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BUSINESS IMMIGRATION

 

What is Business Immigration?  Can you benefit from a Business Visa?

  • Business immigration covers a lot of ground.  From artists and athlete visas to investment visas, you may qualify for a business visa in many different areas.
  • The best way to distinguish these visas is to understand that they are not based on US Citizen/Legal Permanent Resident Petitions (the I-130 Petition).  However, spouses and children can benefit from these visas as what are called “Derivative Applicants or Derivative Beneficiaries.”  For many of these visas, children and spouses may live and study in the U.S., for some visas, spouses may even obtain a general work permit.  For Employment Based Immigrant Visas (green card applications), spouses and children (under 20 years old) may even obtain legal permanent residence based on their spouse/parent’s Visa.

Non-Immigrant Visas vs Immigrant Visas | What is the difference?

  • Non-Immigrant Visas are for temporary stays in the US.  These can last from a couple of months to many years.  All have a maximum stay for the Visa.  Some allow one or two renewals and some allow infinite renewals.  For example, the E-2 can be renewed during an entire lifetime, whereas the B-1 can typically not be extended more than once (for a full term of 1 year before needing to spend sometime outside the U.S.
  • Immigrant Visas (which in Business Immigration cases are called Employment Based Visas) are really just Legal Permanent Resident (green card) Applications based on business.  For example, these can be based on purely Extraordinary Ability of the applicant (EB-1, the “rock star visa”), a job offer with a labor certification (EB-2, EB-3), major investment and creation of jobs (EB-5), and some other more niche EB’s.

 

NON IMMIGRANT BUSINESS VISAS

 

Do I Need A Job Offer?

  • Probably.  Nearly all Non-Immigrant Business Visas require a job offer.  Here are two that do not necessarily require a job:
    • F-1 Student Visa.  You may not consider this a Business Visa, but it is a great way to spend extended time in the U.S. without needing a job offer.  There are ways to work during the F-1 (on campus and some internships are available if it’s a degree program), plus many courses offer one year of OPT (Optional Practical Training).
    • E-2 Treaty Visa.  This is an alternative investment visa.  Unlike the EB-5, it does not require nearly as large an investment, but you will need to create and administer your own business (or work for someone else’s E-2 company).  So you don’t need a job offer, but you do have to work.