visa-usa-business-l1-e1-e2E1 and E2 Treaty Trader Visas

Nationals of countries with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The E-1 Treaty Trader visa requires that at least 51 percent of the company’s trade be between the treaty country and the U.S. The E-2 Treaty Investor visa requires a substantial investment in a U.S. business which must be controlled by treaty nationals. No fixed amount is required, and the definition of “substantial” varies depending on the nature of the business.

Managers, executives and essential employees of the same nationality who work for the U.S. branch office can also obtain E visas if they qualify. The visas can potentially be granted for an initial period of up to five years.  However, the person’s stay is authorized by the USCIS in two-year increments granted upon each entry to the United States. The E visa can be extended as long as there is a need for the investor to direct and control the U.S. enterprise. Essential employee Es are expected to be replaced by U.S. trained personnel.

It is important to note that the spouses of E visa holders are permitted to request employment authorization and work of their own volition.

EB5 Immigrant Investor Visas

The EB-5 visa is a way to get your U.S. green card and permanent residency through investment. The EB-5 investor visa program enables foreigners who make an investment in a U.S. business to obtain a green card and become lawful permanent residents along with their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 and eventually become citizens of the United States.

To meet EB-5 investor visa requirements, potential investors must make an “at risk” capital investment in a for-profit U.S. business entity. The required investment amount is either $500,000 or $1 million, depending on which project you invest in. If you invest in a targeted employment area (TEA) the investment is $500,000, if you invest elsewhere the minimum required investment is $1 million. Additionally, EB-5 investments must lead to the creation of 10 fulltime U.S. jobs for at least two years.

There are three general steps that EB-5 visa applicants must follow in order to obtain U.S. permanent residency.

First, Applicants must choose which type of investment best suits their needs and wants:

  • Individual business that will create 10 direct fulltime U.S. jobs per investor (direct investment) OR
  • In a USCIS-designated regional center where the investor may create 10 direct, indirect and/ or induced jobs per investor.

Second, upon I-526 approval, the investor submits their conditional permanent resident application either through the filing of an I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status, or DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa.

Lastly, the investors must prove that all EB-5 requirements have been met at the end of the two year conditional residency by filing the I-829 application to remove conditions of residency. The investor and his/her eligible dependents then become lawful permanent residents and receive their ten year green cards.

  • O (Extraordinary Ability) Visas

The O-1 category is available to foreign nationals who have an extraordinary ability in science, art, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation. Extraordinary ability is a high level of expertise and indicates that the person is one of a small percentage who has risen to the very top of his/her field. The foreign national must seek to enter the United States to continue work in the area in which he or she is extraordinary. This is a temporary, nonimmigrant visa.

Visa-600x232TN Nonimmigrant Visas

The TN Nonimmigrant visa was created as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification allows qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to live and work for up to three years at a time. To qualify, you must be coming to the United States to work in a professional occupation listed in the NAFTA treaty (accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers). Some additional requirements are:

  • You must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
  • Your profession must qualify under the regulations;
  • The position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional;
  • You have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer (but not self-employment); and
  • You have the qualifications to practice in the profession in question.
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