There are many visas which can individually or collectively help a foreign entrepreneur enter the USA.
Here are some of the visa options for an entrepreneur in the USA:
Quite a few countries have treaties with the US which provides visa waiver. Entrepreneurs from such countries can come to the USA for up to 90 days.
In the case, you need to stay for more than 90 days; you may apply for the B1 Visa.
This is for entrepreneurs who wish to participate in business activities in the US. It allows the entrepreneur to enter the US for work purposes. However, the visa does not allow you to remain and work in the country. The validity of the visa is generally up to six months.
The most commonly applied employee visas are the H1B, L1, and the O1.
This is a temporary work permit for workers who hold a Bachelor degree. The yearly quota for this visa is 65,000. F1 (Student) Visa holders have an additional 20,000 visa places, as per Forbes. The employer needs to apply for this visa on behalf of the employees. Hence, it is not designed for startups. However, a startup may hire you as an employee. The validity of the visa is 5 years and may be renewed for 6 years maximum.
This visa is primarily for intra-company transfers. The entrepreneur would need to be employed with a company for at least a year before being transferred to the US. Also, the company would need to have their own subsidiary in the USA. The validity of the visa is 1 year which allows you to set up a business in the US. It may be renewed for up to 7 years.
It is the hardest-to-get visa for entrepreneurs. It allows foreign nationals with extraordinary talent in science, arts, education, sports, or business to get a work visa for the US. Proving your excellence in any of these fields is the most difficult part. The validity of this visa is determined by the USCIS.
This is for investors who are looking to invest in the US.
This is a green card program and allows the entrepreneur and his family to apply for PR. To obtain this visa, the entrepreneur needs to invest at least $1 million or $500,000 in the US.
The investment should be able to create at least 10 permanent, full-time jobs for US citizens.
This is meant for entrepreneurs who are citizens of countries which have a treaty with the US. They should be looking to start their business venture and invest a significant amount in the US. There is no limit to the amount of investment. The validity of this visa is 5 years and may be renewed indefinitely. However, the E2 Visa does not offer a pathway to Permanent Residency.
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