I've looked at L1 visa and it looks like the best option but given its subjective nature I'm wondering if this stacks up for a small business like ours. Would I need to go to the US and set up the business before applying? Would it be better to start taking US client payments to US company before application?
I have helped dozens of foreign clients in situations such as yours. (I'm a business lawyer; a colleague takes care of immigration / work visa matters.)
The L-1 visa is, indeed, the one I've seen used most often in such circumstances. (For investors with a lot of money, the E-2 visa can be attractive.) Please see the post at the link below.
As concerns the sequence in which steps should be taken, ask your immigration lawyer.
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