U.S. Visas for Entrepreneurs

Many immigrant entrepreneurs have come to the U.S. and started businesses that changed entire industries. Google co-founder Sergey Brin came from Russia, former YouTube chief technology officer Steve Chen was born in Taiwan, and Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger was Brazilian. If you want to come to the United States and make your own business dream a reality, you’re in good company.

Immigrants who want to start or run a business here have a choice of different visas intended for entrepreneurs, investors, or business owners. Three of the most frequently-used ones are reviewed in detail below.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 visa allows citizens of treaty countries to enter the U.S. for the purpose of investing in an American business. The amount you are required to invest depends on the type of business, but it cannot be a marginal enterprise, meaning that it must be able to generate enough income to support you and your family.

Although it can be renewed indefinitely, the E-2 is a nonimmigrant visa, which means that the recipient cannot use it to qualify for a green card. An immigration attorney can advise you whether you may obtain lawful permanent residence via a different route.

H-1B Visa for Entrepreneurs

The H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa that allows a U.S. employer to hire workers for speciality occupations. The beneficiary must have a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience and, upon approval, can be employed by the sponsor for up to six years. 

In recent years, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been accepting H-1B petitions filed by American companies owned by the applicant. This self-sponsorship can be difficult, however, and is best undertaken with support from an experienced New York immigration attorney. 

L-Visa for Managers

The L-visa enables a company to transfer a manager or executive from a foreign office to one of its U.S. locations or send them to the U.S. for the purposes of establishing a new presence. To be eligible, you must have a qualifying position with an overseas company and be acting as an employer here and in at least one other country for the duration of your stay in the U.S.

Speak to a New York Immigration Lawyer 

The business immigration process can be complicated, but having a skilled attorney on your side can help ensure that your application is completed correctly and in full, increasing your chances of being approved for the visa you need. To schedule a consultation, contact RelisLaw PLLC at 1-866-918-2117. For your convenience, we also connect with overseas clients via Skype, Zoom, and other platforms.

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RelisLaw PLLC

We help people from around the world to live and work freely in the U.S., to achieve their dreams, unite families, or escape persecution. No matter what immigration service you need, RelisLaw PLLC will provide caring and dependable counsel to you and aggressive advocacy to vigorously fight for you using every available legal avenue. As a global firm, we work with people in countries around the world. We meet clients across the U.S., as well as in New York, Toronto, and Montréal. We also meet with clients globally, located in any country, via Skype and other platforms.
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