On Aug. 23, 2019, our firm wrote about the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) announcement that the validity period of E-1 and E-2 visas for French Nationals would be reduced from 60 months to 15 months effective Aug 29, 2019. The effective date has now been postponed to Sept. 26, 2019.

The general rule is that different types of U.S. visas have different visa validity periods depending on the nationality of the visa applicant because the Immigration and Nationality Act requires the DOS to set country-specific visa policies on a reciprocal basis. The validity periods are based on each country’s treatment of similar classes of U.S. visitors to its territory. In other words, if a country imposes restrictive visa requirements on U.S. citizens, the U.S. reciprocates with more restrictive requirements on that country’s citizens.The E-visa reciprocity periods range from three months to up to 60 months for different countries. Whereas French Nationals have enjoyed the maximum time (60 months) allowed on their E-visas, their E-visas will be limited to a validity of only 15 months starting Sept. 26 when, the revised reciprocity schedule gets implemented. While the standard of review is not expected to change, the shorter visa validity will impose significant burden on French National E-visa applicants to have to renew their E-visas more frequently at the U.S. Embassies and Consulates. The expectation is that the U.S. citizens wanting to live and work in France on the reciprocal visa will also receive reduced visas as a result of this change.

The reciprocity tables displayed on travel.state.gov will be updated to reflect the changes above.

Click here to read more on e-visas.