3 Best Visa Options if Planning to Do Business in the U.S.

us visaSetting up a business in the United States can be quite exciting. However, there are a few challenges. Planning as well as in depth market research can bring down the risks substantially.

Apart from the challenges faced in starting a business, the foreign nationals face yet another daunting challenge; which visa to obtain to enter the U.S. legally and run as well as operate business as soon as it is established?

The foreign nationals eager to enter the U.S. must obtain a visa. The visas are divided into two different categories. They are the immigrant and the non-immigrant.

The immigrant visas are issued to the individuals who are looking for a permanent residence in the United States; the non-immigrant visas authorize stay for a limited time with a specific purpose.

Let's take a look at the best visa options for businesses, now.

  1. L1 Visa

This is a non-immigrant visa. This visa can be used to begin a new company in the U.S. if it is a parent, branch or the subsidiary of a foreign company.

The L1 visa allows the foreign nationals to enter the U.S. for opening a new office. This visa allows companies to transfer some employees from foreign operations to the U.S. operations for a maximum of 7 years.

There are two types of employees possible to be sponsored for these visas.

  • Executives or Managers

The manager or the executive must have a supervisory responsibility. These visas are issued for three years initially and can be extended up to 7 years.

  • Specialized Knowledge Staff

This category covers the individuals who have adequate knowledge of the company's services, products, management, proprietary techniques or the procedures. The visas are issued for three years and can be extended for a maximum of five years.

  1. E-2 Visa

E-2 Work Visa is one of the fastest ways to get into the United States for work.

The E2 visas can be applied for only by the people or companies of a given set of countries. This visa allows the entrepreneurs from only the E2 treaty nations enter the U.S. to direct and develop the operations of an organization they have already invested in or are about to invest a substantial amount of money into.

E2 visas are possible to be applied for, only if you have the citizenship of the following countries.

There are signed treaties with Azerbaijan, Albania, Jordan, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Russia as well but these are unratified.

The investment needs here vary, depending upon the nature of the company as well as the industry. Contrary to the L1 visa, the employees need not have worked with the investor for minimum one year in the last three years. The E2 visa registration applications must demonstrate the following:

  • The investor will be controlling the investment
  • Cash invested is far from being marginal as compared to the total investment
  • The enterprise is/will be active
  • The enterprise or the investor has a history of successful trading
  • The principal investor and the E2 staff are willing to leave the U.S. after the expiry of U.S. visa tenure
  1. EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 investor visa allows a person to live in the United States permanently. For the foreign investors on the lookout for flexibility and freedom to live as well as work in the United States, this visa program offers one of the best opportunities to accrue Green Cards.

Let's check out on some of the features of this visa.

  • Direct route to get a Green Card
  • Permanent residency for you, your spouse and children aged less than 21
  • Live, work or retire anywhere you would like to in the United States
  • Get U.S. citizenship after five years of being a green card holder

Here are a few criteria to get this visa

  • You need to show that the funds are coming from a legitimate source
  • You need to demonstrate that the investment results in creation of some full-time jobs

There are several more visas. But these are the ones that add value to the entrepreneurs. Make sure to do your homework and take the help of an attorney to find the visa that meets your need.

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