How to Get Entrepreneur Visa in USA?

How to Get an Entrepreneur Visa in the USA

The United States offers a great deal of opportunities to entrepreneurs from all around the globe who wish to obtain a US entrepreneur visa and start their own startup business in the USA. If you are an entrepreneur and you are wondering how to get an entrepreneur visa in the USA or how to get a startup visa in the USA, please read the article below. It will provide all the necessary information on how to choose the right entrepreneur visa for you, you will learn what are the requirements and advantages of entrepreneur visa USA and you will be able to choose the best entrepreneur visa option. 

What are the types of entrepreneur visas in the USA?

There are 6 US entrepreneur visas that present the most suitable options and advantages to entrepreneurs. These 6 entrepreneur visas are: the EB-5 Green Card by Investment USA, the E-2 Business Investment Visa USA, L-1 Investor Visa USA, E-1 International Trade Investor Visa USA, EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Green Card and O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa. Below I highlight all the important information regarding how to get an entrepreneur visa in the USA and what are the requirements and advantages of each of the listed entrepreneur visas.

What is an EB-5 Investor Visa and who is it best for?

EB-5 entrepreneur visa presents entrepreneurs with the opportunity to invest substantial capital in a US enterprise and thus create at least 10 job opportunities. If you are an entrepreneur with significant financial resources and a desire to obtain a US green card but you do not have a family member or a US employer who can sponsor you, then the EB-5 Investor Visa is the best option for you. 

What are the requirements for an EB-5 investor visa?

In order to obtain an EB-5 investor visa the two most important requirements that entrepreneurs need to meet are the investment capital and the right type of investment. To qualify for an EB-5 entrepreneur visa USA you must invest at least $900,000 or $1,800,000, depending on the geographic area, into a US enterprise that will employ 10 full-time US workers. The right type of investment means that the EB-5 visa rules allow you to choose the right investment for you – either investing in specifically designated investment projects, known as Regional Centers, or investing in your own commercial enterprise. 

Regional Centers are government pre-approved projects that directly or indirectly create the required 10 US jobs and almost all of them are located in geographic areas that require the $900,000 investment. But you are probably wondering how I will know that Regional Centers are the best entrepreneur visa option for me. If you are looking for a more hands-off management approach to your investment, then the Regional Centers are the best option for your entrepreneur visa USA adventure. Regional Centers provide the EB-5 entrepreneur visa applicant with a detailed project plan, including an explanation of how the Regional Center’s project will create the required 10 US jobs. I recommend you contact an experienced immigration lawyer who will guide you through the process of finding the right Regional Center project for you and who will work directly with the Regional Center to ensure that all immigration rules are met.

Direct investment, on the other hand, means that you get to invest in your own startup business idea if you have one. You may invest in any enterprise to qualify for an EB-5 entrepreneur visa USA as long as the commercial enterprise creates the required 10 jobs for US workers. I recommend you contact an experienced immigration lawyer if you decide that direct investment is the best startup visa USA option for you. An experienced immigration attorney will guide you through the process of company formation, investment related transactions and your EB-5 entrepreneur visa USA application.

And lastly, another requirement is that your funds must be at risk and you are able to demonstrate their lawful source.

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What should I do after successfully obtaining an EB-5 investor visa?

When you successfully obtain your EB-5 entrepreneur visa USA, you are then granted 2-year conditional permanent residence. After these 2 years you must petition USCIS to obtain a permanent green card. In order to qualify for a green card, you need to prove that your enterprise investment created the required 10 US jobs and that your investment funds were committed and at risk throughout the entire EB-5 entrepreneur visa USA process. I recommend you contact an experienced immigration attorney to assist you with the conditional permanent residence application and the removal of conditions on your US investor green card. 

Summary: EB-5 entrepreneur visa USA is the best option for you if you are an entrepreneur with a substantial capital investment and startup business ideas. EB-5 entrepreneur visa USA is your quickest way of obtaining a US investor green card and it is the best option for you if you wish to live and grow your business in the US indefinitely. The EB-5 entrepreneur visa USA also allows you to include your spouse or children under 21 in your application.

