entrepreneur visas for US company

Open for Business in the US: How to Get Entrepreneur and Manager Visas

entrepreneur visas for US company
Not only have you created a company that is a success in your home country, but now you’re ready to open new markets. You are ready to bring your dream to the United States. Your company will open a new location here, but how will you and your most trusted managers be allowed to live and work in the US? You know you’d rather not hire managers with no experience to train a whole new team and oversee operations. You need those who have already proven successful at your company to help you for at least the first year, if not longer.

But how will you do it? How will you hurdle the legal obstacles that can make it difficult to obtain US work permission? Without the best professional help, such a task can feel impossible. Fortunately, our immigration law practice has a record of successes dating back almost forty years. We can answer all of your questions, and we can help you make your American dream come true.

Which visas we will recommend depend on the particulars of your situation. For a multinational company with a new American location, the L1A, E-1 or E-2 visa may offer the best choice for you or your managers.

L1A: The Manager Visa

Company owners, executives and managers may qualify for L1A. The US-based company or affiliate must apply on behalf of the recipient. However, parties must already be a part of the organization or any of its affiliates to qualify. These individuals can be from any country but they need to meet the specific requirements of the L1A manager visa and need to have the required expertise and knowledge to fulfill the position before coming to the US.

The L1A visa allows individuals to stay for a year when working for a new company. Or, once the company has been operational for more than a year, your managers can stay three years with this visa. Once the owner or managers have reached the maximum period of stay, they will need to exit the US in order to reapply for the L1A visa program.

In order to apply for L1A visas, you will need to prove that your company is financially solid and in good standing.

Advantages of L1A: You are not required to make a “substantial investment” before you become eligible for L1A, as is the case for investor visas. Government processing time is faster compared to other visas – only 15 days or less with premium processing — because there is no need to file either an Application for Labor Certification or a Labor Condition Application. Adjudication of the case takes place in the US, rather than at the relevant US Embassy or Consulate. Government filing fees are relatively low, as well. Finally, there are no country restrictions on L1A whereas you have to be from a country that has a treaty with the US in order to qualify for the E visas.

The E Visas: Investor Visas

To qualify for the E visas, your citizenship must be from a country that has a treaty with the US.

Below is the list of countries that have an E visa treaty, for both types of E visas:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Canada,
China(Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan,
Korea, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands,
Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Serbia, Montenegro,
Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey,
United Kingdom

Countries with Treaties conferring only E-1 treaty-trader status:

Bolivia, Brunei, Denmark, Greece, Israel, Latvia

Countries with Treaties conferring only E-2 treaty-investor status:

Armenia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Congo, Czech Republic, Ecuador,
Egypt, Grenada, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco,
Panama, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Slovak Republic, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine, Zaire

The E1 Treaty Trader:
Nationals of qualifying treaty countries who undertake a significant amount of international trade with the US may qualify for this type of visa. The volume of such trade must be sufficient to justify the trader and employees being in the United States to manage the trade, and must constitute the majority of the trader’s international trade (i.e. at least 50% of the trader’s exports/imports must be to/from the USA). There is no set minimum level of trade which is considered sufficient, but obviously the lower the volume of trade the less likely one is to qualify as a treaty trader.

The E2 Treaty Investor:
E-2 visas are for owners and investors in businesses in the United States. The E-2 is a temporary U.S. work visa that may be granted for “substantial” investments in the U.S. An investment must meet several criteria in order to qualify for an E-2 visa.

Employees of E-2 companies may be granted E-2 visas if they are or will be engaged in executive, managerial, or supervisory roles. If employed in another capacity, the employee may be granted an E-2 visa if he or she has special qualifications that make their services essential to the enterprise.

Advantages of the E visas: Your spouse and children (unmarried and under 21) of E-1 or E-2 visa holders are also entitled to E-1 or E-2 visas, allowing them to work or go to school full-time or part-time in the US. While E visas are non-immigrant visas, you can renew them indefinitely. Plus, there are no annual caps on the number of E visas issued, which can be a problem with some other visa categories. Finally, there are no “labor certifications” and no preliminary petitions required.

We will cover additional details and requirements when we speak with you. Our expert immigration law team is highly trained and experienced, allowing you to feel confident that we can guide you with wisdom as you secure legal permission to work in the US. We are here to answer all of your questions, and we will do everything we can to make sure you have the smoothest possible transition to the US. Please contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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