For Portugal the road to becoming an E2 investor visa country has had many ups and downs but the story is about to change with the introduction of the AMIGOS Act (Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing Our Success) in the beginning of 2019.
The AMIGOS Act makes Portuguese citizens eligible for E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant US visas if the government of Portugal provides similar nonimmigrant status to U.S. citizens.
The E2 investor visa allows a foreign individual to enter the United States in order to invest a substantial amount of capital in a US company and manage and direct the business.
The E2 investor can bring his or her family along. Spouses of E2 investors are employment authorized incident to status and can engage in any type of employment while in the United States. Children of E2 investors do not have the right to work but can attend any private or public schools, universities and colleges.
While there are many benefits to the E2 investor visa, the downside is that it is limited to citizens of certain countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. Portugal currently does not have a treaty in place, but the process of becoming an E2 treaty country is nearly complete.
The AMIGOS Act has already been approved in the US House of Representatives and it now reached the Senate through the hands of Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat elected by Rhode Island, and Pat Toomey, a Republican elected by Pennsylvania. If the Amigos Act is approved again in the Senate, it will be sent to the President for promulgation.
David Cicilline, a congressman representing the 1st district of Rhode Island who also represents a significant Portuguese population in Rhode Island’s First District, serving as a co-chair of the Congressional Portuguese Caucus, was the first that encouraged the approval of the treaty. If the Act gets approved in the Senate it will be a step forward in improving the US and Portugal long economic relations.
Also, the wish to reinforce the strong ties between the two countries are shared by the Portuguese Foreign Affairs Minister Augusto Santos Silva, who expressed similar optimism about the Amigos Act, calling it a “very important step because it allows business travel, for economic and business reasons, to the US to be made much easier”.
The increased volume of trade between Portuguese and American companies which currently exceeds 4 billion dollars annually could mean an increase of jobs available and an amount of economic growth for both parties.
A favorable factor in making Portugal a country eligible for the E2 investor visa is the existence of the Golden Visa Program, which is a program implemented in 2013 by the Portuguese government that allows an investor to gain Portuguese residency through investment. The Portugal Golden Visa Program has been one of the best programs in Europe due to its favorable criteria for obtaining Portuguese citizenship.
Portugal becoming an E2 treaty country is expected to open several doors and bring several benefits not only to Portuguese citizens but also to American citizens. If Portuguese entrepreneurs are eligible for the E-2 visa, they will be able to invest, direct, and develop US businesses. This would contribute to the U.S. economy, but it would also increase job creation in the U.S. Similarly, Portugal could become attractive to foreign investors who intend to relocate to the United States through the E2 investor visa program.
For more information about the US E2 investor visa contact our Miami, Florida USA E2 visa lawyers below.
From E2 business and franchise selection to the E2 Investor Visa application, interview and E2 business plan, our experienced Miami Florida USA business immigration lawyers assist and advise investors and entrepreneurs throughout the E2 Visa process. Contact us or schedule a consultation.
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