Choosing Between Processing E-2 Visa Status in the US or Abroad

Immigration Services, US Visa, E-2, H1b, Employment Visa

Today, I received a question from another immigration lawyer friend of mine and I thought I would share it. Basically, a Texas based IT company has recently been acquired by a Taiwanese company, and to train the newly acquired staff, the Taiwanese parent company prepares to send a few technicians over on E-2 visa as a specialized skilled employee. Four technicians were selected for this project. Three of them will come from Taiwan, while one of them will go directly from California because he is currently working for another company in California but will jump ship to join the newly acquired IT company.

This employee, Mr. K, was on an H-1b visa for another company, and his lawyer applied for change of status based on the same job description and compensation information as the other three employees who process from Taiwan. All three visas were approved by American Institute in Taiwan, but the change of status was denied by USCIS, although the supporting evidence submitted is exactly identical. This incident fully illustrates the inconsistencies in the review of immigration applications. I am beginning to see a trend of USCIS being extra tough on E-2 applications as compared to US Embassies and Consulate abroad. If you are thinking about making an application for E-2 classification, I would recommend that you process your application through the Embassy or Consulate instead of through USCIS.

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