Visa Options for Foreign Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
The following are just some of the more popular visas that we’ve helped clients from all over the world obtain
B-1 Temporary Business Visitor VisaThis non-immigrant visa is designed to accommodate short-term, one-time business activities, such as negotiating a contract, attending a conference, or consulting with business associates. The initial period of stay is up to six months, with an additional extension of a maximum six months (although the amount of time for any one trip can be up to a year). Applicants must prove that they will only stay for a limited time, and that they have "binding ties" outside the U.S. (such as a foreign residence).
H-1B VisaIndividuals specializing in occupations that require at least a bachelor's degree or foreign equivalent - such as engineering, mathematics, education, and healthcare - can work in the U.S. for up to three years with this visa (with a maximum extension of up to six years generally). Applicants must be sponsored by an employer, except for those working in a project under the U.S. Department of Defense.
L VisaThis category of visa is for employees of a foreign company with an existing or planned presence in the U.S. who either serve in a management or executive capacity (L-1A), or who have a specialized skill set or knowledge (L-1B). Qualified managers or executives can stay for up to one year if they are establishing a new office in the U.S., or three years for any other purpose; the maximum extension is for up to seven years. Applicants with specialized knowledge enjoy the same initial stay period, although their total maximum extension is five years.
E-2 Visa for Treaty InvestorsNationals from countries with qualifying treaties with the U.S. who make a substantial investment in the U.S. (typically at least $100,000) may qualify for E-2 visas. The applicant must prove that they have sufficient funds of their own for their business or investment, which must be registered in the U.S. The E-2 can be renewed every two years without limit, until or unless the business being invested in stops operating.