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Is US-Canada border still closed for non-essential travel?

The land border between the US and Canada remains closed until October 21, 2020 for “non-essential” travel. The travel restrictions do not apply to travel by air, sea and to freight rail. The “essential travel” includes but is not limited to: (i) U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, (ii) international students, (iii) people traveling to receive medical treatment, (iv) emergency responders and public health officials, (v) truck drivers moving cargo or other individuals engaged in international trade, (vi) official government and diplomatic travel, and (vii) members of the U.S. armed forces and their spouses and children.

Most U.S. ports of entry interpret the restrictions that only B1/B2 travel is prohibited, while other ports of entry interpret the restrictions more narrowly and require proof of “essentiality”. The Customs and Border Protection is still performing routine adjudications of TN and L-1 petitions at the land ports of entry, although some land ports are requiring proof that the proposed employment is “essential”.

Canada’s Quarantine Act requires anyone who is permitted to enter Canada to self-isolate for 14 days following entry to Canada (unless they are flag-poling).

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline the law. If you to schedule a consultation, call our experienced immigration attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

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Can E-2 investment “count” toward EB-5 investment?

E-2 visa is for investors from treaty countries who invest “substantial” amount of capital into a US business. E-2 visa allows them to manage that business. E-2 visa has to be renewed every few years, depending on the treaty. A major downside of E-2 visa and a significant motivator for converting to the EB-5 green card is the problem of children of E-2 investors who are not eligible for E-2 dependent visas once they turn 21.

While there is no dollar amount for E-2 visa, in order to get EB-5 green card, the investor has to invest at least $900,000 in certain targeted employment areas or $1,800,000 anywhere else. While the E-2 capital investment may be counted towards the EB-5 investment, retained earnings or revenue generated by the E-2 investment may not be counted toward EB-5 investment. The investor must draw funds from the E-2 business and invest personal funds in order to “count” towards EB-5 investment.

In addition, the business must already have created the requisite ten jobs, or demonstrate that it will create the remaining jobs needed to meet the ten-job threshold within two years of the grant of conditional permanent resident status.

Planning and navigating the transition from E-2 to EB-5 can be a complicated process. If you would like to transition from E-2 investment to EB-5 investment and obtain an investment (EB-5) green card, call our experienced EB-5 green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline only one aspect of the transition from E-2 visa to EB-5 green card.

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Expansion of Interview Waiver Eligibility for Non-immigrant Visa Applicants

The Department of State has temporarily expanded the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview for visa applicants applying for a non-immigrant visa in the same classification. This is a very good news. For example, I have applications to renew treaty investor visas (E-2) filed in March that are still pending and the consulate has not resumed in person interviews. Especially, for successfully entrepreneurs with solid financials who are employing workforce and otherwise meet the treaty investor visa (E-2) requirement, this makes a perfect sense.

At the time of COVID-19 pandemic, reducing in person interactions and the necessity to travel reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This policy also helps with the backlog of visa applications that have been filed when the consulates were closed.

Previously, only those applicants whose non-immigrant visa expired within 12 months were eligible for an interview waiver. The expiration period has been temporarily extended to 24 months. This policy is in effect until December 31, 2020.

Please note that this articles does not constitute a legal advice.  We provided some information about the latest policy regarding the wavier of in-person interview of non-immigrant visas. If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for any non-immigrant visas, call our experienced immigration attorney attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.