What is an E-2 business investment visa and what are its advantages?

E-2 entrepreneur visa is an alternative to EB-5 investment visa and it allows entrepreneurs with some financial capital to move to the United States. One of the main characteristics of the E-2 entrepreneur visa USA is that it does not require a minimum investment amount unlike an EB-5 entrepreneur visa. Moreover, an E-2 entrepreneur visa is a non-immigrant visa. This means that it does not lead to a permanent residence in the United States and if it is processed at a US consulate or embassy it can be valid for 5 years. After the E-2 entrepreneur visa USA expires you need to renew it in order to be able to continue to work and reside in the US. The great advantage of the E-2 investment visa is that the regulations allow this entrepreneur visa to be renewed indefinitely. Also, by obtaining an E-2 entrepreneur visa USA you do not have to face the additional hurdles imposed on permanent residents, such as EB-5 US investor green card holders, in case you decide to move away from the US and then obtain a visitor visa. 

Moreover, an E-2 entrepreneur visa in the USA is a great option for you if you wish to relocate your foreign employees to the US if they have proprietary knowledge, unique skills, or managerial experience. Another great advantage of the E-2 entrepreneur visa USA is that while you are growing your startup US business, your children under 21 can attend school in the US and your spouse can work for any US employer.

What are the requirements for an E-2 business investment visa?

There are a few requirements for obtaining an E-2 entrepreneur visa in the USA and the applicant must meet all of them. Please, find a summary of the requirements below: 

  • Treaty country nationality. This means that the E-2 entrepreneur visa applicant must be a citizen of a country that has a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation with the US. You can find a list of the Treaty Countries and the relevant visa here.
  • Substantial investment. Although there is no required preset minimum investment amount for an E-2 entrepreneur visa, you still need to make a substantial investment in proportion to the cost of your startup business. This means that it should allow you to successfully develop and direct your US startup business for authorities to consider it substantial. 
  • Not a marginal business. This means that your business cannot provide only for you and your family. You must demonstrate that your business will grow sufficiently and be able to hire US employees in the future.
  • Investment already made. This means that you need to be in the process of making an investment or to have already invested in your startup US business in order to qualify for an E-2 entrepreneur visa. The startup US business needs to be ready to start operating once your E-2 entrepreneur visa USA is approved. Moreover, the immigration rules require that the funds be committed and at risk of loss.
  • Lawful source of funds. To qualify for an E-2 entrepreneur visa USA you need to demonstrate that your investment funds came from a lawful source. Although in some cases it might be difficult to trace even lawful investment funds due to the different business practices in some countries, an experienced business immigration attorney would be able to customize effective strategies that will help you document the source of your investment funds.
  • Willingness to develop and direct the enterprise. This means that the E-2 entrepreneur visa USA applicant is required to come to the United States with the intention to develop and direct her startup business. Also, the E-2 entrepreneur visa USA applicant must own at least 50 % of the US business.
  • Intent to depart the United States. According to the E-2 investor immigration rules you must express an intent to depart the US after your E-2 entrepreneur visa USA expires. Even though you cannot express an intent to stay permanently, as long as you meet all the requirements, you are allowed to extend your E-2 entrepreneur visa USA indefinitely.

I recommend you contact an experienced business immigration attorney who will help you with all your questions on how to get an entrepreneur visa in the USA, assist you with your E-2 entrepreneur visa USA application and will make sure you meet all the requirements. 

What do I need to do to get an E-2 entrepreneur visa?

Firstly, to obtain an E-2 entrepreneur visa, you need to identify your investment objectives, develop and structure your investment strategy and deal with all the startup business related investment transactions.  

Secondly, an E-2 entrepreneur visa USA process involves documenting the investment and preparing the E-2 entrepreneur visa application.

I recommend you contact an experienced business immigration attorney who will guide you through the process of company formation and building strategy, investment related transactions and your E-2 entrepreneur visa USA application.

Summary: E-2 entrepreneur visa USA is the best option for you if you wish to move to the United States and form your own startup business but you do not want to invest the required capital amount. The flexibility of E-2 entrepreneur visa USA is also what makes it a very suitable option for entrepreneurs who are unsure whether they want to stay in US after their startup business is fully operational.

