What US Business Immigration Programs Are Available or International Entrepreneurs and Investors?
The United States government offers several immigration programs to encourage international entrepreneurs and investors to set up their business in the country. Their goal is to encourage the immigration of foreign nationals with the innovation, skills, experience, talent, personnel and capital to contribute to the US economy.
The US actively promotes investment and provides certain benefits to entrepreneurs who are ready to invest. Establishing or acquiring a US-based company is the perfect opportunity to permanently settle down in the US and reap the benefits of your investment and obtain permanent residence status.
What are the Best US Business and Investor Immigration Programs?
EB-5 Visa: Immigrant Investor Visa
The EB-5 Visa, the Immigrant Investor Visa is the most common and popular way to gain lawful permanent residence in the United States. The EB-5 Visa allows applicants to live and work in the United States along with their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) operates the visa program. As of November 21, 2019, international entrepreneurs and investors are required to invest the following amounts from their own capital:
- $900,000, if the business is to be established in a high-unemployment or rural area, considered a targeted employment area
The established business must also create employment for at least 10 US citizens or permanent residents or other immigrants not related to the investor in the first 2 years.
E-2 Visa: Treaty Investor Visa
If you wish to establish or acquire a business in the United States, then you can apply for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. The E-2 Visa authorizes immigrants directly responsible for establishing and developing the business to live and work in the US.
This visa program is for Executive, Management and Essential Skills employees of the business. This visa program is for immigrants from specific countries that have an investment treaty with the United States.
You will be the sponsor as well as the immigrant employee. The minimum required investment will vary based on the nature of your company and the industry.
The investment requirement falls between $75,000 on the low end to $200,000 on the high end. Applicants must have a concise business plan and the business should eventually create employment for US citizens and permanent residents.
The E-2 Visa is granted for 5 years and can be renewed indefinitely.
Your accompanying spouse will be authorized to apply for work authorization to work anywhere in the United States. The E-2 Visa is used as a stepping stone for an EB-5 Green Card.
Intracompany Transferee and Specialized Knowledge Employees Investor Visa:
There are 2 types of L-1 visas:
- L-1A Visa is for foreign employees and investors of multinational companies with a branch, subsidiary, affiliate or joint venture partner in the United States
- L-1B Visa is for foreign employees with specialized knowledge about the products and services offered by the company
This is an excellent opportunity for international business owners to expand their operations into the US with minimal investment. The business outside the US must continue its operations even after the applicant has moved to the US.
Applicants must have at least 1 year of work experience in the last 3 years to qualify for this visa program. There is no minimum investment requirement. The most basic investment requires the business to set up an office in the US and form a company.