Before you take the leap, it is recommended that you consult with a proven business immigration attorney to learn more about immigration law and help to ensure that you are taking actions that will be beneficial to your overall business operations.
It’s no secret, many of the top businesses in the U.S. were founded by entrepreneurs from other countries. The U.S. has built a reputation of being a nation that people from all over the world come to chase their dreams, start new business ventures, expand current operations, and reach their highest potential. Though obtaining a business visa is not an easy process, there are a few options available to entrepreneurs. The U.S. provides many business visa types for those who are interested in contributing to the economy and the business community. In all, there are eight types of business visas. Each has its own eligibility requirements as well as restrictions. Deciding which type of visa is best for you can be a complex process. Making the wrong choice could negatively affect your application status and/or overall business plans. Before you take the leap, it is recommended that you consult with a proven business immigration attorney to learn more about immigration law and help to ensure that you are taking actions that will be beneficial to your overall business operations. Learn more about the best way to start operations in the U.S. below.
Investing in a Current Business
One of the easiest and fastest methods of gaining access to the U.S. market is to invest a substantial amount of money into a current U.S. business and/or into funding your own business. Investment visas include:
- EB-5 Visa: Otherwise known as the Immigrant Investor Program. The EB-5 visa gives you access to the U.S. market as well as lawful permanent citizenship. However, it will come at a cost. Those applying for this visa must invest between $500,000 and $1 million in a U.S. business.
- E-2 Visa: This is also called the “start-up visa.” Only those from certain countries are eligible to apply. It will require an investment of at least $100,000.
Using Your Talent in the U.S.
If you do not have enough money for an EB-5 or E-2 visa, an EB-2(C) visa may be your next best option. This is reserved for those who have exhibited exceptional talent or ability. It does not mandate that you have a sponsor. However, you must have at least a Master’s degree and/or an outstanding talent that is recognized within your field. Obtaining an EB-2(C) visa will require that you prove that granting you this visa type is in the national interest of the U.S.
If you are more interested in building your network, conducting meetings, etc., then you might just need a short-term B-1 visa. While it won’t allow you to stay in the U.S. for more than six months (one year if extended), it can allow you to make business connections and create new opportunities for your company.
Sending An Employee
Whether you are an employee seeking to come to the U.S. to expand your company’s footprint or you are an employer who would like to invite an employee to the U.S., there are many options for you. Each will require employer sponsorship. Listed below are the most common employment visas.
- O-1 Visa: For exceptionally talented employees who are at the top of their field.
- L-1 Visa: For an L-1A visa, you must be an executive or a high-level manager within your company. An L-1B visa will require that you have relevant specialized knowledge.
- H-1B Visa: For employees who are not managers, executives, and/or holding positions that require specialized knowledge. However, it should be noted that there is a cap on the number of H-1B visas approved each year.