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E-2 to Permanent Residence - How to Get Your Green Card Through Investment

Let me set the stage.

We got a call for a consultation from Mr. Investor. He had a rather long and involved story to tell and needed some help to get his US immigration status straightened out. It seems that he had been investing in the US for over 10 years and owned several rental properties that made a good living for him and his family. He initially obtained an E-2, nonimmigrant treaty investor visa, at the US Consulate in London and moved with his family to the US to manage his investments. He had come to the US about 3 years before he contacted us. When it came time to extend his visa he contacted who he thought, based on their advertising, were immigration specialists for assistance. He was quickly told that he did not qualify for an E-2 visa (even though he was in the US on an E-2 at the time) and that if he wanted to stay he would have to switch to another visa category. The "Immigration Advisors" (it turned out that they were not even attorneys) suggested that he either go to work for someone else and get an H-1B, or purchase a business in the US that he could then use as a basis for an L-1 visa as a multinational manager.

Mr. Investor told the Immigration Advisors that he had a friend who owned an oil change business that would be willing to hire him as a manager. The Advisors said this would be a great position and that they could get him an H-1B through it even though the position only required a high school diploma and some experience. After several months of trying to get things done with these Advisors Mr. Investor finally called us to get another opinion.

By the time he called us, Mr. Investor and his wife were out of status, and had been for several months. He was getting desperate and didn't know where to turn. We started with a review of his immigration history in the US, as well as looking at his assets. After reviewing his situation with him, and looking at his investment in the US, we told him that the E-2 visa was the correct visa - he did not have to go through all kinds of gyrations just to be able to stay in the US.

What VisaPro did for Mr. Investor.

After our initial consultation Mr. Investor sent us what copies he had from his previous E visa filings, as well as balance sheets, copies of purchase documents and tax documents. We put together a complete E visa package showing that he had invested well over $500,000 in the US by that time, and that he was actively involved in the management of his investment

Now we had to deal with the fact that Mr. Investor and his wife were out of status. Thankfully, he had saved copies of all his emails and correspondence with the Immigration Advisors which he forwarded to us. We were able to show a pattern of deception by the Advisors and reliance by Mr. Investor that showed that Mr. Investor had been doing everything that the Advisors had asked of him. The documentation also showed that the Advisors clearly did not know what they were doing, either from an immigration standpoint or a business standpoint.

Because of the serious nature of what we needed - to get Mr. Investor and his wife back into status so they would not be subject to the 3 year bar - we spent as much time preparing this section of the submission as we did the actual application. Using 8 C.F.R. § 248.1(b) we argued that but for Mr. Investor's reliance on the supposed Immigration Advisors he would have timely filed his request to extend his E status. Pointing to several pieces of correspondence we were also able to show that Mr. Investor had begun to question the practices of the Advisors, asking whether what they wanted to do was even legal (if it wasn't outright fraudulent it bordered on fraud).

The outcome.

With the package complete we sent if off to the USCIS hoping for the best. After waiting for several weeks, and expecting the worst, we got a great surprise in the mail. The E visa status extension request was granted. The USCIS adjudicating officer had agreed with us that the Immigration Advisors had led Mr. Investor down a rosy path only to abandon him. As for the Immigration Advisors, they disappeared after we contacted them on Mr. Investor's behalf requesting a refund.

The next step - Permanent Residence.

While we were working on the E-2 extension Mr. Investor had been busy looking at additional investments in the US. Shortly after filing the extension request he bought a 450+ acre cattle ranch, and several months later another 210 acre farm just down the road from the ranch. About a year later he bought another piece of land not far from Branson, MO and started developing a restaurant and lounge with a stage that could be used for overflow acts from Branson and the Grand Ole' Opry. With these new investments Mr. Investor's cumulative investment in the US was now about $1.2 million, allowing him to meet the threshold to apply for permanent residence as an immigrant investor (EB-5): investment of $1 million dollars (or $500,000 in a rural area) and the creation of at least 10 new jobs for US workers). We are hoping that he and his family will soon be getting the green card.


Conclusion

Through creative thinking we were able to assist Mr. Investor to get his E-2 status extended even though he was out of status when we started the process. We were also able to got one daughter into a valid status that allowed her to remain in the US, and gave his other daughter ideas on positions that will allow her to eventually rejoin the family here in the US.

While we were working with Mr. Investor we found out that his daughter who had come to the US with him as an E-2 dependant was now over 21 and married. Because she no longer qualified as an E-2 dependent we had to look for other options for her to be able to stay in the US with her family. Unfortunately, she was involved in a bad marriage, and he had refused to file a relative petition for her. On top of that he had become abusive and through all the contacts with the police Mr. Investor's daughter had ended up being charged with abuse herself. Working with the daughter's criminal defense attorney we worked out a strategy that would not adversely affect her immigration status. We then programmed to file a petition for her under the Violence Against Women Act based on the abuse.

We also looked at options for Mr. Investor's oldest daughter to be able to join the family in the US. Based on her work experience in early childhood education and health care we determined that she would qualify for an H-1B gave her ideas of what types of jobs to pursue. Once she finds the right position we will be able to assist her to come join the rest of the family

The outcome is clearly dependent on handling the facts of the case creatively, and as demonstrated here, can be successful even when the applicant has been out of status for a lengthy period of time.

Our lawyers have the experience to review and analyze difficult cases and formulate strategies for success. We would be happy to review your case and discuss your options.

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