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house Bill H.R. 565

Should Portuguese Nationals be Eligible for Nonimmigrant Visas if Similar Visas Are Available to Americans in Portugal?

Argument in favor

Portuguese nationals who want to make investments in the U.S. or conduct trade in the U.S. should be allowed to do so, and making them eligible for E-1 and E-2 visas will help in this regard.

Henry's Opinion
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12/02/2019
Having diplomatic relations with countries around the world,we should encourage communication between the two countries.
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Bob's Opinion
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12/03/2019
People should be free to travel as they please, and visas should be granted even if it's not reciprocal.
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Halen's Opinion
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04/17/2019
Very nice this Bill, Portugal is beautiful country ,promising and and beautiful people!!!
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Argument opposed

There are fewer than 500 Portuguese nationals who’d take advantage of E-1 and E-2 visas each year, so this bill would affect so few people, it’s not worth Congress’ time to deliberate on.

jimK's Opinion
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12/02/2019
It would seem that these provisions should by applied more generally to friendly countries that we trade with along with the yada, yada regarding criminal enterprises, terrorist linked people and so on. It appears that this legislation is addressed to a specific country whose affiliated people are a large part of this congressman’s base. I resent and abhor legislation proposed to pander specifically to any National politician’s base. Congresspeople swear an oath to protect our country’s constitution and our country’s interests- they do not swear an oath to appease their base constituents. Their job is to represent their constituents to ensure their needs are heard and not neglected when considering national interests. If this bill were more general and not so seemingly specifically targeted for political gain, I would certainly take more time to look into it. It is abusive antics such as this that wastes Congressional time and effort.
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RjGoodman's Opinion
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12/02/2019
Okay, I’ll bite, why Portugal? A new resort? Let’s get back to letting the State Department handle this. If Congress really wants to help, eliminate those country caps.
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davidf's Opinion
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12/03/2019
This looks too much like pork barrel politics. Such bills are usually intended to satisfy a specific constituency, or even a specific constituent. This is the politics of power and privilege, available to the highest bidder, and is, I believe, by its very nature, corrupt.
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What is House Bill H.R. 565?

This bill — the Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing Our Success (AMIGOS) Act — would make Portuguese nationals eligible for E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant visas if the government of Portugal provides similar nonimmigrant status to U.S. nationals. An E-1 visa is for individuals entering the U.S. to engage in international trade, and an E-2 visa is for individuals investing a substantial amount of capital in the U.S. Both are limited to nationals from countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States.

Impact

Portuguese nationals looking to do business or make investments in the U.S.; non-immigrant E-1 and E-2 visas for Portuguese nationals; and Portugal.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 565

$0.00
Based on the small number of people affected by this bill, the CBO estimates that this bill would have an insignificant effect on the budget in each year over the 2020-2029 period.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring 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 NoteThe 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.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Renato Arap)

AKA

AMIGOS Act

Official Title

To include Portugal in the list of foreign states whose nationals are eligible for admission into the United States as E1 and E2 nonimmigrants if United States nationals are treated similarly by the Government of Portugal.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedJanuary 15th, 2019
    It would seem that these provisions should by applied more generally to friendly countries that we trade with along with the yada, yada regarding criminal enterprises, terrorist linked people and so on. It appears that this legislation is addressed to a specific country whose affiliated people are a large part of this congressman’s base. I resent and abhor legislation proposed to pander specifically to any National politician’s base. Congresspeople swear an oath to protect our country’s constitution and our country’s interests- they do not swear an oath to appease their base constituents. Their job is to represent their constituents to ensure their needs are heard and not neglected when considering national interests. If this bill were more general and not so seemingly specifically targeted for political gain, I would certainly take more time to look into it. It is abusive antics such as this that wastes Congressional time and effort.
    Like (9)
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    Okay, I’ll bite, why Portugal? A new resort? Let’s get back to letting the State Department handle this. If Congress really wants to help, eliminate those country caps.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    This looks too much like pork barrel politics. Such bills are usually intended to satisfy a specific constituency, or even a specific constituent. This is the politics of power and privilege, available to the highest bidder, and is, I believe, by its very nature, corrupt.
    Like (5)
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    Reciprocity in immigration is not a good policy. Too many unknowns. Too many variables.
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    Simple reciprocity shouldn’t be the only consideration involved.
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    It affects fewer than 500 people... I think that says a lot about this bill. It’s clearly a waste of time that brings little to no benefits. Plus, Portugal isn’t a country we talk to and deal with a whole ton. The bill isn’t worth the time when we have so many other issues to deal with.
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    Why? We’ve closed our boarder to so many peoples. Why Portugal? Trump going to build a hotel there?
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    Having diplomatic relations with countries around the world,we should encourage communication between the two countries.
    Like (3)
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    People should be free to travel as they please, and visas should be granted even if it's not reciprocal.
    Like (2)
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    Very nice this Bill, Portugal is beautiful country ,promising and and beautiful people!!!
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Reparations for black Americans first #ADOS🇺🇸 ados101.com
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    Don’t feel like it would hurt anything might even help us depend less on China
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