Girish Mohile is an Associate with D&A based in Mumbai, India. Girish works as local Business Development representative for the firm and acts as liaison between Indian clients and US attorneys on their source of funds. Girish is not licensed to practice law in the United States and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.
Every year, several people from around the world migrate to the US in search of better business opportunities. Several studies by Inc have suggested that foreign entrepreneurs have started more than half of the private startups in the US. If you too, have been planning to move to the US and found a startup, you can read about these five different types of visas for entrepreneurs.
1. EB-5 Visa
This visa is also known by the name of the Immigrant Investor Program. After getting Eb-5 visa, you become eligible to become a permanent resident of the US. One condition for this is that you should invest at least $1 million in any business venture in the US. If you are investing in a business setup in any rural area, you can do that with an investment of only $5,00,000. While you do not need any employer for this visa, people face the difficulty in investing a large number of funds. There is also a cap on the maximum number of people who would be given this visa. The US provides this visa to only 10,000 people every year.
You will also be required to submit relevant documents like business loan agreement, investment agreement, etc. to the government.
2. E-2 Visa
While it is quite challenging to obtain an EB-5 visa, you can get an investor visa USA with a minimum investment of only $1,00,000. One shortcoming with this visa is that you need to be a resident of a country with which the USA has signed an investment treaty. At present, only 80 countries have signed this treaty with the US, and there are several potential countries like India and China, which aren’t on the list.
3. EB-2(C) Visa
If you lack sufficient funds to invest in a business, you can choose to apply for the EB-2(C) visa. Although it is a kind of employment visa, it doesn’t require you to be an employer. You can get this visa even if you have a master’s degree or if you are highly talented in your field. You will need to prove that you are skilled enough to be of value to the country’s interests.
4. O-1 Visa
This visa is similar to EB-2(C) visa, but it is not an immigrant visa. While you can work in the US if you are talented enough, you would not get a green card. If you are exceptionally talented in your field, you can apply for this visa, but you will have to find a business to sponsor you.
5. L-1 Visa
US offers two types of L-1 visa from USA to India to entrepreneurs. Only company managers and top executives are eligible to get L-1A visas. It also has the requirement of you working for at least one year in the company’s US office. You can also get this visa if you open an office for yourself in the US.