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More on E-2 visas and family based visas

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

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