This case involves an international plaintiff who came to the United States from Switzerland to serve as a chief technology consultant for a consumer electronics corporation. The plaintiff had obtained a visa for this purpose. Within 2 months of arriving in the country, the plaintiff visited a ski resort in Colorado. She fell while skiing without a helmet and sustained a catastrophic brain injury. The plaintiff was subsequently forced to move back to Switzerland. An expert in immigration law was sought to opine on the case.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
1. What is your experience in the immigration field?
2. Do you have knowledge of extensions on visa / green card due to an accident of this magnitude? Please explain.
Expert Witness Response E-045260
I practiced immigration law for 10 years and have taught the immigration law course at my law school for four and a half years. It sounds like she came on an E-2 visa. Was she in the process of applying for an extension of her E-2 when she needed to depart for Switzerland? In this case, the issue of whether she abandoned her extension request becomes the central issue. Or was she in the middle of adjusting status? Also, did the injury impair her ability to direct the investment? The accident itself has no bearing on the visa extension or green card application, but rather may have an effect on the physical presence and residency requirements. If she was in the middle of adjusting status, she needs to establish intent to live in the United States, in which case her return to Switzerland might be construed negatively. If she was in the middle of applying for an extension of her E-2 status, the return to Switzerland may be construed as an abandonment of her extension request. Both can theoretically be overcome, but would require different analyses and arguments.
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