under a Trump presidency. However, immigration experts say that this is unlikely, given that many E2 treaty countries have maintained the relevant agreement with the US for a number of years - in the UK’s case, hundreds of years.
The US can only break any treaty in accordance with the terms of an agreement. Furthermore, a decision by Trump to unilaterally withdraw would be greeted with heavy criticism from E2 visa treaty countries, the American public and any US natives that enjoy the reciprocal benefits of starting a business aboard in a country with an E2 treaty agreement.
Immigrant entrepreneurs and investors rarely criticised by Trump
Much of Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric spouted during his election campaign targeted Muslims, Mexicans and illegal immigrants, while immigrant investors and entrepreneurs barely got a mention. Meanwhile, Trump’s son-in-law is widely known to have used EB-5 investor funding to finance one of his real estate development projects.
Furthermore, the EB5 program was recently extended by US Congress, despite being shrouded in controversy, signifying that the program isn’t being scrapped any time soon and making it a more attractive proposition for foreign investors seeking to permanently remain in the US. The program in its current form will now run until September 30, 2017.
This means that the minimum investment requirement will not yet be increased. However, the filings fees for the I-526 Petition and I-924 Application for Regional Center Designation were significantly increased in December 2016, with costs for some applications rising as much as 186%.
However, despite substantial filing fee increases and the arrival of Trump as President, the Josic Media report maintains that the future outlook of US immigration for business purposes ‘looks promising.’
The number of foreign companies expanding in the US is apparently rising, creating demand for EB5 and E2 visas, while the need for foreign staff remains high. Meanwhile, the Josic Media report asserts that the extension of the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program will continue to attract people because it’s a cost-effective option for US permanent residency.
Workpermit.com can help with E1, E2, L1, H1B, B1 in lieu of H1B, B1 Business Visit Visas, E3 Visas and other types of US Visas
For more information, or to find out if you are eligible for an US work visa, contact WorkPermit.com on 0344 991 9222.