- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house has not votedIntroducedJanuary 15th, 2019
What is House Bill H.R. 565?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 565
In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) — who represents a significant Portuguese population in Rhode Island’s First District — reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to grant Portuguese citizens eligibility for E-1 and E-2 Visas:
“The United States has no better friend than the country of Portugal. Rhode Islanders know this better than most. The members of our thriving Portuguese American community make rich contributions to the fabric of our state in the arts, culture, business, and public service. I’m proud to introduce this legislation today. As we move ahead, it’s important that we build on the strong ties between our two countries.”
When Rep. Cicilline introduced this bill in the 115th Congress, his spokesman, Rich Luchette, said:
“Given the longstanding and close ties between the United States and Portugal, we should encourage greater investment and trade between our two countries by adding Portugal to the list of countries eligible for E-1 and E-2 investor visas. However, both of these E-class visas require that a treaty exist between the United States and the principal foreign national’s country of citizenship. Most EU countries had pre-existing bilateral investor treaties with the United States before joining the union, however Portugal did not… Congress has previously stepped in to grant E-1 and E-2 visa benefits in the absence of a bilateral treaty, passing legislation in 2012 to include Israel.”
Luchette also observed that the U.S. and Portugal are major trading partners, as the U.S. became Portugal’s largest trading partner outside the European Union in 2015, when bilateral trade reached $4.2 billion (a 30% increase over 2010).
This legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee by voice vote with the support of seven bipartisan House cosponsors, including six Democrats and one Republican, in the 116th Congress.
Last Congress, this legislation had 15 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 13 Democrats and two Republicans. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), had one Senate cosponsor, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
Of Note: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that under this bill, up to 500 Portuguese nationals would be in the U.S. as E-1 or E-2 nonimmigrants at any time.
The E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the U.S. for up to two years solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.
The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (defined as “a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation”) to be admitted to the U.S. for up to two years when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.
- Sponsoring Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) Press Release
- The Herald News (Coverage in 115th Congress)
- CBO Cost Estimate
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Renato Arap)