Masami Hibino

The big news in immigration this week was that Iranian nationals are no longer eligible to apply or extend their existing E2 visas.

The big news in immigration this week was that Iranian nationals are no longer eligible to apply or extend their existing E2 visas. What kind of advice could we give them as to their alternatives?


Marko Issever
January 26, 2020 07:44 PM  Marko Issever

This week, Newsweek reported that USCIS revealed the new development in a press release, asserting that this change came as a result of the October 3, 2018, termination of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights with Iran. Given that "E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant visas are based on trade and investment treaties, or specific legislation providing for reciprocal treatment of the respective countries' nationals," USCIS said, "the existence of a qualifying treaty or authorizing legislation is, therefore, a threshold requirement for issuing an E visa." One option existing E2 visa holders who are currently in the US can consider is to apply for the EB5. If their I-526 approval and subsequent adjustment of status can be completed before the expiration of their E2 visa then they would not have to leave the US. On the other hand, if the EB5 process to obtain the conditional green card takes longer, and their E2 visa meanwhile expires, they might have to wait overseas. For Iranian citizens who are currently overseas, second country citizenship could be an option. Today, obtaining Turkey citizenship is quite inexpensive and efficient. With professional advice, the whole process could take less than six months. Of course, there are other options like Grenada, Cyprus, Malta, etc., but these are more costly than Turkish alternatives.


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