A common misconception among foreign persons attempting to invest in the United States is that the EB-5 Visa is the only way to bring their business and family into the U.S. The EB-5, while a pathway to obtaining permanent residency, comes with many minimum requirements such as: making the necessary investment in a United States commercial enterprise ($900,000 or $1,800,000 depending on location of investment), and a need to create at least 10 jobs for United States workers, excluding the investor and his or her family. For a lot of foreign persons this is not an option; thankfully there are alternate Visas that may be beneficial depending on your circumstance.
The L-Visa is known as an intracompany transfer visa, which allows a foreign company to transfer an employee from the foreign country to the United States if there is a U.S. subsidiary/branch. There is the L1-A, for executives and managers; and the L1-B for workers with specialized knowledge. The benefits of an L1 visa are that your spouse and children may be eligible to accompany you to the United States, extended period of stay options, and no set wage requirements to meet the stay requirement. Further, the L1 visa is a dual-intent visa, meaning while you have the intent to work in the United States, you also may possess the intent to immigrate to the U.S as a lawful permanent resident in the future.
The E-Visa is for treaty traders and investors who come to the United States under a treaty of commerce between the U.S. and the country of which the treaty trader/investor is a citizen of. There is the E-1, known as the treaty trader visa; and the E-2, known as the treaty investor visa. The United States has treaties of commerce with many countries in the Middle East including, but not limited to: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Turkey. Generally, the E-Visa is used for smaller companies while the L-Visa may be used for small, medium, and larger sized companies. Both visa classifications may be viable options to consider in moving your business and family into the United States. It is important to better understand the process and how it applies to your individual situation by contacting an experienced immigration attorney, like Sandra Gomez, to help provide insight and detailed information on obtaining a visa that works for you.