E2 Visa for Chefs and Hospitality Workers – Chef José Andrés inspiring story

Since he arrived in this country two decades ago, Chef Jose Andres has been a tireless advocate for Spanish cuisine. His D.C.-based restaurants helped popularize tapas, the small plates that typify Spanish food. He is also a model and inspiration to many aspiring Chef immigrants looking to move to the US and start their restaurants.

Although many Hospitality workers wait months or even years for permission to live and work in the US legally, a small but growing number have found a legal path that is relatively simple and fast: come with money to buy a businesses here. As the Hospitality business is booming in the US, more and more Hospitality professionals in Europe are coming to the US and starting their own businesses via the E2 visa investment.

This is also known as the nonimmigrant investor visa. It is a temporary category that is granted in two-year to five year increments with no limits on the number of extensions.

A recent Newsweek article features Chef Jose Andres and he explains his favorite mistake in business, that mistake was the beginning of his American adventure and his success.

“…So there I am in the middle of Spain, it’s raining, and I’m out of a job at a place I thought I would spend my entire career. The soundtrack of my life started playing. It was like those movies where there’s a shooting and someone’s little brother is shot in slow motion. I was just standing there in the rain, cars driving by. Within a week, I moved to New York to try something different. I had never thought about trying to be a chef in America, but I thought now was the right time, and I didn’t have any other choices. That was 20 years ago, and moving to the United States really was destined for me. America gave me the opportunity to open successful restaurants, start a TV show, and write books. I can even fill an auditorium when I give a speech, which in America is rare for a chef.

Maybe the mistake was leaving to find a pay phone. Or maybe it was his mistake for not believing me. It’s still my favorite.”

The E-2 visa is beneficial to many who wish to work and conduct business in the U.S. It is not limited to just the owners of companies, but may be used by their managers and specialized knowledge workers. The process for obtaining an E-2 is complex and should not be attempted without a qualified immigration lawyer. Feel free to contact us with any questions.