In the last post, this blog mentioned two separate types of visa programs under U.S. immigration law. Specifically, the last entry briefly touched on the family based visa program and a specific type of non-immigrant visa, known as the E-2 visa. Now is a good time to look at the two complex topics with a bit more focus.
An E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, a type of business and employment based visa under immigration law. An E-2 trader and investment visas are available for immigrants whose home country has a commercial treaty with the United States that gives visa eligibility.
E-2 visas do not provide a pathway to permanent immigration or citizenship status. That is the visa is a temporary visa that can be renewed to retain legal status, but will not provide a direct path to citizenship.
E-2 visas allow immigrants to invest or create a business that will employ U.S. workers. Minor children of the E-2 visa investor are given legal status, but when a young immigrant turns 21, the parent’s E-2 visa umbrella no longer covers the individual.
Family-based visas are a separate program that remains popular. Last year, more than 1 million immigrants obtained a green card to live and work in the United States. Nearly 70 percent of green card recipients obtained the permanent residency status through the family based visa program.
Family-based visas are available for immigrants who are related to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. There are different categories of family based visas, known as “preferences.” For instance, minor children, spouses and parents of a U.S. citizen fall in a different category than a married adult son or daughter of a U.S. citizen. There are provisions, and rules, for a variety of family members-and specific rules and procedures for fiancées of U.S. citizens.
A Miami immigration lawyer can explain the intricacies of immigration law, whether in the area of business and employment immigration, or in the area of family-based and fiancée visas.
Source: The Kansas City Star, “Gap in policy forces woman to deport herself, reluctantly,” Eric Adler, July 17, 2012