What is an L-1 investor visa and what are its advantages?

L-1 entrepreneur visa USA allows owners of a foreign company to establish a US subsidiary or other affiliate office in the US. L-1 immigration rules allow you to do that by transferring a manager or an executive, including yourself, to the US to establish a new US office. L-1 entrepreneur visa USA is a great opportunity for investors from non-treaty countries who cannot qualify for an E-2 entrepreneur visa or cannot meet the required minimum investment amount for EB-5 entrepreneur visa. 

One of the characteristics of L-1 entrepreneur visa USA is that it is a nonimmigrant visa which means that it is issued for a limited amount of time. If you are a L-1A entrepreneur visa holder establishing a new office, you will be granted 1-year initial stay. You are allowed to extend your L-1A entrepreneur visa USA for 2 more years and you can continue to do so until you reach a limit of 7 years. One of the advantages of an L-1 entrepreneur visa is that it is a dual intent visa. This means that you have the option to choose whether you want to stay indefinitely in the US and apply for a green card, or if you want to depart, in which case you will be able to obtain a visitor visa without the additional requirements that permanent residents face.

What are the requirements for an L-1 entrepreneur visa?

There are a few requirements for obtaining an L-1 entrepreneur visa in the USA and the applicant must meet all of them. Please, find a summary of the requirements below:

  • Qualifying relationship with foreign company. This means that you must demonstrate that your US company is a subsidiary, branch or other affiliate of your foreign company.
  • Doing business both in the United States and abroad. The term “doing business” refers to “regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services” and it must last for at least the duration of your L-1 entrepreneur visa USA. Please, keep in mind that having an agent or just an office space will not constitute doing business. 
  • Employed as manager or an executive in US business. This means that you have to take an active part in managing your US business, unlike other entrepreneur visa options where the holder is allowed a more hands-off role.
  • Employed as manager or an executive in foreign business. This means that you are required to have worked as a manager or an executive in a foreign company for 1 continuous year within the last 3 years immediately preceding your entering the US as a L-1 entrepreneur visa holder.
  • Physical premises. To qualify for an L-1 entrepreneur visa in the USA you must secure sufficient physical premises for your new US office. 
  • Able to support managerial or executive positions. This means that you must demonstrate that your US company will grow to sufficiently support an executive or managerial position within one year of your L-1 entrepreneur visa USA application.

I recommend you contact an experienced business immigration attorney who will help you with all your questions on how to get an entrepreneur visa in the USA, assist you with your L-1 entrepreneur visa USA application and will make sure you meet all the requirements. 

What do I need to do to get an L-1 entrepreneur visa?

There are three phases you need to go through to get an L-1 entrepreneur visa USA. Firstly, you must establish a new US affiliate office and make all the necessary investments to start doing business in the US. Second, you need to document your investment and prepare your L-1 entrepreneur visa USA petition to file with USCIS. Third, once your L-1 entrepreneur immigration petition is approved by USCIS, your case is then transferred to a US consulate or embassy where you can apply for your L-1 entrepreneur visa USA.

I recommend you contact an experienced business immigration attorney who will guide you through the process of starting up your business in the United States, documenting all investments and preparing your L-1 entrepreneur visa USA application.

Summary: L-1 entrepreneur visa USA is the best option for entrepreneurs who already have an established foreign business but wish to also have an affiliate business in the US. The fact that it is available to citizens from all countries worldwide and that it is the most flexible in terms of deciding whether to stay permanently in the US or not, is what makes L-1 entrepreneur visa USA one of the most suitable entrepreneur options. This type of entrepreneur visa USA allows your spouse or children under 21 to also take advantage of the process.

What is an E-1 international trade investor visa USA and what are its advantages?

E-1 entrepreneur visa USA is different from all other entrepreneur visas in that it does not require any investment requirements. This means that the E-1 entrepreneur visa USA is granted to applicants who can demonstrate that they will engage in substantial international trade between the United States and their country of citizenship. The advantage of E-1 entrepreneur visa USA is that it allows entrepreneurs to form their own startup low-cost import-export business or international service in the US. Another great advantage of this startup visa USA is its flexibility in terms of renewing your visa indefinitely while also allowing you to depart the US at any point. 

