Foreign Entrepreneurs Enjoy Numerous Immigration Options

by Raymond G. Lahoud, Esquire

Foreign entrepreneurs who are considering starting or moving their business within U.S. borders should rest assured that it is not an impossible process. In fact, the U.S. government has created a variety of time-tested pathways that allow foreign entrepreneurs to bring their trade overseas. Whether you are considering permanent or temporary immigration to the United States, it’s important to know the options the government provides.

Immigrant Visas

Immigrant visas for business professionals are provided to those who meet the qualifications for U.S. residency and have a particular set of skills or educational accomplishments. The EB-1 Extraordinary Ability visa allows for those who have demonstrated high potential in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics to immigrate to the United States. That being said, this visa—like most immigrant visas for foreign entrepreneurs—is only afforded to those who can prove they will continue working in their field once living in the United States.

Other types of immigrant visas include the EB-2 Advanced Degree Professional visa—which is for individuals with the equivalent of advanced U.S. degrees or years of workplace experience—a visa for those with exceptional abilities within their field of work and a visa for those with a job offer from a U.S. employer who have demonstrated either exceptional abilities in their field or have an advanced degree.

Nonimmigrant Visas

If you are looking for temporary residency within the United States, there are several available options that may apply to your situation. In contrast to immigrant visas, nonimmigrant visas typically have strict time frames in which you must conduct your business. These time frames are dependent upon the type of visa you apply for and receive as well as the extent of your business affairs.

While there are variety of nonimmigrant visas that you may apply for, one type of visa within this category is the B-1 Business Visitor visa, which grants business visitors the right to set up the details of their proposed business within the United States. This visa can be used to find office space, conduct meetings and more. Additionally, the F-1 Optional Practical Training visa allows students to work toward starting a business that is related to their studies. Nonimmigrant visas may also be available to those with specialty occupations, extraordinary skills or achievements in their field, valuable business investments or those who are being transferred from a company oversees.

If you are a foreign entrepreneur and are considering trying to obtain an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa to the United States, it’s important to speak with a legal professional who can ensure you’re on the right track. To learn more about how to conduct your business in the United States, consult with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania corporate immigration attorney at Baurkot & Baurkot today.