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Are French E1 & E2 Visa Program Changes Here To Stay?


The U.S. Department of State announced changes in the E1 and E2 visa programs for French nationals. The changes refer to the validity period, which is being reduced from 60 to 15 months. This new policy was initially set to go into effect on August 29th but has been delayed and is now set to be re-assessed on September 27th, 2019.

Our team of immigration business plan professional have been working hard on trying to learn as much as we can about these upcoming changes and based on our review of various online discussions, statements made by officials, and general lack of info we prefer to take a more optimistic view on the news and believe these changes to be only temporary or possibly never even come to fruition.

Will The Proposed French E1 & E2 Visa Program Changes Be Implemented & If So, Will They Be Temporary Or Permanent?

While the reduction from five years to one year and three months is considerable, it is important to note that the measure is believed to be reciprocal. Americans willing to work or invest in France are subject to similar restrictions.

In fact, an update on the website of the U.S. Embassy in France describes the change in validity period as “commensurate to the treatment afforded to U.S. citizens by the Government of France.” In other words, the U.S. is only retaliating against the measures implemented by France.

However, through our research and after reading more on the topic we feel that this could be the result of a slight misunderstanding in the details of French business visa and how it reciprocates to our US E1 & E2 visa programs.

Thus, it could be only a matter of time until the representatives of the two countries sit down and work out better conditions for their investors. A simple look at the numbers proves that doing so is in the best interest of both countries, especially the U.S.

In 2017, the direct investments from France to the U.S. reached $275.47 billion, the highest level since 2000. That same year, the direct investments from the U.S. to France only reached $85.57 billion, less than the over 90 billion invested in 2008.

Under the circumstances, it is safe to say that it is in the best interests of the U.S. to keep these measures temporary, and that is precisely what we think will happen if these changes ever go into effect at all. It almost seems as these changes are part of a larger negotiation on foreign policy. Hopefully, France will review its policy soon and thus get the U.S. to do the same.

Potential Effects?

Q: How will these new changes affect existing or current E1 & E2 Visa applicants?

A: We have strong sources that lead us to believe that the changes won’t be retroactive thus past E2/E1 visa applicants won’t be affected for their current visa term but we are still unsure about future renewal terms.

Q: How will 15months renewal periods impact business plan requirements?

A: Today only a part of renewals require a business plan update depending on how successfully the business meets e2 visa requirements. With the new period, we don’t know as of yet how consular officers will treat e2 visa renewals.

Of course, this is just our take on the recent events and policy changes. More time and information are needed for a clear assessment of the implications. Until then, we would like to get your opinion on the subject.

Do you see the E1 and E2 visa program changes as temporary?

Please answer our brief poll to let us know your thoughts!

Also, don’t hesitate to get into more details as to why you think that will /won’t happen in a comment below!

Thank you!

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