Entrepreneurs, investors, business persons, and other employment based applicants have many potential options when seeking to immigrate to the United States. Non-immigrant visas are temporary visas while Immigrant Visas lead to permanent residence in the U.S.
H-1B Temporary Professional Visa
An H-1B visa is a non-immigrant classification that allows a foreign national to be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. For example, specialty occupations may include: architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts.
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
The O-1 visa is for an individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or in the motion picture or television industry. Sustained recognition on a national or international level is required. If the individual can demonstrate that they meet 3 of 10 criteria (such as judging the work of others, authorship of scholarly articles, original contributions to their field, etc) they may qualify for this temporary work visa. This is a non-immigrant visa category.
L1A or L1B Intra-company Transfers
A person who was employed abroad for one continuous year within the previous three years by a company that has a branch, subsidiary or affiliated company in the United States, or plans to set up such an organization, may be admitted temporarily to the U.S. under this visa category. The temporary position must be in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge.
PERM Labor Certification
The Labor Certification process, also known as PERM, allows a foreign national to be sponsored for permanent residence by an employer. The PERM process requires that a foreign national have an offer of employment in the United States. There are multiple steps involved, including recruitment efforts by the petitioning employer as well as documentation of the ability to pay the employee wages.
I-9s & Immigration Compliance
We can assist your business to ensure you are in full compliance with the ever-changing world of U.S. federal immigration law. Employment eligibility, verification requirements, and avoiding discrimination are challenges for all modern businesses. Read our post on I-9 Compliance.
There is no one visa category for entrepreneurs. Several different visa categories, both immigrant and non-immigrant, may be appropriate. The E1/E2 or L1 non-immigrant visa may be a good option for those looking to set up a new business that will create jobs in the USA. The EB5 is an immigrant visa that is available to a person that wishes to invest either $500,000 or 1 million dollars while also meeting several other strict factors.
EB5 Investment-based Immigration
Persons who make an investment in a business in the United States that will create ten permanent full time jobs for qualified American or Permanent Resident workers, may qualify to apply for a green card via the EB5 program.