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ENTREPRENEUR VISAS

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Nonimmigrant Treaty Investor

E-2 Visa

Eligibility

Citizens of countries with which the United States has signed an investment treaty (a treaty of trade and navigation) are eligible to apply for E-2 visas. When foreign nationals with E-2 entrepreneur visas invest a sizable amount of money in a company with a US incorporation and intend to significantly expand and manage the company, the US permits them entry.

EB-5 Investment Program Sign

Entrepreneur Visas Requirements and/or materials

USCIS needs written proof and explanations of the goals and activities of the firm, as well as information on the type of funding invested in the business and its funding sources. Documentation needed to qualify as a treaty investor includes:
  • Evidence that the investor is a citizen of a nation with whom the US has a commerce and navigation pact;
  • Evidence that the investor has invested in, or is currently investing in, a significant amount of money in a legitimate US business;
  • Confirmation that the investor owns at least 50% of the company;
  • Evidence that the firm is not solely being invested in to cover the applicant’s and his family’s living costs;
  • Evidence that the business has started or will start if the visa is approved;
  • Evidence of the applicant’s suitability to launch and manage the investment company;
  • Evidence indicating the investor plans to leave the US once the validity period has expired.


As a condition of being permitted to work for a treaty investor, the candidate must:

  • being the same country as the primary foreign employer or investor;
  • satisfy the legal definition of “employee”; and
  • either do executive or supervisory-level tasks or, if engaged in a lower position, possess particular credentials.
A substantial sum of cash must be invested in the company to qualify for an E-2 visa. Even if the term “substantial” is arbitrary, the investment must:
  • Significant when compared to the overall cost of starting a new business or buying an existing one.
  • Sufficient to assure that the investor would fully dedicate his or her financial resources to the development of the business; or
  • Of a caliber to back up the prospect that the investor will successfully expand the business.

Additionally, a significant portion of the invested cash must be at risk, which means the seeker of an investor visa must demonstrate that if the business fails, they stand to lose a significant portion of their investment.

The E-2 Visa is frequently utilized for startup personnel transfer.

Validity / Extensions

The typical visa and stay limits for E-2 treaty workers and investors are five years and two years, respectively. These limits may be extended if a request for an extension is approved.

Family Members

As E-2 spouse and child visa holders, spouses and unmarried children up to the age of 21 may be admitted to the United States. Under the condition of work authorization, spouses may lawfully work.

Jurisdiction

E-2s may be handled at the US Consulate in the applicant’s country of residence or by sending them directly to USCIS within the US. Investors in the latter circumstances will need to reapply at the US Consulate once they depart the nation.
Since an E-2 only confers a nonimmigrant status, the holder of an E-2 must declare during the duration of their stay that they intend to leave the United States and/or return to their home country when their status expires.
Keep in mind that every instance is different. Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for this visa.

Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader

E-1 Visa

Eligibility

Citizens of countries with whom the United States has trade agreements are eligible to apply for E-1 visas if they intend to engage in substantial and ongoing commercial activity there. Trade may be used in three different contexts:  
  • Product exchange;
  • Trade of services; and
  • Technology trade.
Requirements and/or Materials:
Documentation or written explanations of the type, extent, and activity of the trade the applicant proposes to conduct in the United States are required by the USCIS or the US Consulate. These papers ought to contain:  
  • Brief descriptions of the type of commercial activity the applicant plans to engage in;
  • Evidence that the applicant will conduct more than half of its commerce with the treaty countries and the United States; and
  • That there will be a significant amount of commercial activity, which entails a long-term steady flow of goods and exchanges.
  The following circumstances may also qualify some workers of qualified treaty trader people or companies for an E-1 classification:  
  • Are the primary foreign employer’s same nationality;
  • Satisfy the legal definition of “employee”; and
  • Has particular credentials if engaged in a lesser capacity but will be performing executive or supervisory activities.
  • A specific plan with a set departure date;
  • Documentation proving the anticipated activities are work-related from the host organizations or people, if relevant;
  • Proof of sufficient funding for the visit and activities;
  • Evidence that the visa holder will go back to their home nation when the planned activities are done.
A treaty of trade and navigation between the applicant’s nation and the United States is required to be eligible for an E-1 visa. Citizens of the treaty countries must own the majority of the applicant’s American company. The treaty countries must be the main trading partner for the American company. The commerce must be significant and ongoing. There is no minimum requirement as to the amount or volume of any one transaction, nor is there a minimum need as to the number of transactions. Both the dollar amount and the volume of transactions are taken into account when evaluating substantiality. Trade is only defined by USCIS as a complete transaction in which the treaty nation transfers products, services, or technology to the American business in exchange for payment that is then sent back to the treaty nation.
The E-1 Visa is frequently utilized for startup talent relocation.

