E-1 / E-2 Visas news

Department of State continues to tighten regulations with respect to Iran, further

hindering issuance of visas to Iranian nationals: E-1 / E-2 Visas affected
On August 6, 2019, U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the following:

1. Diplomatic relations with Iran were severed on April 7, 1980.
2. With certain exceptions pertaining to personal communications, humanitarian assistance, information exchange, and personal travel arrangements, all trade with Iran wasbanned pursuant to an executive order of May 8, 1995. Consequently, the issuance of virtually all “E-1” visas to nationals of Iran is
prohibited.
3. G visa applicants must submit their applications to either U.S. Embassy Bern or
U.S. Embassy Vienna. Please contact the consular sections in Bern and Vienna for additional details on the application process.

Important to note is the fact that on October 3, 2018, the Trump administration revoked the Treaty of Amity which had existed between Iran and USA since June 16, 1957. Said “Treaty of Amity” was meant to promote economic relations between the two countries, and was first signed in Tehran, Iran on August 15, 1955, entered into force on June 16, 1957, and later registered by the United States to the United Nations on December 20, 1957.

Iran had challenged the reinstatement of sanctions by filing documents with the Hague on July of 2018, accursing United States of “economic aggression.” Many believe that the revocation of the Treaty is a direct response to said complaint launched by Iran.
Both E-1 and E-2 visas rely on said Treaty as the basis for issuance of the same.

As anticipated, in 2018, DOS only issued one E-2 Visa out of hundreds for Iranian nationals applying for E-2 visa overseas. Many Iranian nationals who have been living and working in the United States who are now due for E-1 / E-2 visa renewals have not been issued their visas.

The fate of the existing E-1 / E-2 visa holders already in the United States was unclear. The August 6th publication as cited above clearly prohibits issuance of E-1 visas to Iranian nationals, further solidifying the ripple effects as the result of revocation of Treaty of Amity. We anticipate similar affirmative announcements for E-2 visa holders from Iran.

Existing E-1 and E-2 visa holders are highly encouraged to immediately seek legal advice regarding their options.