Business Immigration: What Type of Visa is Right for You?

Business Immigration: What Type of Visa is Right for You? 1

Beginning the business immigration journey can be daunting – there are many questions that entrepreneurs have when moving to a new country, including which type of U.S. Visa is right for them. If you are one of these entrepreneurs, this post is for you. 

A U.S. Visa is an authorization from the government granted to a foreigner to allow them to enter, remain within, or leave a certain territory. If you are looking to move your business to the U.S., you will need either the E-2 Investor Visa or the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa. 

Understanding the difference between these two types of Visas will help pave your immigration journey. In this post, we will discuss: 

  • What the E-2 Investor Visa is 
  • What the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive of Manager Visa is 
  • The differences between an E-2 Investor Visa and a L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa
  • How we can help 

What is the E-2 Investor Visa? 

An E-2 Investor Visa allows an applicant to work in the U.S. based on an investment that he or she will control while in America. E-2 Investor Visas are available for foreign investors, not employees. If you are considering investing in a new business in the U.S., the E-2 Investor Visa may be right for you. 

Who qualifies for the E-2 Investor Visa? 

To qualify for the E-2 Investor Visa, you must invest a substantial amount of capital in bona fide, for-profit business, entrepreneurial, or commercial undertaking located within the U.S. Additionally, only investors from countries that have treaties of commerce and navigation with the U.S. will be granted an E-2 Investor Visa. 

For additional requirements for the E-2 Visa, please see the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s website here.

Business Immigration: What Type of Visa is Right for You? 2

What is the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa (L-1A Visa)? 

L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa, or L-1A Visa, is a Visa granted to employees seeking to enter the U.S. to work in a managerial or executive capacity for a branch of their same employer or a qualifying organization. 

Companies frequently use the L-1A Visa process to transfer a qualified manager or executor to work within America.

Who qualifies for the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa? 

To qualify for the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa, you must be an executive or manager at a company outside of the U.S. Your potential U.S. employer must file a petition for you to live and work within the U.S., and you must have specialized knowledge of the research, service, product, techniques, or management of business that has petitioned the Visa. To work for a qualifying organization, you typically must have worked there for a year within the three years before your admission to the U.S.

For additional requirements for the L-1A Visa, please see the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s website here

The Key Differences Between E-2 Visas and L-1A Visas

You may have read this post and realized that you might qualify for both an E-2 Visa and the L-1A Visa; so, which one should you choose? The key differences between each Visa are the situations to which they apply, but if you qualify for both, it can be difficult to choose which one suits you and your business best.

If that is the case, you must look to different factors such as how long you are intending to live or work in the U.S., if you are also coming with your immediate family members, and whether you would want those family members to also live and work in the U.S. Depending on the answers to those questions, you may want to consider one Visa over the other. 

For example, the U.S. grants E-2 Visas for an initial period of up to two years. One benefit of an E-2 Visa is that the visa holder can apply for a two-year extension without needing to return to their home country. However, an E-2 Visa holder cannot plan to permanently reside in America. On the contrary, L-1A Visa holders have a more straight-forward path to residency and can apply for such residency while in America on this type of Visa.

To discuss the full pros and cons of each Visa, we recommend speaking to a talented professional like our lead attorney, Salma Benkabbou, Esq., who can help you strategically decide which one is best for you. 

How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help

At The Benkabbou Law Firm, PLLC, we have helped many managers, executors, and investors successfully apply for E-2 and L-1 Visas. We know how daunting the immigration process can be, especially when it comes to migrating your business. Our firm focuses on both business law and immigration law separately, which creates an effective, combined approach to business immigration law. 

At our firm, we treat each of our clients’ dreams like they are our own. We make strategic decisions to not only benefit your business now, but will benefit for years down the line. We can help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing a Visa. Through a legal consultation, we will work with you to evaluate your problem and find solutions together. Please fill out this form if you are interested in receiving a legal consultation for your business immigration needs. We look forward to hearing from you and can’t wait to help you make your next big move.