Foreign citizens who want to work and live in the United States must obtain an immigrant visa. These documents can be very diverse and deal with very different situations. In this post, you will learn about the most common types of immigrant visas and the steps in the immigrant visa process. Obtaining a visa to enter the United States is more complicated than ever, but, there are still multiple alternatives, for entrepreneurs. The immigration visas can be very different and deal with very diverse situations, highlighting:

  • E2 VISA

The E-2 visa, known as the “investor visa,” is approved for individuals who come to the US to purchase or create a new business. The E-2 visa is for those who wish to invest a sum of capital in the US to set up a business, or office.E2 and E1 visas have an initial duration of two years, which can be extended indefinitely. Spouse and children of the E-1 or E-2 visa holder can enter in the US, with the right to study and work.

There are strict requirements for this type of visa, INCLUDING the amount of investment, AND the kind of business PLANNING to undertake. The investor must be a citizen of a country that has a trade agreement with the United States. E-2 visas have many advantages in that they are not subject to annual limits and are generally approved quickly.

  • E1 VISA

The E1 visa, also known as the Non-Immigrant Treaty trader visa, is reserved for individuals from a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his behalf. The volume of the business must be enough to employ in the US, and the trade must constitute the majority of the Trader’s international trade (50% of the Trader’s exports/imports must be to/from the USA). The E1 visa is initially valid for two years only.

  • L1 VISA

The L1 Visa, also known as the “Intra-Company Transfer Visa”, allows international companies to transfer employees in managerial positions with specialized knowledge, from their offices abroad to their offices in the US. The L1 visa has two categories:

  • L-1A visa: employees, who come to the US to perform a job in management.
  • L-1B visa: employees who come to the US because they have specialized knowledge of any aspect of the company.

L1 visa status is valid for a period of three years. The L1 visa can be renewed for two years at a time, up to a maximum of 7 years in the case of L-1A visa holders. L-1B visa holders can renew their visa for a maximum of 5 years.

  • EB-5 VISA

The US EB-5 visa, also known as the golden visa, is awarded to entrepreneurs who have the capital to invest and create jobs in the United States.Since November 2019, it will now be more difficult to obtain it. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) increased the amount of investment from 1 million dollars to 1.8 million dollars in high-employment areas. And, from $ 500,000 to $ 900,000 in rural areas.

There are two different ways to invest through the EB5 visa program, the Basic Program and the Regional Center Pilot Program.The EB-5 can lead to a green card for the investor to permanently live and work in the United States with their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.

Reference list: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Available at:

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