Entrepreneurs & Investors
There are several options to stay legally within the United States as an investor or entrepreneur, with each option having different requirements, restrictions and drawbacks. We consider it essential for you to seek legal advice before applying for a visa.
E-1 Treaty Traders
The E-1 non-immigrant classification is for citizens of countries that maintain treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States. An applicant will be admitted solely to engage in substantial (more than 50%) international trade on his or her own behalf. Trade is the exchange of goods, services, technology, and other items. Certain dependents of the principal applicant may be eligible for the classification as well. The length of the visa validity is based upon the treaty and diplomatic reciprocity tables.
To Qualify as a Treaty Trader, you must:
- Be a national of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
- Carry on substantial trade
- Carry on principal trade between the U.S. and the treaty country
To qualify as the employee of a Treaty Trader, you must:
- Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (same of treaty country)
- Meet definition of employee as per relevant law
- Engaged in duties of executive or supervisory in nature. Some exceptions apply
E-2 Treaty Investors
The E-2 non-immigrant classification is for citizens of countries that maintain treaties of commerce and navigation with the U.S. when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. This visa requires a substantial investment in a real operating enterprise and the funds must be under the sole control of the investor. The investor must be in U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. The investment must create employment beyond the investor and their family. Certain dependents of the principal applicant may be eligible for the classification as well.
Qualified investors and employees get a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extensions may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no limit to the number of extensions, however non-immigrant intent must be maintained.
To Qualify as a Treaty Investor:
- You must be a national of a country with which the US maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
- Investment must be at risk and more than marginal
- Invest substantial capital in bona fide enterprise
- Must be seeking to direct and manage the enterprise
To Qualify as the Employee of Treat Investor you must:
- Be the same nationality as principal applicant
- Must meet definition of employee as per relevant law
- Be engaged in duties of executive or supervisory in nature, though some exceptions apply.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
Under this program, entrepreneurs and eligible dependents can apply for permanent residence. This program has been structured for people who wish to make a substantial investment of at least $1 million in a U.S. business as well as plan to create 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
Qualifications for the EB-5 Immigrant Visa:
- $1 Million plus 10 new full-time jobs (other targeted employment areas have different requirements)
- Investment must be at risk
- Residency Subject to Conditions