Undoubtedly, starting a business in the United States is the lifetime dream of millions of entrepreneurs worldwide. However, before entering the country to establish a company, it is necessary to obtain a visa that allows one to work and reside in the country legally.
In this article, you will find out the best US visa options available for foreign entrepreneurs.
Which Visa Do I Need to Start a Business in the USA? – The Essentials
E-2 Treaty Investors Visa
Under E-2 status, foreign investors from treaty countries can enter the United States legally upon investing a “substantial amount of capital” in a US business enterprise. A treaty country refers to a country with qualifying treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States.
Although there is no minimum standard amount required, the applicant must prove that the amount invested is sufficient to fund the proposed business enterprise. Individuals under E-2 status can renew their visas every two years, as long as they continue to run the E-2 business.
Yet, although it is possible to live indefinitely under E-2 status, it is crucial to note that it is still a non-immigrant visa that will not lead to lawful permanent residence (green card) in the United States.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa
Created in 1990 to stimulate the American economy by attracting foreign capital, the EB-5 Visa Program is an excellent option for entrepreneurs who do not have a problem investing larger amounts of money.
When compared to the E-2 visa, the EB-5 offers a broader scope of possibilities, as it offers lawful permanent residence in the United States to successful applicants with their spouses and unmarried children under 21.
Still, USCIS provides that “the required standard minimum investment amount of $1 million and the minimum investment amount for investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) of $500,000.”
Additionally, applicants must demonstrate the funds are legitimate, investing the entire amount at risk and creating/maintaining ten full-time permanent jobs for qualified US workers.
B-1 Temporary Business Visitor Visa
If the applicant’s goal is not to reside in the United States, but only use the period of stay to negotiate a contract, attend a business conference, or consult with business associates, the B-1 nonimmigrant visa is a good option.
Initially, the period of stay is up to six months, but it is possible to extend the time for six additional months. Yet, it does not offer a pathway to permanent residence, as applicants must demonstrate solid ties with their home countries and that they will return home once the visa expires.
L Visa Category
As provided by USCIS, the L visa category (L-1A and L-1B visas) is available for intracompany transferees who work in managerial positions or have specialized knowledge. In this context, it applies to employees of foreign companies already established on US soil or expanding their presence in the country.
The L-1A category encompasses intracompany transferees in managerial or executive positions, while the L-1B category encompasses intracompany transferees who work in positions that require a specialized skill set or knowledge.
Professionals entering the United States under L-1A status can stay for up to one year when establishing a new office, or three years for other business-related purposes. Ultimately, the maximum period of extension is seven years.
On the other hand, professionals under L-1B status can work with their specialized knowledge for up to one year when establishing a new US office, or three years for other business-related purposes. Yet, the maximum extension period for the L-1B visa is five years.
Do You Want to Start a Business in America as a Foreigner? – Immediately Contact Jurado & Associates P.A.
Applying and obtaining a US visa is not an easy task when you are on your own. Waste no time – call Attorney Romy B. Jurado today at (305) 921-0976 or email [email protected] to schedule a consultation.