“Goodbye to CBI & E-2?”
Unfortunately, our industry received an unwelcome gift out of Washington DC over the weekend when the National Defense Authorization Act was passed by both houses of Congress last week..https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/7776/text
Our firm had our monthly national investor committee meeting today and our Washington DC/legislative folks confirmed that the National Defense Authorization Act includes Section 5901 which (1) includes Portugal as an E-1/E-2 country but also (2) requires anyone who acquired citizenship through investment (such as Grenada or Turkey) to be “domiciled for a continuous period of not less than 3 years at any point before applying for an E visa.” Both houses of Congress have signed off and it will be effective as soon as Biden signs it within a week or so.
It was allegedly snuck in by House republicans and Senator Grassley and to our knowledge, wasn’t really debated or discussed — they just decided to add it to a defense spending bill that was thousands of pages long before it could be fully reviewed. Needless to say, you have a lot of surprised, shocked, and angry people/countries who are already threatening to sue over this new change in law.
It’s not even clear how the state department will interpret this new “domicile requirement” since it doesn’t necessarily mean physical presence or residence. It may very well simply mean an intention to continuously reside in the investment country (such as keeping a residence, address, paying taxes, etc.). All the more reason why it wouldn’t be surprising if a group of investors or a treaty country such as Grenada sued over this new change in law. If/when that will happen, we honestly don’t know yet. The only waiver of the 3 year domicile requirement is if a person already was granted an E-2 visa before the new bill passed (having a passport and filing a DS-160 wouldn’t be enough under this new bill, which seems even more unfair because many consulates were closed/slow to grant interviews).
Please contact us if you are considering submitting an E-2 petition or have one pending and you are considering whether to withdraw.
#ndaa #5901 #cbi #e2visa