Good News for E-2 and L-1 visa holders and applicants

Last Update: August 25, 2020

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US Consulate Reopens

U.S. Embassies and Consulates Re-Open Post COVID

After five months of being closed, US embassies and consulate are open again for “emergency” visas, and are giving priority to cases which clearly qualify as being in the National Interest, labeling them as National Interest Exceptions (“NIEs”).

There are a few different kinds of scenarios that apply here, as these exceptions can help L-1 and E-2 visa holders (who currently have visas) to apply in order to be able to fly directly to the US from anywhere, including the countries which are currently barred as countries of flight origin, specifically the UK, Ireland, Brazil, China, Iran and the Schengen-area countries. In order to get this exception you must demonstrate that there is an economic benefit to the U.S. The submissions must clearly meet the requirement criteria and be submitted in one comprehensive document by email to the address which corresponds to the applicant’s country of residence.

E-2 Visa Applicants Waiting for Interview

For those individuals who have already submitted a consular-processed E-2 visa application and are waiting for an interview, the good news is that not only have the embassies and consulates re-activated processing and interviews, but that the E-2 automatically qualifies for the exception because one is required to show that the investment and its impact on the U.S. are substantial in order to qualify for the visa.

For those individuals with petitions approved by USCIS, who were barred from being issued a visa by Presidential Proclamation in June, now have the ability to apply for the visa with the NIE. The requirements are quite rigorous and must be applied for on a case-by-case basis with exhaustive and convincing documentation, but it is now possible for those visas to be issued before 2021.

In order to apply or to see if you qualify please contact a U.S. immigration attorney specialized in consular law by writing to

Written by Steve Maggi of SMA Lawyers

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