What are the requirements for an E-1 entrepreneur visa in the USA?

To qualify for an E-1 entrepreneur visa USA the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Treaty country nationality. This means that the E-1 entrepreneur visa applicant must be a citizen of a country that has a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation with the US. You can find a list of the Treaty Countries and the relevant visa here
  • Engagement in substantial trade. This means that the E-1 entrepreneur visa applicant is required to be engaged in substantial trade of goods and services. The US authorities will consider both monetary value and quantity of transactions to determine whether the trade is substantial.
  • Trade occurs principally with treaty countries. This means that 51 % or more of the trade of your US business must be with the treaty country.  
  • Activities must constitute trade. If your startup US business is engaged in one of the following activities this means that it falls in the definition of “international exchange of qualifying goods and services”: manufactured products, equipment, and commodities; insurance, financial, banking, and transportation services.

Summary: The E-1 entrepreneur visa USA is a great opportunity for companies that already engage in trade between their home country and the United States. Also, with all the flexibility of the regular entrepreneur visas, the E-1 entrepreneur visa USA is one of the best alternative entrepreneur visa solutions.

Beside the above-mentioned options for how to get an entrepreneur visa USA by investment, there are two more options: the EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Green Card and O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa. Please find an overview of these additional solutions to your entrepreneur visa USA adventure.

What is an EB-1 extraordinary ability green card and what are its requirements?

An EB-1 extraordinary ability green card is granted to persons who can demonstrate great achievements in the following areas: sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. In order to qualify for an EB-1 extraordinary ability green card you must meet the following requirements: 

  • Provide evidence of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
  • Demonstrate documented achievements and be considered highly reputable in your area of discipline
  • Continue to work in your area of discipline
  • Provide evidence of national or international acclaim.

If your company is a leader in the industry or you can demonstrate significant business experience, then the EB-1 extraordinary ability green card can be a perfect opportunity to start your entrepreneur visa USA adventure. To find out more about the EB-1 extraordinary ability green card, please read our extensive article here or you can contact our business immigration attorney who will answer all your questions on how to get an entrepreneur visa USA in EB-1 extraordinary ability green card category.

What is an O-1 extraordinary ability visa and what are its requirements?

Similarly, to EB-1 extraordinary ability visa, the O-1 extraordinary ability visa is granted to applicants who have great achievements in the area of sciences, education, business or athletics. However, the O-1 extraordinary ability visa is a non-immigrant visa which means that you cannot apply for permanent residency. To qualify for an O-1 entrepreneur visa the applicant must provide evidence for great achievements or national and international acclaim in the business field. The O-1 entrepreneur visa USA must also demonstrate intent to stay only temporary in the United States. I recommend you contact an experienced business immigration lawyer who will answer all your questions on how to get an entrepreneur visa USA in the O-1 extraordinary ability category.

Our business immigration lawyer is here to help you with your entrepreneur visa USA case

Are you wondering how to get an entrepreneur visa in the USA or how to get a startup visa in the USA? Do you need help in choosing the right entrepreneur visa USA for you? Do you need assistance in preparing your entrepreneur visa USA application? Are you searching for an “immigration lawyer near me”? As an experienced immigration law firm, Pandev Law has the knowledge and experience to guide you through your business immigration case.

To learn more about our business immigration USA services or to schedule a consultation with our business immigration attorney, please complete our contact form, email admin@pandevlaw.com, or call us at (212) 220-6652

During your consultation, our business immigration lawyer will provide an honest assessment of your case, and a recommendation about your next steps. 

Disclaimer: This blog article is provided by Pandev Law, LLC for general educational and informational purposes only. Although this article discusses general legal issues, it does not constitute legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented in this article, or elsewhere on this website, without seeking the advice of appropriate legal counsel, or other professional counsel, licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. Pandev Law, LLC expressly disclaims any and all liability with respect to any actions taken, or not taken, based on any content of this article or website. This blog article may constitute attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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