When you expand your business into the United States, you may need the assistance of a key employee that is not yet authorized to reside in the United States. For that, your business needs to jump through the loops of corporate immigration. Corporate immigration is a sensitive legal concern for any small, large, growing or multinational business. Any business who desires to transfer employees or expand into the United States will need to ensure they comply with and maintain any legal requirements surrounding immigration. Each business will need to understand how to get an employee legally immigrated into the United States, which immigration form to file and what status to transfer any such employee under, and what to do to maintain compliance after the employee is transferred.
The H-1B Professionals
Generally, a business’ employees, or its investor, will immigrate to the United States under one of three visas. The H-1B visas for professional positions requiring a bachelor’s degree, an L-1 (either A or B) for intracompany transferees, E-1/2 Visas for investors, executives, key employees, and supervisory employees, or an EB-5 for the Immigrant Investor Program.
The beloved H-1B visa is generally to enable businesses to bring employees into the United States for positions that qualify as a “specialty occupation.” That essentially requires that position to require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent. As we all know, the major limitation for H-1B visas is the well known annual regular cap and the amount of applicants that overwhelm such cap.
The L-1 visa enables a United States employer to transfer a qualifying employee from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This type of visa is used by businesses of all sizes to transfer employees. It is also used by a foreign company that does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States for the purposes of establishing one. If you wish to establish a new office in the united states and you do not yet have one, the L visa may be the choice for you.
Investing in the US
The E-1 and E-2 visas are generally used by small businesses. Much like the L visa, the E visa can be used to transfer an employee who is an executive, manager, or in a supervisory role in the company to the United States. You cannot apply for E-1 or E-2 visas from outside of the United States. This creates limitations on trying to get an employee immigrated into the United States under the E-visa without some underlying business in the United States. The E2 is a non-immigrant investor visa. It does not give someone a green card.
The Investor Immigrant Visa
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a program that provides immigrants with a path to permanent residency if the individual makes the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States (at the time of this writing, $1,000,000 in a major metropolitan area or as low as $500,000 in an economically depressed area); and plans to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. If you do not have an enterprise in the United States, or an employer who will sponsor you, but nevertheless have funds to invest into the United States, the EB-5 visa may be the way for you.
It is important to start with the visa classification that best suits your business’, employee’s or your circumstances. Once you or your employees arrive in the United States, it is vital to ensure compliance with the requirement set forth in that visa classification. We at VLF assist investors and employers bring qualified individuals into the United States through the most suitable immigration process possible. VLF can assist the investor and business owners organize their business in the U.S. for efficient flow of profits and better legal protection for your assets.
If you are looking to expand your business footprint into the United States, VLF is your first stop for your business immigration needs. Because at the Vethan Law Firm, P.C.