As part of President Obama’s executive action, he has ordered new policies and regulations to be implemented which will benefit highly-skilled foreign workers by enabling businesses to more easily hire and retain these workers and allow them to make natural career progressions with their employers or seek similar opportunities within the United States thereby creating increased career stability for those foreign workers waiting for green cards.
H.R. 3992, introduced on February 9, 2012 by Rep. Berman (D-CA), would make Israeli nationals eligible to enter the U.S. as nonimmigrant investors as provided for under the Immigration and Naturalization Act, if Israel provides reciprocal nonimmigrant treatment to U.S. nationals.
IMPACT OF THE EARLY CUT-OFF OF H-1B VISAS
The E-2 or Investment visa is available for investors in a new or existing U.S. business. The investor must play an active role in the development and direction of the business. As with the E-1 visa, the E-2 investor must show that a "substantial" investment or funds are available and committed to the investment. Again, the "substantial" requirement is determined on a case by case basis. Investment in a manufacturing plant would require a higher dollar investment than investment in a consulting business, which may simply require a computer, facsimile and a telephone.
For most foreign nationals wanting to permanently live and work in the United States, the ultimate goal is to obtain a "green card" or permanent residency status. The most common method of obtaining permanent residency is through sponsorship by an employer or family member.
"E" or "treaty" visas are available to persons or entities engaging in trade between the United States and their home country or persons and entities coming to the United States to develop and direct enterprises in the United States in which they are investing substantial amounts of capital. The E-2 category includes individual investors as well as managers, executives, and "essential skills" employees of business entities that make the investment. As a threshold issue, in order for a foreign national to qualify for this visa there must be a trader or investor treaty between the United States and the applicant's home country. For treaty traders, the company set up in the United States must be at least 50% owned by a treaty country national, but the applicant does not have to be an owner of the business. There must be a "substantial" flow of trade (either goods or services) between the U.S. business and the treaty national's home country. The USCIS determines whether the trade is substantial on a case-by-case basis. Factors that may be considered include the nature of the business, the number of transactions, the quantity of trade and the outlay of capital.