January 1, 2004
By Jong Hoon Kim
Because of a surge in Korean applicants for
E-2 status, a temporary treaty investor visa [for non U.S.
citizens who invest at least
$100,000 in the United States], the U.S. Embassy in Seoul,
South Korea, has made the process tougher to complete.
year, Mr. Lee submitted an application for E-2 status, saying that
he had invested in his relative’s business
in the United States. He recently received a response from
the Embassy that required him to submit a five-year business
plan. This is an unprecedented requirement; there is not even
a standard form for drafting such a business outline.
law firms explain that this change is the embassy’s
reaction to the rapid increase in the Korean applicants for
The number of South Koreans who received E-2 status
increased steadily from 510 in 1998, to 807 in 1999, 1,388 in 2000,
in 2001 and 1,670 in 2002. The number reached 1,961 in 2003,
increasing 20 percent from the previous year. It was almost
a four-fold increase since 1998.
The number of Korean E-2 applicants
who are already in the United States is three times the number
of applicants in South
Korea. Thus, the immigration lawyers estimate that 6,000 Koreans
living in both South Korea and the United States would receive
E-2 status in 2003.
As a result, the State Department increased
the required amount of investment from $100,000 to $300,000, and
the submission of additional documents such as the business
Seungki Kim, an immigration lawyer, said, “Many
cases result in waste of time and money because applicants
without prior information and preparation.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . .
Translated from Korean by