Portugal to become an E2 treaty country with the U.S.
Portugal may become a E2 treaty country very soon, adding to the current list of 78 E2 treaty countries, which would give Portuguese nationals the opportunity to invest in a business and move to the U.S. through the E2 visa. This bipartisan bill was introduced on March 6, 2018 and was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing our Success Act, AMIGOS Act (H.R. 565 bill) and has cleared the first hurdle to become an E2 treaty country with the U.S. The bipartisan bill was introduced in January 2019 and currently has 21% chance of being enacted according to Skopos Labs. The next step is for the bill to be passed by the U.S. Senate and signed by the President to become law. As E2 countries are required to be reciprocal, Portuguese government would also have to create a similar nonimmigrant status to the U.S. nationals. NYSA team is convinced that the Portuguese government will pass a similar visa opportunity for U.S. citizens, as not only would this contribute to Portuguese and U.S. economy, but it would also increase job creation in both countries.
The foreign affairs minister of Portugal, Augusto Santos Silva was quoted “ (This is 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 exceeds 4 billion dollars annually means an increase in the number of jobs available and rate of economic growth for both countries. An essential factor in making Portugal as a good choice for the E2 investor visa, is its existence of the Golden Visa Program, which is a program implemented in 2013 by the Portuguese government and allows a financial 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.
The E2 visa is a renewable non immigrant investor visa, which allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the U.S. for up to 2 years, when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Qualified treaty investors and employees can request an extension of stay, which may be granted in increments of up to 2 years each. There is no limit to the number of extensions that may be granted. The E2 visa holder will be able to invest, direct, and develop U.S. businesses, while their spouse will be eligible to work in the U.S. and children are able to stay in the U.S. on their parent’s E2 visa until they are 21 years of age. This makes the E2 visa a perfect solution for EB5 investors who are waiting for their EB5 visa approval.
The major applicant group for the Portuguese Residency by Investment Programme is the Chinese. Investors from Chinafind it an immensely taxing task to get US EB-5 visas due to decades long waiting times. For this Chinese group of investors, a Portuguese citizenship would be a shortcut to the US. the other groups who have already benefited from Citizenship by Investment Programmes of E2 Treaty countries Turkey and Grenada. Portugal now steps in with a route that blends EU residency with an opportunity to set up business across the Atlantic.