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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administration (USCIS) has created several investment and business related visa programs to provide foreign entrepreneurs visitor and residential status in the U.S. if they have started or are starting a business that operates in the U.S.
Our immigration and investment attorneys can help you identify which visa program is best for you and your individual circumstances and priorities. Get informed on the visa programs available and post your job to get immediate bids from knowledgeable attorneys who specialize in preparing investment visa petitions.
B-1 VISITORS VISA FOR TRAVELLING BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS
The B-1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visiting visa that allows business professionals visiting access in the U.S. for typically 6 months while they research and prepare for their business ventures. The amount of time can be less depending on how quickly the completion of business activities take. You must provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of your trip and stay while in the U.S. as well as maintain your residence abroad. You must be able to show you have surety to return to your country of origin after your visit.
You may qualify for a B-1 visa if you are in the U.S. on another valid nonimmigrant status. You must file a form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status with the USCIS. Your immigration attorney can advise you on your qualifications.
To qualify for a B-1 visa you must be visiting the U.S. for only business related purposes for doing business abroad. Business activities include scheduled meetings, attending conferences, capturing orders for products and services manufactured outside the U.S., negotiations, investigating options for operating business in the U.S., consulting with counsel or other associates. Engaging in any activities that could constitute as hired employment in the U.S. is prohibited. Every case is different, your activities should be specifically related only to your work abroad while visiting.
When visiting the U.S. to raise funding, such as venture capital, angel investors, and private equity, you must file for a status change if you want to operate and manage your business in the U.S. after your B-1 time limit runs out.
While in the U.S. under the B-1 status you cannot draw any salary or payment from a U.S. source for performing foreign employer activities. However, reimbursements can be made from a U.S. source for any reasonable business expenses that may have incurred while in the U.S.
Some countries are classified as "Visa Waiver Countries" meaning that a B visa may not be required to enter the U.S. to conduct visitor business related activities. There is a strict 90 day window of access in the U.S. that cannot be extended other than in emergency situations with this option. Also, some countries such as Canada are exempt from this visa requirement as well as the 90 day rule.
Post your job to consult with our expert immigration attorneys to discuss your qualifications for a B-1 visa application.
E-2 INVESTMENT VISA FOR NEW OR EXISTING U.S. ENTERPRISES
This investment visa is designed for investors who come from countries that qualify for Treaties of Friendship, Navigation and or Commerce or other equivalent with the United States of America, and have invested or are looking to invest in a legal U.S. enterprise. Investors must show they have a controlling interest in the entity such as having 50 percent ownership or established managerial control of its operations through various corporate devices. Like the other investment visas, the E-2 Treaty visa exists to stimulate the U.S. economy. Click here to see how your country qualifies.
To qualify for this visa as a treaty investor, you must be coming to the U.S. to invest in a new or existing business. You must be investing a large sum of capital and assets for commercial purposes with the intent to generate profit. Your investment funds can be used to form a new business or to purchase an existing one.
You can only invest in Bona Fide business, meaning the business must actually exist, be a legitimate commercial entity used to produce products or services that will be sold for profit. Undeveloped property or purchased stocks in a company held for appreciation purposes by the investor do not qualify as E-2 investments. You must be actively participating and engaged in the business with the goal of maintaining a profitable business.
The business must produce more than just a minimum standard of living for you and your family. It also must produce a significant economic contribution by maintaining stable profitability. To provide sufficient evidence that your business will generate well-above the minimum standard, you can provide a formal 5 year business plan along with executive summaries detailing your corporate strategies for operating and growing the business. You should also produce any U.S. and foreign tax returns and personal financial statements.
You must be in possession of the funds for the business and the funds can only be used for the business. Your invested funds much be "irrevocably committed" to the business venture. This means the business funds cannot be withdrawn for any other purposes other than business, including if the business venture fails. All invested funds can only be your own and they must be a substantial amount. The USCIS stresses a substantial investment to ensure as best as possible your commitment to the business venture and its success.
The sources of any funds you invest with must be clearly shown. You can provide financial statements, payment reports, fund transfer and money order receipts to name several can suffice. Your funds cannot be obtained through illegal means.
This investment visa requires hands-on business management from the applicant's part. You must be coming to the U.S. to invest and be personally responsible for the success of a U.S. company. Your direct involvement in the business's operations in a managerial position and/or ownership of at least 50 percent is required.
1) The spouses of E-2 nonimmigrants are authorized to engage in employment upon application to USCIS and receipt of an employment authorization document (EAD).
2) When submitting evidence to USCIS, it is important to fully and clearly explain how the submitted evidence establishes eligibility for petition approval. The more clearly the petitioner can articulate eligibility, the more efficiently and consistently USCIS can review and process the petition and determine eligibility for the benefit sought.
EB-5 VISA FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS WILLING TO INVEST $500,000 AND $1,000,000
Introduced in November of 1990, the EB-5 visa provides a way for foreign investors who invest funds in the United States to receive a green card and enjoy the benefits of being a permanent resident in the U.S. Initiated to promote economic growth, the EB-5 program directs foreign investment into projects that target local economies to generate at least 10 U.S. based full-time jobs. Most immigrant investors prefer to work through officially approved regional centers with their investment. By utilizing the EB-5 program this provides applicants a faster and less expensive route to obtain a permanent green card.
Many other benefits result with the EB-5 program. You have the freedom to live, work, and retire anywhere in the U.S., regardless of where your EB-5 investment is located. You, your spouse and any children under the age of 21 qualify under the same visa application. You are not required to manage any of the day to day operations that pertain to the business investment. All travel restrictions are lifted to and from your home country. You can enjoy the benefit of avoiding out of state tuition fees for college and pay the same rate as local state residents. Your investment portfolio can be diversified in the U.S. You do not need claim any extraordinary abilities, education or need a sponsor as is generally case with other visa types. You can become a U.S. citizen after 5 years once a conditional green card has been issued.
HOW OUR INVESTMENT ATTORNEYS SERVE EB-5 INVESTORS
Your BestLegalChoice EB-5 Attorney works with you to ensure your understanding of all EB-5 immigrant program benefits, requirements, and processes. They will explain your investment opportunities in simple terms and provide ongoing support throughout the application process. Many are connected with professional contacts to increase your chances of getting approved. Most have backgrounds in business management and business law so they can advise you on how to properly organize and maintain your investment to produce continuous growth and returns.
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