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What if I have money to invest in my own business, but not from a ‘Treaty Country’ to get the E-2? Not from a Treaty Country? Try the L-1 and then the Multinational Visa Petition.

Question: I wanted to start my own business in the U.S. and in fact have sufficient money. However, I was told that I am not able to do so because I am not a citizen of a ‘treaty country’. Is there anything else I can do?

Answer: Yes, you can try the L-1A which actually requires considerably less money. You will have to either have your own company, or start a company in your home country.

Question: What is the L-1A?

Answer: The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. The L-1A intra-company transferee classification applies to qualified executives and managers within multinational companies. These individuals can be transferred from their foreign employer to work for up to seven years in the United States for an appropriately affiliated U.S. company.

Question: What if I am not a manger? Is there another type of L-1?

Answer: Yes.  The L1B intracompany transferee classification applies to qualified specialized knowledge employees. Such individuals may be transferred from their foreign employer to work for up to five years in the U.S. for an appropriately affiliated U.S. company.

Question: What is the difference between the L-1A and the H-1?

Answer: Many employers in the United States routinely need temporary workers that are highly skilled. Therefore, there are various temporary work visas such as H1B and L1 (L1A and L1B) that allow the employers to hire foreign foreign workers.

Question: Can somebody on the L-1 apply later for the Green Card?

Want an E-2? Here are some issues? Want an E-2 Visa? Look at these issues.

Question: I want to open up my own company. Can you you let me know some specifics. For example, I have a friend from Iran. Can he get an E1 or E2? As for E-2’s, Iranians can apply for E-2’s anywhere.

Question: Are there any restrictions where the money comes from for the investment?

Answer: Normally, not. However, keep in mind that there are two\ Russian Banks under US Sanctions. Thus, \make sure money does not come from these banks.

Question: What percentage of ownership do I need to have in the company?

Answer: Make sure there is at least a 50% ownership by treaty countries. It is even better if there is a 51% ownership.

Question: What if I renounce my nationality?

Answer: If the principal owner renounces nationality, then the E-2 is gone.

Question: What is there is a merger or acquisition?

Answer: Sometimes merges and acquisitions changes the 50% ownership. If this is the case, then there will no longer be E-2 qualification.

Question: What about employees I need from my home country?

Answer: For employees coming over, you need to still  make sure that the main investor gets an E2.  The E-2 specialized knowledge employee will differ with the particular Consulate. Some require 2 years actual experience. The consular officer might say that he or she will give just 2 years and that an American is needed afterwards.

Question: What about my spouse and children in my home country?

Answer: An E-2 change of status for you which is approved, will NOT allow E-2 derivatives to get a  visa at the consulate. Rather, you need to consulate process with your E-2.

Question: How long will I get?

Answer: E-2’s always are now given for 2 years in US., even if the  visa is issued for 5 years. However, you can go out 1 week before expiration of visa, and come back with 2 year stamp.

Question: Will the amount of the investment differ?

Should I apply for the E-2 or L-1 Business Visa?

 

Question: I have a business and want to either purchase or buy a business in the U.S. but do not know which one of the visas would be better. The choices that I have been given are the E-2 and the L-1. Can you clarify and/or help me make the decision?

 

Answer: Each visa has its advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes the E-2 will be better for somebody, while for another person, the L-1 might be better.   First, you must determine if you are from a country which has a treaty with the United States. Without a treaty, you cannot get the E-2. This would mean that for sure you are required and can only get the L-1.

 

Next, we need to determine if you have a business in your foreign country and whether you have been running the business for at least one year. Without a business, you cannot apply for the L-1 as that is a basic requirement for doing the L-1.

 

Question: How much do I have to invest for each one?

 

Answer: The E-2 generally requires around $75,000 to $100,000 U.S. investment. The L-1 is actually requires much less money. Many L-1’s can do an investment with only $20,000 U.S. Thus, if you do not have the necessary amount of money to invest in the business, then it would be the L-1 that you would apply and not the E-2.

 

Question: Can I just transfer money to my U.S. bank account  and will that be considered an investment?

 

Answer: No. That is just a transfer of money. You can get that money out anytime you want. An investment actually puts the money at risk where you cannot simply withdraw it anytime you like. Thus, if the business you want to begin in the U.S. is one that requires very little investment, or requires only a computer and online work, then the E-2 will not work. It would be better to do the L-1.

 

Question: Speaking of computer work, can I just use a room in my house I will rent there, or the garage for the work?

 

Answer: No. You must have a real ‘brick & mortar’ office. You can certainly rent an inexpensive office that shares the conference room, waiting area and kitchen will other tenants, but you must have a real office in order to have any hope of getting the E-2 or L-1 approved.

 

Question: Where do I file the E-2 or L-1?

 

Answer: The E-2 can be filed directly at the U.S. Consulate. You do not need prior U.S. Immigration approval. Thus, the filing fees, time for approval and review are generally less than with an L-1. The L-1 must get prior U.S. Immigration approval at USCIS. You could file by premium processing with will take much less time, but still it must be filed in the U.S. Once approved, it will be transferred to the Consulate upon which you are going to apply for the actual Visa. Of course, you could also do a change of status to E-2 or L-1 inside the U.S. However, once you leave, you will still need consular approval to re-enter the U.S.

 

 

 

Treaty Trader and Investor Visa (E Visa) Processing Changes in Canada

The Consulate General of the U.S. in Toronto outlined changes to the E-1 and E-2 visa process. Toronto will continue to handle all E-1 and E-2 company registrations, as well as E visa interviews for employees of enterprises not previously registered and where the company registration has expired. Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal will offer visa appointments for employees of companies with valid registrations and their dependents.

DHS Announces Final Rule Impacting Highly Skilled Workers

Today, DHS published in the Federal Register the final rule entitled “Enhancing Opportunities for H-1B1, CW-1, and E-3 Nonimmigrants and EB-1 Immigrants,” which becomes effective on February 16, 2016. This DHS announcement outlines the changes the rule makes to DHS regulations affecting highly skilled nonimmigrant workers for specialty occupations from Chile, Singapore (H-1B1) and Australia (E-3); EB-1 immigrant outstanding professors and researchers; and nonimmigrant workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) classification.

Some information on the E-2

If you are petitioning to get an E-2 Employee, there might only be a 3 month, or 6 month or 1 year limitation. It will depend on the Consulate. Some might even go as far as 5 years.

You might get some visitors from Immigration to make sure the business is real.

Substantive changes must have an amendment filed in order so that you will not be out of status. It must be filed at the California Service Center.

 

E-2 Approved for Smog Station

E-2 approved for investor and spouse based on purchase of smog and auto repair company near San Diego, CA.

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