US business visas for country’s citizens to be approved 'this year'

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 04-09-2018 14:53:00 · 0 Comments
US business visas for country’s citizens to be approved 'this year'

A US law to make citizens of Portugal eligible for two categories of fast-track business visas, dubbed the AMIGOS Act, could be approved by the end of the year, according to Portuguese-American congressman Jim Costa.

Extending the visa procedures to Portuguese citizens would be "good for Portugal and the United States of America,” the legislator told Lusa in an interview on Tuesday. “We are gaining traction in the Senate and I am hopeful that we will be able to approve this law before the end of the year.”

The bill, dubbed Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing Our Success Act (AMIGOS), was introduced in the House of Representatives by Jim Costa, representative for California's the 16th district, David Valadão, another Portuguese-American who represents the 21st district of the same state, and David Cicilline from Rhode Island's the 1st district.

The measure would give Portuguese citizens access to visas E-1 and E-2, which are for people who want to enter the US for trade or “significant” investments. These visas are available to citizens of other European countries, the congressmen note, arguing that their provisions should be extended to Portugal, given the “over four billion dollars” worth of trade between companies from Portugal and the US in the last year.

Costa, whose grandparents emigrated from the Azores to the US, argued that the law would improve “Portuguese-American relations”, as well as being part of efforts to reform US immigration laws.

Other immigration reform proposals backed by Costa, such as a measure to legalise the status of undocumented immigrants living in the US, would not get through the current Congress, he acknowledged.

Costa said he expected the legislation to be approved by the Senate and House of Representatives after the mid-term elections in November, in which the Republicans’ current majority is at stake.


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