Iranians No Longer Eligible for Trade, Investment Visas, US Says

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian nationals will no longer be eligible for E-1 and E-2 trade and investment visas, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services agency announced.

Iranians No Longer Eligible for Trade, Investment Visas, US Says

USCIS revealed the new development in a press release, asserting that the change came as a result of the October 3, 2018, termination of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights with Iran, Newsweek reported.

The E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant visa classifications allow nationals of a treaty country to be admitted into the US for the purposes of engaging in international trade or to invest capital in a US business.

Given that "E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant visas are based on trade and investment treaties or specific legislation providing for reciprocal treatment of the respective countries' nationals," USCIS said, "the existence of a qualifying treaty or authorizing legislation is therefore a threshold requirement for issuing an E visa."

The Trump administration had terminated the 1955 treaty in 2018 after the United Nations' top court demanded that the US end sanctions preventing food and medical supplies from entering Iran.

In a separate announcement of the termination of Iranian eligibility for E-1 and E-2 visas, USCIS Deputy Director Mark Koumans said, "There are no other qualifying treaties with Iran currently in force or other Iran-specific bases for granting or extending E-1 or E-2 status to Iranian nationals."

"Accordingly, a national of Iran is no longer eligible for an extension of stay in E-1 or E-2 status or a change of status to E-1 or E-2 on the basis of the Treaty of Amity," Koumans said. 

He said USCIS would be sending out "Notices of Intent to Deny" to applicants who had filed applications for E-1 and E-2 visas after October 3.

Iranians who currently hold the visa status, he said, will only be allowed to remain in the US until their current status expires.

Koumans made clear, however, that "the changes described in this notice do not prevent Iranian nationals and their dependents from seeking admission in, or applying for a grant of, another nonimmigrant visa classification for which they believe they can establish eligibility under US immigration law."

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