Recent client experience in Oslo reveals consular officer mindset
One of our entrepreneur clients who filed an E-2 visa application at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway, based on a business he started in California, just reported back with excitement that he was granted the E-2 visa. He also offered some tips from the “front line” on the mindset of these consular officers who review E-2 filings and have the power to grant or deny the visa. We thought you might appreciate his tips. Here is the almost verbatim transcript of part of the email he sent to us with a couple of highlighted comments from us:
Just got back from the U.S. Embassy in Oslo. They had spent well over six hours reviewing my application, and I spent more than an hour there explaining the business model and answering questions. And then the officer at the embassy confirmed that I would get the E2-Visa.
Once he had told me I would get the visa, we spent a few minutes discussing conditions for getting the E-2 Visa from Norway: [The same is probably true for every other Embassy as well.]
Providing consultancy services is not enough. He told me he had to turn down a lot of applicants who were experts and even though they were making a lot of money, they did not have any clear idea on how to grow their consultancy business because it was solely based on their own expertise.
Use “we” instead of “I”. He had noticed that I was often using “we” when describing how to grow the business, and he liked that a lot. He also noticed that I wanted to hand the role as the CEO to others when time comes (and that I had done so in the past), which indicated to him that I knew my place in the “food chain” and that I was willing to allow others to use their expertise to grow the company further from its initial stage.
The overall goal for him was the creation of jobs in the U.S., everything else was less important. Consequently, he was concerned about the low revenue (as expected), and would have expected more activity in the U.S. I explained that it would require me to be there more permanently since the business model is based on a partnership with other companies, and requires close cooperation particularly in the early stages. In other words, he did not really ask much about why I was needed in the U.S., because he was more concerned about the revenue.
He told me that my application was complicated, but after I explained to him how the business model would work, he found it very interesting. [Make sure your business plan emphasizes the company’s business model in an understandable way and be sure to practice explaining this model before attending the mandatory E-2 interview at the Embassy.]