What If I am Not From An E-2 Treaty Country? Are There Visa Options for People who are not from an E-2 Visa Country?
An E-2 visa is an investor visa granted to investors or entrepreneurs who want to start or buy a business in the U.S.. If you are a national of one of the E-2 Visa Treaty Countries and you are interested in launching a startup or purchasing a business in the United States, the E-2 Treaty Investor visa may be a great option for you.
To find out more about the E-2 visa requirements, click here.
If you are a national of a country that is not on the list of Treaty Countries, you still have other options. Here are a few nonimmigrant and immigrant visa options: (For more information on any of these visas click on the hyperlinks for the visa type).
- F-1 Student: This visa allows the applicant to enter the U.S. as a full-time student at a government accredited and authorized college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. The program or course of study must culminate in a degree, diploma or certificate.
- H-1B: This visa allows foreign workers in specialty occupations to work for a U.S. employer. The foreign worker must have a Bachelor’s degree or higher and may work for the company for up to six years. This visa permits dual intent, which means that the applicant may apply for a green card while in the U.S. without running into problems.
- L-1: This visa is available to employees of international companies with offices in both the U.S. and abroad. It permits foreign workers to relocate to the company’s U.S. office to work in the U.S. company as an executive, manager or in a specialized knowledge capacity after having worked abroad for the company for at least one year. This visa also permits dual intent.
- O-1: This visa is for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics or individuals who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. An O-1 visa is similar to the EB-1 visa described below but it is a non-immigrant visa so it does not lead to a green card.
- TN: TN Visa stands for the Trade National Visa established as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, the United States and Mexico. This visa permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens who already have a job offer at a U.S. company to work in the U.S. in a professional capacity. Your profession must be on the TN visa list to be eligible.
Immigrant Visas (Green Cards)
- EB-1: This visa allows the following categories of people to permanently immigrate to the U.S.: persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; multinational manger or executives. An individual with extraordinary ability does not require an employer so an applicant in this category can self-petition.
- EB-2: An employer can sponsor you for a green card where the applicant either has experience or an advanced degree. This usually requires company sponsorship and that the company go through a process where they must prove that they cannot find a qualified U.S. worker (Labor Certification or PERM). For exceptional talent, company sponsorship is not required and an applicant can self-petition by filing a national interest waiver petition.
- EB-3: A company must sponsor the applicant but the applicant does not need an advanced degree. This visa requires a Labor Certification and a permanent, full-time job offer.
- EB-5: Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card if they invest $500,000 to $1,000,000 in a business or project and this investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs. This program may be undergoing significant changes. Please stay tuned as we monitor these developments and keep you updated.
If you have any questions about E-2 visas, L-1A visas, H-B or any other immigration related question, please click here to schedule a consultation.
For more practical information and legal advice on EB-5, E-2 and other visas, contact Scott Legal, P.C. Call 212-223-2964 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.
Angela Antonia Torregoza, Esq. is an Associate Attorney at Scott Legal, P.C. She can be reached at 212-223-2964 or by email at email@example.com.
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