Immigration

Low-Investment Visa Options for Foreign Entrepreneurs Wanting to Establish in the U.S.

By September 3, 2021 No Comments

Most people have heard about the EB-5 visa which requires $500,000 or 1 Million (depending on where the investment is made) to immigrate to the United States. In addition to the large capital investment, the EB-5 program requires that the business creates 10 employment positions for US citizens; quite a difficult task. Most of the time, the amount required to present an approvable visa is even more, as immigration officials will want to know that they are allowing solvent, affluent investors with financial backing in case something goes south in their business, or liquidity becomes a problem.

The reality is that this type of visa is available to very few foreigners. A large amount of capital, the demanding legal and evidentiary requirements, and the complexity of the process make it a choice available to very few.

There are, however, other types of visas that do not necessarily lead to a green card but are more realistic options for foreign small business owners and entrepreneurs.

The L-1A visa, for example, does not have a minimum capital investment amount and is available to investors who have a running business in the foreign entity, have worked or run the business for 12 months at least in the 3 years prior to applying for the visa, and are coming to establish the business in the United States (or run it, in the case of a US already established affiliate). The visa requires only the investment you would need to support an operation during the initial year(s). Pay the salary of the executive being transferred, office space, and other initial operational expenses. The recommended amount we give our client is generally $120,000 to $150,000.

If you are from a certain country, (you can find the list here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/fees/treaty.html) you may qualify for an E-2 visa. The E-2 visa is similar to the L-1A but does not require the existence of a foreign entity. The foreign investor may have not had the type of business he is establishing in the U.S. in his foreign country and still he could come to create it here. While there are no investment amount requirements (just like the L-1A) the minimum amount we recommend is between $120,000 to $150,000, similar to the L-1A visa. The investment can be on an enterprise that the investor will establish, or through the purchase of an existing business or franchise.

As seen, immigrating to the United States does not have to cost millions of dollars necessarily. There are more affordable business options that can be evaluated depending on each investor’s country and circumstances. For more information about your situation, call us for a $200 case evaluation at 305-570-2208 or schedule it online at: https://www.lawayala.com/consultation/

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