Episode 9: Pivot! – Treaty Trader Visas with Paolo from Friends

In this episode, Shai and Roderick order in at Central Perk coffee shop to figure out what type of U.S. visa status Paolo, Rachel’s love interest in season 1 and season 2 of the all-time classic sitcom, Friends, could have possibly had. In addition to analyzing Paolo’s leather jackets, tight sweaters, and obnoxiously long hair, the Immigration principles they will cover include the E-1 Treaty Trader visa and Single Intent and Dual Intent visa status. Plus, Shai and Roderick debate Friends vs. Seinfeld. And, a very special guest…

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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 one of the most popular sitcoms ever made: Friends. After running through the premise of the show and a few fun facts about it, they shift their attention to the character Paolo, a love interest of Rachel’s on the show. Paolo is from Italy and speaks very little English.

It is Shai and Roderick’s view that Paolo held an E-1 Treaty Trader Visa, which allows nationals or organizations from countries with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce to come to the U.S. in order to trade goods. The trade must be sufficient to ensure a continuous flow of international trade items between the U.S. and the treaty country.

It’s possible that Paolo could have been involved in trade activities where he didn’t need to speak much English, such as an Italian leather, wine or cheese company. To apply for this visa, one must apply directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad and appear for an interview with a consulate officer, providing documentation of the business and trade. The initial entry is for two years, with the opportunity to extend for additional two year periods.

Before diving into a hypothetical consultation with Paolo, Shai and Roderick explain the difference between single and dual intent visas. Because Paolo held a single intent status as an E-1 Treaty Trader, it would be more difficult for him to be sponsored for a green card. Thus, Shai and Roderick would encourage him to explore visa opportunities with dual intent status.

In the next segment of the podcast, our hosts welcome special guest and Friends fan Joanna DiBenedetto to share her takeaways from the show! The topics they discuss range from whether Paolo is actually that good looking, how the characters spend so much time together, the inconsistency of their hangout spots with their age, their lack of New York accents and what in the world a crap weasel is.


Learn more about the show featured in this episode: Friends.
Learn more about Shai Dayan, Roderick Potts, and Gibney Anthony & Flaherty, LLP.
Connect with us at hastalavisa@gibney.com.
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