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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.

 

 

 

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.

E-2 Granted for Dance Studio

E-2 change of status approved in less than 3 month with no request for additional evidence for a young Filipino couple that was gifted about $100,000 to invest in a dance studio.

The E-2 Visa for the Entrepeneur

E-2 Visa Lawyer

 

Immigration lawyers in Los Angeles are plentiful explains Brian D. Lerner. That means, you will find lots and lots of immigration lawyers in Los Angeles. Thus, the question becomes how do you choose who to choose and under what basis will you choose from the immigration lawyers in Los Angeles. If you want and E-2 Visa Lawyer, it cannot be an E-2 Visa Lawyer who does this part-time or has not done an E-2 or does not have years of experience behind them. There are several things you can do to find a good E-2 Visa Lawyer. First, look to Calbar.org and search the immigration attorneys name and see if there is any record of discipline. Next, see if that immigration lawyer is a certified specialist in immigration and nationality law. In fact, there are over 200,000 lawyers in California and of those many are immigration lawyers. However, the immigration lawyers in Los Angeles who are certified specialists are few and far between. Even if they are a certified specialist, many are not considered to be an E-2 Visa Lawyer. Therefore, looking to see if they have been certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization is a certainty to see that the immigration attorney has years of experience. Also, keep in mind that even if they are a certified specialist in immigration and nationality law, that they must get re-certified every 5 years to ensure that they are kept up on all the new immigration laws, procedures, cases, memorandum and other matters.

 

An E-2 Visa Lawyer is busy because of the location of where geographically Los Angeles is. There are lots of people around the world who want to hire an E-2 Visa Lawyer who knows what they are doing. Also, it is only about 150 miles from the border of Mexico states Brian Lerner, an E-2 Visa Lawyer. Therefore, there are a great deal of people from Mexico who want to move across the border to start their own business will hire an E-2 Visa Lawyer.  Each case is different, so it would be necessary to get  a consultation from an E-2 Visa Lawyer. Without a consultation, it is unlikely you could either get a quote for what needs to be done or get an accurate picture of the petitions, waivers, motions or appeals that need to be filed.

 

Watch a video on immigration lawyers in Los Angeles and Certified Specialists

 

Los Angeles being a hub of activity from around the world has also drawn people from China, Europe, Australia, Dubai and other countries around the world who want an E-2 Visa Attorney.  Qualified E-2 Visa Lawyers in LosAngeles can do a wide variety of affirmative immigration petitions. For example, if you come from a country which has a treaty with the U.S., the immigration attorneys in Los Angeles could do an E-2 petition or an E-1 petition depending on what the business will be doing. I

I can invest only $50,000 and get a work visa – not $1,000,000?

I can invest and get a work visa without having $1,000,000?

Question: I have about $75,000 to $120,000 and want to invest in a business in the U.S, but have heard that I need $1,000,000 to invest. Is there anything I can do?

Answer: Actually, you need only $50,000 to $100,000 depending on the business. You can buy a franchise, a business already in operation, start your own business or open a branch office of a business in the your home country.

Question: How do you begin preparation of the E-2 Visa?

Answer: 1. Make sure you are from a Treaty-Investor Country

The U.S. has treaties with many different countries around the world. However, if there is no treaty with the counry that you were born in, then it will not qualify you for an E-2 Visa.

2. Make sure you have enough money to invest

There is no set number. However, the general guideline is that you want to have around $100,000 to invest in your own company in the U.S.

3. Make sure you will manage the company

You need to make certain that you will manage the company in a supervisory or managerial capacity and not as a line type worker.

4. Make sure you are in status

If you are inside the U.S. and will be doing a change of status, you will want to make sure that you are in legal status and have not violated your status in anyway. Otherwise, you might not be able to change your status to E-2.

5. Keep all of your receipts and contracts

Once you would get the E-2, you need to make sure that you keep all of the receipts and contracts so that when it becomes time to renew the E-2, you are able to provide the necessary proof.

Question: How long is the stay allowed for in an E-2 status?

Answer: Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted. All E-2 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.

An E-2 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States. It is generally not necessary to file a new Form I-129 with USCIS in this situation.

Question: How do you apply for the E2 ?

Answer: Application for E status filed on Form I-129 if seeking C/S in U.S. If filing application at consular post, most posts use the DS-156E supplemental form in addition to the DS-160 visa application. Applicant must provide supporting evidence of the investment. The burden of proof is on the applicant.

Question: Can I apply for a Franchise?

Answer: Yes, there are a number of Franchises that are within this monetary range and would would perfectly for an E-2. There are fast food franchises, cleaning, dollar-store, and many other types of opportunities.

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