For Italian nationals, an E-2 visa offers an opportunity to secure a U.S. visa by making a sub-stantial investment in a commercial enterprise or business. As part of the visa process, the in-vestor will be required to enter the United States to direct and develop this enterprise, and may also bring dependents (spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21) with them as well.
Because Italy has a valid commerce and navigation treaty with the United States, Italian na-tionals are eligible to obtain E-2 visas. This type of investor visa has many advantages, includ-ing the ability to extend the visa indefinitely as long as the business remains in operation. The experienced E-2 visa lawyers of Colombo & Hurd have helped countless investors receive E-2 visas. Read on to learn more about the E-2 visa process in Rome, including the steps that Ital-ians must take in order to qualify for this visa.
E-2 Visas for Italian Nationals: The Basics
E-2 visas are a type of investor visa available to real or corporate persons who make a “sub-stantial” investment in a business or commercial enterprise in the United States. In order to meet the standards for an E-2 visa, the investment must be enough to ensure that the business will be successful. While there is no minimum level of investment that must be made to obtain an E-2 investor visa, it must be at least enough to develop the business so that it can conduct operations. This investment cannot be a speculative or idle investment, such as in real estate. The investor must have control of the funds, and put the funds at risk when applying for an E-2 visa.
Additionally, the investment must be in a real, non-marginal operating enterprise. In other words, the business must generate enough profit to do more than simply provide a living for the investor and his or her family. An experienced E-2 visa lawyer, such as the attorneys of Co-lombo & Hurd, can assist prospective Italian E-2 visa applicants with developing a business plan to demonstrate to the consulate that the proposed business is real, non-marginal, and that it will lead to a significant profit.
Italian nationals who apply for an E-2 visa must come to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise or business. If an applicant is not the principal investor, he or she can obtain an E-2 visa as a supervisor, executive or highly specialized skilled employee. For employees applying for E-2 visas in Rome, the process is often quicker if the employer is a “vetted company.” The U.S. Embassy in Rome maintains a list of E Visa enterprises, available here, that have already been cleared. The Embassy does not accept applications or requests to be added to the list of E Visa enterprises.
Applying for an E-2 Visa in Rome as an Italian National
For Italian nationals, all E-2 visas are processed through the U.S. consulate in Rome. All appli-cants must complete the required immigration forms, register with the online immigration sys-tem, and pay the required fees. For E-2 visas, Rome only accepts electronic submission of applications and supporting documentation, including information on the applicant(s), owner-ship of the business, the investment, that the business is real and operating, and that the busi-ness is not marginal. A skilled E-2 visa lawyer can help to ensure that the application and sup-porting documentation is properly submitted.
After an application has been received, the U.S. Consulate in Rome will either confirm receipt or will return the application if it is incomplete or incorrectly formatted. If it is accepted, then the Consulate will schedule an interview. An advantage of processing an E-2 visa in Rome is that the adjudicators are generally experienced and thorough, making the process relatively straightforward for well-qualified applications. However, because all E-2 visas for Italian na-tionals are processed through Rome, it has one of the longest wait times in Europe. It can often take up to (or longer than) 3 months to obtain an appointment for an interview.
If approved, an E-2 visa can be issued to an Italian national for an initial period of up to 5 years. After the initial entry, a holder of an E-2 visa can extend his or her visa for as long as the E-2 status is maintained. There is no limit on renewals for E-2 visas for Italian nationals.
Work with Experienced E-2 Visa Lawyers
At Colombo & Hurd, we have a lengthy track record of successfully representing investors and employees alike in obtaining E-2 visas. We have worked extensively with the U.S. Consulate in Rome, and understand the intricacies of filing an application with this office. If you are an Italian national considering an E-2 visa, contact us online, or contact our Orlando office at (407) 478-1111 or our Miami office at (305) 455-0590 to schedule an initial consultation.