Supporting Documentation For E-2 Visa of Recent Graduate
- Applicant: Ms. Thi*
- Nationality: Taiwanese
- Applying For: E-2
- Time: 7 months
- Client having trouble trusting the office and never met us
- No documentation
- Client with low confidence
- Changing embassy rules
- Just graduated from college less than a month ago
For a young adult who is trying to make their way in the world, it can be difficult to realize that the world won’t necessarily care about your youth. It is even more difficult when you’re expected to be a fully functioning adult, even if you’ve never really been told what that means. This was the case for Ms. Thi. She had just graduated from college less than a month ago with a business degree and was expected to open a U.S. branch in the family business. Although she graduated with a business degree, it did not mean she exactly knew all the minute details on how to run a company. On top of this, she had to move halfway around the world to a country where she would be speaking her second language and a place she did not call her home. The pressure Ms. Thi was feeling was beyond what any young adult should ever feel. Instead of enjoying the world as a new college graduate, she had to worry about setting up and incorporating an entire company and dealing with immigration issues. Not only was she worried about starting running this business, but she was also worried about having no family structure to help her during the difficult times that could result in trying to get a visa. Thankfully, this is when Ms. Thi founded Tsang & Associates.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Ms. Thi was obviously in a difficult position. She was handed the money she needed to start the business, but she had absolutely no support structure around her. She was essentially alone, an entire globe in between her and her family and coworkers, and she had to attempt to navigate U.S. business laws and immigration laws to legally and successfully set up her business. Unsurprisingly, she hit a few bumps in the road. When she came to us, she had merely incorporated her business and leased office space. She didn’t have pretty much any of the documentation that many business people who are applying for E-2 visas have. We told her that as it stands, her case was quite weak.
“We have to be honest with our clients. Her case was definitely not strong. She blew up at us a little bit. I’m not sure if she thought we were trying to extend our time on her case, or what, but she was unhappy. However, we showed her exactly what she needed to do, what sort of documents she needed to have, and we worked on her self-confidence as well. E-2s are performance-based, she needed to go to the embassy and interview to get approved. We worked with her on all aspects of her case, anything she needed to get approved.” – Andy, Case Manager
She was understandably upset. Everyone wants their first foray into any new venture to be a success, and so far, she was meeting only resistance. However, wanting something is not the same as getting something, and E-2 visas are only given to the businesspeople who show up with not only a good business plan but also with surrounding documentation and a strong presentation. Part of the difficulty was that we could not meet in person. She couldn’t come into the office, and we couldn’t go to her. This, along with the unique nature of her case, meant that we had to invest far more time and energy into the process of securing her E-2. Her business plan, thanks to the established parent company back home, was relatively easy to comprehend and establish. However, the establishment of documentation and proper forms required our office to essentially hold Ms. Thi’s hand. Since her family and business partners had left her without a support structure, we would be Ms. Thi’s support structure until she could establish her own. Many firms would simply give her a checklist to work through and be done with it, they would give her no guidance on what would be deemed acceptable by case officers. We helped her establish her bylaws, we helped her establish her website, we helped her establish a paper trail to track expenses and costs.
Another key area we helped her with was her self-confidence. We have heard of cases that had good documentation and solid business practices fail to get an E-2 visa based on poor interviewing, so we knew we had to be strong there. Ms. Thi was a fresh face completely out of her comfort zone. We spent hours with her, prepping for the interview, helping her understand what would be expected of her in the interview. We told her to treat it more like a sales call instead of a job interview, what level of dress was appropriate, we even sent her YouTube videos to help coach her on how to act during the interview. We also gave her a questionnaire full of expected questions so that she could prepare answers to them ahead of time.
The final piece to the puzzle was making sure that we understood the embassy rules, regulations, and preferences. We like to arm our clients with the best possible information, and that means that we are on the lookout for the constantly changing rules and regulations of embassies around the world. It is a difficult task. Often, embassy rules change faster than even their websites can keep up, and rules for document submission found on an embassy’s own website can be outdated. However, our experience in dealing with embassies meant that we knew to look for those potholes, meaning we avoided them as best as possible.
Ms. Thi recently went in to interview for her E-2 visa. She dressed professionally, sold her company’s business plan well, and even brought in samples of what they would be producing in the United States. All of her documentation was submitted correctly and completely, and she was completely prepared for the interview. She was successful in her attempt at getting an E-2 visa and is now well on her way to establishing a successful business life here in the United States. Without having to worry about the visa anymore, she can now put more work into her business and build a network of friends in the United States.