Cicilline Bill to Strengthen U.S.-Portuguese Relations Passes House

Dec 3, 2019

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation today introduced by U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), the AMIGOS Act (H.R. 565), to increase trade and investment ties between Portugal and the United States by making Portuguese nationals eligible for E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant visas. H.R. 565, which will make it easier for Portugal and the United States to do business with one another, now heads to the Senate.

 

“Rhode Islanders know the tremendous contributions that Portuguese-Americans and Portuguese nationals make in every community across our state,” Cicilline said. “This legislation will break down barriers that currently limits Portuguese investments in American businesses and projects and will build upon an already strong relationship between our two countries. I’m proud to see this legislation pass the House with strong bipartisan support, and I look forward to it becoming law.”

 

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “The E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States 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.”

 

Similarly, an E-2 nonimmigrant classification “allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.”

 

Cicilline represents one of the largest Portuguese populations in the nation in Rhode Island’s First District. In addition to leading efforts to strengthen U.S.-Portuguese relations as a co-chair of the Congressional Portuguese Caucus, he has previously introduced legislation to protect U.S. national security interests in the Azores and welcomed Portugal’s Ambassador to the United States for an official visit to Rhode Island.

 

The bill now moves to the Senate where a bipartisan companion bill has been introduced by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

 

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