Year after year, thousands of entrepreneurs enter the United States intending to attain the American Dream. Indeed, the country offers unique professional opportunities for a wide array of business people in different sectors.
In this context, foreign entrepreneurs must seek proper legal guidance to choose the right business visa. Keep reading to discover how to choose a business & entrepreneur visa in the United States.
Business & Entrepreneur Visa USA – The Essentials
E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is one of the most sought-after options with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). As its name suggests, the E-2 visa is available only to a select number of countries with which the United States has treaties of commerce or navigation.
Accordingly, eligible citizens of treaty countries can enter the United States legally by investing a substantial amount of capital in a US business enterprise – either to start a business or invest in an established company.
However, USCIS requires that applicants must show at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial/executive position in the company.
Additionally, a treaty investor’s investment of capital must be at risk, in the commercial sense of generating a profit. Hence, if the investment fails, the capital must be subject to a partial or total loss.
Although there is no determined numerical basis for the “substantial” amount required, it will depend on whether USCIS considers one’s investment sufficient to establish a business, expand its activities, or maintain its operations.
When applying for an E-2 visa, applicants should provide USCIS with a detailed package of documents with a spreadsheet explaining how and why the investment is substantial.
EB-5 Investor Visa
While the E-2 visa is a good option for foreign entrepreneurs, it does not offer a straight pathway to lawful permanent residence (green card). In this sense, an excellent option for investors willing to put more money on the table is applying for an EB-5 visa.
The EB-5 Investor Visa permits eligible foreign citizens to get a green card for themselves, a spouse, and unmarried children under 21, upon investing the required amount of capital in a US company.
Plus, the investment must create or maintain at least ten full-time permanent jobs for qualified US workers. Unlike the E-2 nonimmigrant visa, EB-5 investors are granted lawful permanent status (green card).
Currently, USCIS provides that the required standard minimum investment amount is $1 million for standard investments and $500,000 for investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).
Similar to the E-2 visa, the investment must be put at risk. Accordingly, the investment funds cannot just stay in a business bank account, as the required amount of capital must be spent or committed to a business enterprise.
Regardless of the type of visa, USCIS requires that all funds used as an investment must have been obtained lawfully. Any attempt to lure, deceive, or circumvent the rules established by USCIS will result in application denies and/or further legal consequences.
Business & Entrepreneur Visa USA – Why Should I Consult with Jurado and Associates P.A.?
Each investor is different, so every visa application must have an individualized approach. At Jurado and Associates, P.A., we have well-versed immigration attorneys with years of experience helping foreign entrepreneurs enter the United States legally.
Although entrepreneurs can work their way through a business US visa, it may become a demanding and time-consuming task in no time. Accordingly, the best approach is to consult with an expert attorney before taking any action.