Episode 5: Why Make Trillions When We Can Make…Billions? – Investor Visas in the Austin Powers Trilogy

In this episode, Shai and Roderick get “shagadelic” with the Austin Powers trilogy. Our co-hosts investigate how Dr. Evil, a Belgian criminal mastermind, and Austin Powers’ arch nemesis, found himself running a world-famous coffee company in Seattle, Washington. The Immigration principles they will explore in this episode include: E-2 Treaty Investor Visas and the EB-5 Green Card program. Plus, Shai and Roderick talk the art of making the perfect parody movie.

Listen to the Episode

Show Notes

Welcome to The Hasta La Visa, Baby podcast, a deep-dive into the relationship between U.S. immigration law and fictitious characters from some of your favorite television shows and movies. Hosted by Gibney Immigration group attorneys Shai Dayan and Roderick Potts, each episode focuses on a particular character from a well-known show or film and guides listeners through an in-depth and entertaining exploration into the possible U.S. visa status that the featured character may have held while in the U.S. Listeners will learn about key immigration considerations through the prism of the fun and fictitious worlds presented in television and film.

For this episode, Shai and Roderick focus on the parody movie trilogy Austin Powers. After summarizing the movie and running through a few fun facts about it, they shift their attention to Dr. Evil, a Belgian criminal mastermind and the main antagonist of the Austin power franchise. His goal is to secure world domination through extortions of terror, though his plans are typically foiled by Mr. Powers. In the second movie, it is revealed that Dr. Evil’s headquarters are located inside of the space needle in Seattle and that his business was an early investor in Starbucks.

Based on this fact, Shai and Roderick’s view is that Dr. Evil may possess an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which allows foreigners to invest a substantial amount of money in a U.S. business, then come to the U.S. to run that business. It isn’t a visa intended for someone to remain permanently in the U.S. Holders of E-2 visas must maintain the intention of eventually returning home.

After taking the opportunity to run through their favorite parody movies, Shai and Roderick imagine a hypothetical consultation with Dr. Evil at a Belgian beer garden in order to make him feel most at home. In this hypothetical meeting, Dr. Evil is coming to Shai and Roderick to determine how he could stay in the U.S. permanently. They would recommend the EB-5 Investor Visa Program, which enables a foreign national to invest a minimum amount in a U.S. commercial enterprise, leading to a green card. It also requires an investor to create at least 10 jobs for U.S. citizens. If he could create tenuous jobs and prove where his money is coming from, Dr. Evil may have a good EB-5 Investor case which would lead to the obtainment of a green card. The episode wraps up with a few final takeaways from the movie on everything from why evil characters have cats and if Austin Powers would make it in the Me Too era.


Learn more about the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa.
Learn more about the movie featured in this episode: Austin Powers.
Learn more about Shai Dayan, Roderick Potts, and Gibney Anthony & Flaherty, LLP.
Connect with us at hastalavisa@gibney.com.

© Copyright 2000- 2023, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty, LLP. All Rights Reserved. Attorney Advertising.