Validity / Extensions

E-1 treaty merchants and workers typically have a stay in the US of up to two years, which can be extended with permission from the USCIS. Since an E-1 visa only allows a nonimmigrant to enter the nation, its holder must declare during the duration of their stay that they intend to leave the country and/or return home when their status expires.

Family Members

As E-1 spouse and child visa holders, spouses and unmarried children up to the age of 21 may be admitted to the United States. Under the condition of work authorization, spouses may lawfully work.

Jurisdiction

E-1s can be processed either directly at the USCIS inside the US or the US Consulate of the applicant’s home country. Investors in the latter circumstances will need to reapply at the US Consulate once they depart the nation.

A person with an E-1 visa, which solely allows for nonimmigrant status, must declare during the duration of their stay that they intend to leave the country and/or return home when their status expires.

Keep in mind that every instance is different. Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for this visa.

Nonimmigrant Employment-Based Extraordinary Ability

O-1A/B Visa

Eligibility

O-1A/B visas are given to those who can show they have outstanding talent in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics by receiving considerable recognition from organizations and experts in the area and by achieving well-known success on a national or international scale.
People with exceptional talent in the sciences, education, business, or athletics are eligible for the O-1A visa.
People with significant artistic talent or extraordinary accomplishments in the sectors of film or television are eligible for the O-1B visa.
With extraordinary talent, an applicant must be at the pinnacle of their profession and possess accomplishments that go well beyond what is expected of them.
Requirements and/or materials
USCIS demands extensive paperwork demonstrating that the applicant has won significant accolades from leading authorities in the area. These papers ought to contain:
O-1A:
  • Evidence of winning honors or medals for excellence in the specified field from national or international organizations;
  • Evidence of affiliation with organizations that demand exceptional performance, as determined by reputable national or international authorities in the field for which the categorization is requested;
  • Published content about the recipient and their work in the specified sector in reputable or important trade journals, newspapers, or other prominent media venues;
  • Original, very significant contributions to the topic in question in the fields of science, scholarship, or business;
  • Authorship of academic publications in reputable journals or other influential media in the classification-relevant field
  • High wages or other forms of payment for services, as shown by contracts or other trustworthy sources;
  • Evidence of having judged other people’s work in the same or related fields for which classification is desired, either as a member of a panel or on an individual basis; and
  • Evidence of work with companies or facilities with a prestigious reputation in a crucial or key role.
O-1B:
  • Proof that the applicant has participated in plays or events with a recognized reputation and will continue to do so, as shown by favorable reviews, commercials, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements;
  • Evidence of local, regional, or global acclaim for accomplishments, as demonstrated by critical evaluations or other materials written by or about the beneficiary in well-known newspapers, periodicals, trade journals, or other publications;
  • A track record of significant commercial or critical success, as evidenced by titles, ratings, or position in the industry. Box office earnings, movie or television ratings, and other professional accomplishments published in trade journals, major newspapers, or other media are examples of this.
  • Evidence that the beneficiary has received significant recognition for their contributions from organizations, critics, governing bodies, or other recognized authorities in the field they work in, with the testimonials amply demonstrating the author’s authority, knowledge, and awareness of the beneficiary’s contributions; and
  • Contracts or other trustworthy proof that demonstrate a high wage or other significant forms of compensation for services in comparison to others in the area.
The candidate must have received widespread praise and recognition from authoritative sources and subject matter experts.

Validity / Extensions

The original length of an O-1 visa is three years, with one-year extensions possible.

Keep in mind that every instance is different. Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for this visa.

Family Members

The beneficiary of an O-3 visa may be accompanied by their spouse or a kid under the age of 21 who is a holder of an O-1 visa. Holders with O-3 visas are not permitted to work but are allowed to enroll in full- or part-time studies.

Jurisdiction

O-1 visas are handled by USCIS directly.
O-1 visa holders must retain their desire to leave the United States and/or return to their home country when their status expires throughout their stay because an O-1 visa only allows for nonimmigrant status.

Keep in mind that every instance is different. Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for this visa.

Find more information about employment based green cards & employment based immigration.

Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for an entrepreneur visa– fill out the Book an Appointment form. 

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