Prewitt Law P.C.: Attorney for Foreign National Entrepreneurs

close

August 25, 2017

E-2 Visa: Path to Green Card?

share this

Facebook Twitter

E-2 Visa is a great tool for foreign national entrepreneurs seeking to start a business in the US. Its requirements are relatively straightforward, and it does not come with a great financial burden (investing $100,000 in a business enterprise in the United States would, for the most part, satisfy the capital requirement of this visa).

Famous Green Card Holder: First Lady Melania Trump
Famous Green Card Holder: First Lady Melania Trump

E-2 Visa is a great tool for foreign national entrepreneurs seeking to start a business in the US. Its requirements are relatively straightforward, and it does not come with a great financial burden (investing $100,000 in a business enterprise in the United States would, for the most part, satisfy the capital requirement of this visa).

However, an E-2 Visa may not be the best option for foreign national entrepreneurs looking to gain permanent residency in the United States. In fact, the E-2 Visa does not allow dual intent, meaning that the foreign entrepreneur is not allowed to claim both lawful temporary status and intent to immigrate to the usa. To be allowed in the US under this visa, the applicant must establish that he or she intends to return to their country.

There are few options available to foreign entrepreneurs seeking to get a green card, including:

1. Family sponsoring:

A US citizen family member of a foreign entrepreneur may petition for him or her to immigrate to the United States as a permanent resident.

US citizen family members eligible to petition for the entrepreneur are:

  • Parents
  • Siblings (over 21 year old),
  • Children (over 21 year old)
  • Spouse
  • Fiance(e).

It is important to note that the process is notoriously long. It can take years before permanent residency is approved.

2. Employment sponsoring:

US immigration laws allow employers to petition for employment-based (EB) immigration for their foreign national employees who meet certain requirements. The law creates 3 “preference immigration” categories for green card sponsoring through employment.

  • EB-1 Green Card:

This applies to foreign nationals with “extraordinary abilities,” “outstanding professors and researchers,” and “certain multinational managers and executives.” The third option, multinational managers and executives, is notably interesting for foreign entrepreneurs who hold managerial positions in a US company. The US branch of the multinational corporation may sponsor the entrepreneur’s green card, provided that, prior to working in the US entity, he or she held a managerial or executive position in a foreign division of the multinational corporation for at least a year within three years preceding the green card application.

  • EB-2 Green Card:

A foreign entrepreneur seeking to immigrate permanently to the US may apply for a EB-2 green card if he or she can demonstrate that:

– He or she has an “exceptional ability”  in the area of science, art or business or

– Holds an advanced degree with five years of work experience in the specialty.  

E-2 Visa

3. National Interest Waiver (NIW)

The NIW may be used in connection with an employment opportunity with a US company, or a foreign national may self petition for a NIW.

A foreign national may request a national interest waiver (NIW) to become a permanent resident if he or she can show that:

   a. He or she possesses “exceptional ability” in science, art, or business that would benefit the US and,

   b. He or she meets three of the following criteria:  

  • He or she has a degree in an area of exceptional ability
  • He or she has 10 years of full-time job experience
  • His or her salary/remuneration is commensurate to the exceptional ability
  • He or she has a licence or a certificate to practice the profession
  • He or she is a member of a professional association
  • Individual’s achievements have been recognized by his or her peers in the industry, by government entities or professional organization

4. EB-5 Visa Sponsoring

The EB-5 visa, also known as the “Green Card” visa, has been used by wealthy foreign investors to immigrate in the United States.The EB-5 visa provides a path to eligible foreign national investors to become lawful permanent residents.

To qualify for this visa, the entrepreneur must invest at least $1,000,000 in a business in the US that would employ at least 10 US workers. The amount is reduced to $500,000 if the investment is made in a rural area or area with high unemployment.

For all your inquiries about becoming a lawful permanent resident in the US, or starting a business in the US, please contact us at info@prewittlawfirm.com or (646) 583-1206.

Image to illustrate the post.
Mikhail Baryshnikov, Russian Immigrant with Extraordinary Abilities
Russell Brand & Katy Perry
Russell Brand, US citizen by marriage, now divorced from Katy Perry

previous blog

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: America (Still) Wants You

read more ▸

next blog

B-1 Visa and B-2 Visa: Business, Pleasure, or Both

read more ▸