There are several nations with which the U.S have signed treaties allowing foreign investors to work in the U.S.-based business in which they've invested. These treaties were made to facilitate the movement of capital for affluent entrepreneurs, and also because they directly contribute to the U.S. economy. As you might know, business creation leads to taxes collection and job creation for domestic workers. If you're an aspiring E-2 visa holder and are asking whether you can change your status and apply for a green card, then please keep on reading.
What are the main characteristics of E-2 visas?
Assuming that you meet all of the requirements for an E-2 visa, it's important to understand the characteristics this type of visa has. These include:
- The treaty between your country of origin and the U.S. must remain active
- You're not allowed to work for another company
- You'll need to re-apply for your visa every few years
- You're allowed to sponsor your dependents
- Your spouse is eligible for a work permit
As you might see, there's no direct route from the E-2 visa to the green card, unless you're willing to increase your investment inside the company significantly. Indeed, if the total amount of your investments is $500,000, then you'd automatically become eligible for a permanent residency status. If this is too much money for you to invest, then consider using the indirect path from E-2 visa to green card.
Is there a cheaper way to become a green card holder with an E-2 visa?
Just because you're wealthy doesn't necessarily mean that you want to spend millions of dollars to become a permanent resident. As you might know, the E-2 visa allows you to sponsor your spouse, who can then apply for a work permit. This means that they'll be able to work to generate income while going to school. As they get more educated and earn a graduate degree, they'll become skilled enough to apply for a job in the company in which you have invested.
And since companies can only sponsor highly qualified and/or educated workers for resident status, your spouse will then be able to sponsor you under the petition the company will have filed to offer them employment. This is a lengthy process, but you and your dependents will ultimately become green card holders.
To design a plan to convert an E-2 visa into a green card, you need legal counsel. Contact a knowledgeable immigration attorney today to have all your questions answered. (For more information on E-2 visas, contact the Law Offices of Ron A. Kamran)