On November 8th, Donald Trump surprised the world and won the U.S. election. Since the election, we have received numerous questions from our E-2 visa clients and prospective clients as they are concerned that the E-2 visa program may be in jeopardy. An E-2 visa is a visa that allows foreign nationals to buy or start a business and stay in the U.S. to run the business indefinitely. The investment amount can be as low as $50,000 (but this is a very low amount and only works for a small number of cases) and the business must ultimately hire U.S. workers.
You can find out more about the E-2 visa by clicking here.
So how will a Trump Presidency impact the E-2 visa program? The short answer is likely not at all.
While we cannot predict with any certainty, it is far more likely that with respect to immigration, Congress and the new Administration will focus on border security and enforcement only. The other areas (eg. immigration reform, making green card categories current, E-2 program, Green Cards, etc.) are not and have not ever been priorities for the Republican Congress or President Elect Trump.
The E-2 program’s primary purpose is to create U.S. jobs. As this is a cornerstone of the program, it is unlikely that even a Trump administration would object to this program. In addition, the E-2 program is codified in U.S. law so Congress would have to introduce legislation and pass that legislation in both chambers in order to change or impact the program. This is highly unlikely and given the E-2 visa program is not a controversial one, the plan is likely to remain unchanged. Finally, you should keep in mind that this program is not a new one and some of the Treaty countries (eg. the UK E-2 Treaty) have been around since 1884 and all of the political and other changes (far greater than a Trump presidency) have not impacted the E-2 visa program. Even though a Republican Congress has been in power for years, they have not even introduced border security legislation and this is something they claim to be a priority.
While changes to the program are extremely unlikely, certain countries that are not that friendly with the U.S. could be impacted. That is, President Trump could simply stop issuing visas to certain countries (eg. Iran and Pakistan are both Treaty countries that have at times had a strained relationship with the U.S.). Again though, the E-2 Treaty was ratified with Iran and Pakistan in 1957 and 1961 respectively and all political turmoil that occurred during that time (including the Iran hostage crisis) did not result in any modification to the E-2 program.
You can find out more about the impact of the Trump Administration on Immigration Generally by Clicking Here.
The firm was founded on an E-2 visa and I personally do not have any fear regarding any change to the program.
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