Changes to E Visa Rules December 2022
On December 15, 2022, the James N. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) for the year 2023 was passed in the USA. Section 5901 of the NDAA, which provides two significant changes to E visa eligibility:
- The designation of Portugal as an E visa treaty country entitles Portuguese passport holders to apply for E-1 and E-2 visas as Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors.
- Those who have obtained citizenship through an investment route are now required to have been domiciled in the country for at least three years continuously before applying for a US E visa. This new requirement does not apply to either current or former E visa holders, or to dual nationals who hold nationality of a treaty country through other means, such as descent.
The new rules came into force on December 23, 2022 when signed by President Biden.
The new, more stringent residency rule was likely enacted to restrict access to US residency through investment programmes. Previously, nationals of non-treaty countries could apply for citizenship in E visa treaty countries through investment programs, and then use their new citizenship to immediately apply for an E visa. The new clause prohibits this practice by requiring E visa applicants who obtained their E treaty country citizenship through investment to demonstrate at the time of E visa application that they have resided in the E visa country for at least three years.
If you are considering the E visa category as an immigration route to the US, take advice early on to ensure you satisfy the stringent eligibility criteria, including the requirement to be a national of a Treaty investor country.
NNU Immigration specialize in US E visa applications. We can advise on all aspects of the E-1 and E-2 visa, from assessing eligibility, to support with compiling your petition and all required supporting documentation.
We can also provide specialist guidance issues such as national interest waivers and consideration of alternative US entry routes where required.
Contact us for advice and support on taking the next step to realising your US business goals.
This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.