US Business and Investment Visas, particularly in this period of restrictive immigration policies and practices in the US, provide a very attractive option for many business people and investors. There are many types of business and investment visas. This article will briefly touch on some of the more popular ones. If a business person or investor would like to know more about these visas and the appropriateness with respect to his or her situation, US Business Investor Visa Attorney Pecchia offers a Free Consultation by calling (818) 963-8238, to consider the various options and eligibility. Please note that This article is not exhaustive and doesn’t address the requirements of each visa option. It is merely a snapshot of some of the possible options.
E2 Investor Visa
Investors should take a close look at this option. The E-2 investor visa is a long-term, renewable work visa granted to business investors from countries that have signed a bilateral investment treaty with the United States. This is a non-immigrant visa. The duration of the visa is determined by the terms of the treaty between the U.S. and investor’s country of citizenship.
What is interesting about this visa is that a specific dollar amount is not required. As a rule of thumb, most assume that the investment should be at least $100,000 (US). However, cases have been approved with much smaller investments. It really depends upon the nature of the business, the reasonableness of the business plan, and other factors.
The investor should form a U.S. company, which will operate the business that the investor will purchase or establish, and which will act as the investor’s visa sponsor. Both the U.S. business and the individual investor, or employee, must qualify for E-2 visa status.
The U.S. Department of State sets out the general requirements at the link below:
EB-5 Investor Visa
In the most general terms, under the EB-5 Visa Program, a $500,000 investment in a “Regional Center” enables foreign investors to qualify for the Green Card without the constraints of having to set-up and manage a U.S. business. This immigration option allows investors to live in any U.S. state and engage in a business, employment, or any activity of the investor’s choice, or just retire. There is also a $1,000,000 option in which an investor can start or buy into an existing business. More information can be found in Mr. Pecchia’s interesting blog article:
L-1 Intra-Company Tranferees for Managers & Executives
The L-1 visa category is intended to facilitate international business by permitting the transfer of non-U.S. managers and specialized personnel into the U.S. by companies with operations in the U.S. and abroad. There are two types of L-1 visas: L-1A visas are available for executives and managers; and L-1B visas are available for “specialized knowledge personnel.” This visa can lead to a greencard.
The main requirements for L-1 visas are:
– The employee must have worked abroad in either (a) a managerial or executive position, or (b) in a position performing services entailing “specialized knowledge;” and must be coming to work in the U.S. in one of these capacities.
– The company for which the employee worked abroad must be either the same company for which the employee will be working for in the U.S., or a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of that company.
– The employee must have worked abroad for that particular company for one continuous year within the three-year period immediately preceding the filing of the petition for the L-1 visa.
– The employee must be qualified, in terms of education and experience, for the position.
– The employee must intend to leave the U.S. at the end of the authorized period of stay.
The company in the U.S. and the related company abroad must continue doing business in the U.S. and in one foreign country during the entire period of the transfer.
L-1 Visa holders may also bring their family members with them on L-2 visas. The spouse and children under 21 years of age may attend school and the L-2 spouse is also allowed to work, with a valid work authorization document (applied for separately from the L-1 visa).
O-1 visas are available for individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics,demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, who are coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability. Though many individuals come into the U.S. for short durations, the terms can be given for an initial period of 3 years with exentsions in increments of 1 year. O-1 and O-3 can pursue permanent residence while in the U.S. in O status.
US Business Investor Visa Attorney Donald M. Pecchia