Immigrating to a new country as an entrepreneur can be a daunting task. Unlike in the case of jobholders, where the employers take care of a major part of the hassle-surrounding visa, it is the applicant, who has to take care of the application process. It becomes even more difficult if the country you are planning on moving to is the United States. With their plethora of visa options, it is often quite confusing. The two most popular and viable choices of visas for entrepreneurs are the E2 Visa and L-1 visa. While they are the most possible options, it is important to understand the difference between them to understand which is better for you.
The E-2 treaty trader visa is a popular choice and is a suitable option for individuals who fulfill the following categories.
Foreign national of a treaty trader country
This is a non-immigrant treaty visa, which means it is only available to those nations who belong to one of the treaty trader countries list of the USA citizens who do not belong to one of the treaty countries are not eligible for this visa altogether.
Must make a substantial investment
This visa is exclusive for only those entrepreneurs who are planning on making a substantial amount of investment in new business in their own country. And, even for those who are willing to own at 50% of an already existing US business. It should also create job opportunities for American citizens.
Short term residence
This visa is not your way to permanent, or even long term residence in the US. An entrepreneur under this visa allowed to stay in the country for 2 years and on the completion of this term, can seek extensions of the visa in two-year increments. However, Spouses, but not dependent children are eligible for employment authorization in the US
The non-immigrant L-1 is usually a less sought, but more flexible visa, which is suitable in the following cases.
Anyone can apply
Nationals of any country can apply for this visa. In fact, there isn’t any annual limit to the number of this visa issued. However, it is a little more complex as it requires several documents and proofs, and it is also a tad more expensive, but this is a more accessible visa.
Existing foreign business
This visa is perfect for entrepreneurs who already own a business in their own home country or other foreign countries, and thus, are looking to expand to the US, or open an affiliate or subsidiary in the country. Your business has to be doing well enough, you have to provide proofs of its viability, in order to get accepted in this visa category.
It is a better option if you are looking for a long-term stay. It is initially approved for a period of three years and can be extended for a total of 7 years. However, it paves the path for permanent residence. Thus, if you are looking for a way to settle in the US for a longer period, or look into permanent citizenship, this is the best bet.
Applying for your US entrepreneurship visa in the right category increases your chances of getting approved faster and with minimal hassle.