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Can a Colombian Citizen Apply for an E-2 Visa from Within the U.S.?

Can a Colombian Citizen Apply for an E-2 Visa from Within the U.S.?

A Colombian citizen visiting the United States on a tourist visa who identifies a promising business opportunity might wonder if they can apply for an E-2 visa without returning to Colombia. The answer is yes, they may be able to apply for a change of status to an E-2 visa from within the United States. However, this process involves specific steps, a stringent timeline as well as other considerations and must be conducted under the guidance of a qualified immigration attorney.

Some Steps Your Attorney Will Likely Want You to Follow

1. Evaluate the Business Opportunity:

  • Conduct market research and due diligence to ensure the business opportunity is viable and aligns with E-2 visa requirements.
  • Search assistance in drafting an E-2 immigration business plan that outlines the business model, market analysis, financial projections, and job creation plans.

2. Make a Substantial Investment:

  • The investment must be substantial and sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the business.
  • Funds must be irrevocably committed to the business, meaning they are already spent or are at risk of being lost if the business fails.

3. Prepare and Organize Documentation:

  • Gather necessary documentation, including proof of nationality, evidence of investment, the detailed immigration business plan mentioned above, and financial statements, among others.

Your attorney will highlight that it is crucial to maintain legal status throughout the process. If the tourist visa is about to expire, the applicant must ensure they do not overstay, which could negatively impact their E-2 application.

Considerations and Alternatives

Travel to Colombia:

While it is possible to apply for a change of status within the U.S., some applicants prefer to apply for the E-2 visa at a U.S. consulate in Colombia. This might expedite the process.

If choosing to apply at a consulate, the applicant must prepare for an interview and present all required documentation to the consular officer.

Engaging an immigration attorney experienced in E-2 visas is the best investment an applicant can make. They can help navigate the complexities of the application process and ensure all requirements are met.

Consulting with an experienced business consultant with experience crafting immigration business plans will also be advantageous in preparing a solid E-2 business plan and investment strategy that assists the immigration attorney in supporting the visa petition.

The information provided in this blog is intended solely for informational purposes. While we strive to offer accurate and up-to-date content, it should not be considered legal advice. Immigration laws and regulations are subject to change, and individual circumstances can vary widely. For personalized guidance and legal advice regarding your specific immigration situation, we strongly recommend consulting with a qualified immigration attorney who can provide you with tailored assistance and ensure compliance with current laws and regulations.

Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in four different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.

Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, and high-growth enterprises.

At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of U.S. and Canadian immigration, SBA loans, and others.

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