Explore 5 American Visas to Launch Your Business in the US

An image showcasing a hand using a pen to fill out a form for one of the American visa programs.

Embarking on the journey to start a company in the US means dealing with different kinds of American investment visas. There’s the famous E2 and EB5 visas, the flexible L1 visa, and more. Each American visa has its own perks and rules, giving aspiring business owners plenty of options. It’s like a menu of opportunities for people who dream of having their own business in the U.S. In this guide, we’ll break down these business Investment visas to help you understand which one might be the right fit for your entrepreneurial goals.

1. US E2 Visa: Fueling Entrepreneurial Dreams

This type of American visa is like a special door for people who dream of starting their own company. It gives them a unique chance to invest in and run a business in the United States. This visa is made to encourage global trade and strengthen economic connections, showing that the U.S. is committed to welcoming new ideas and working together with the world.

Benefits of the E2 Visa


    • The E2 visa is known for its adaptability, setting it apart from many other American visas.

    • No set minimum investment amount, allowing for a more flexible financial commitment.

Renewal Flexibility:

    • Entrepreneurs have the possibility of renewing the E2 visa.

    • Renewal is contingent upon the business remaining active and meeting specific requirements.

Spousal Work Authorization:

    • E2 visa spouses holders are eligible to get work authorization.

    • This contributes to the financial stability of the household.

Requirements for the E2 Visa

Substantial Investment:

    • The investment should be in a non-marginal, actively engaged business.

Alignment with Treaty Country:

    • The investment should align with the E2 treaty country’s nationality.

    • Emphasizes the importance of international collaboration in the business venture.

Hands-On Approach:

    • The E2 visa is ideal for those who wish to take a hands-on approach to their business.

    • Allows for direct management and involvement in day-to-day operations.

Encouraging Diversity:

    • This American visa provides a launchpad for entrepreneurial dreams.

    • Encourages diversity in business ventures, spanning from tech startups to local cafes.

Industry Opportunities:

    • Opens doors to a wide array of industries, offering a flexible and dynamic avenue for entrepreneurs.

    • Entrepreneurs can carve their niche in the diverse U.S. business landscape.

Investor visa document placed on a table with a passport and money on top.

2. American EB5 Visa: Investing in Residency

The American EB5 visa is a special way for people who want more than just business opportunities – it’s a way to get permanent residency in the United States. This visa program is distinctive in its approach, emphasizing capital investment as the key to unlocking the doors to a green card.

EB5 Visa Benefits

Direct Path to Permanent Residency:

No Stringent Prerequisites:

    • Unlike many other visas, the EB5 program does not impose stringent language or business experience prerequisites.

    • Offers accessibility to a broader spectrum of individuals, irrespective of language skills or previous business experience.

Independent Route:

    • Offers a more independent route for individuals shaping their entrepreneurial destiny in the U.S.

US EB5 Visa Requirements 

Substantial Investment

Individuals must make a substantial investment in a qualifying commercial enterprise.

Investment Amount 

The EB5 investment amount is $1,050,000, or $800,000 if invested in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).

Job Creation Requirement

The investment must result in the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers.

TEA Designation

    • The TEA designation is beneficial, allowing for a reduced investment threshold.

    • Encourages job creation in areas with high unemployment rates.

Increased Flexibility with Entrepreneur Rule

    • The Entrepreneur Rule introduces greater flexibility in meeting job creation requirements for the EB5 program.

    • This development has increased interest in the EB5 visa, making it an even more attractive option for long-term residence in the United States.

3. L1 Visa: Leveraging Corporate Connections

The L1 visa is a smart choice for big companies that want to make their mark worldwide by moving important employees to a U.S. office. There are two main types: L1A for managers and executives, and L1B for employees with special knowledge. These American visas make it easy to move talented people around, encouraging teamwork across borders and helping businesses expand.

Benefits of the L1 Visa

Dual Intent Provision:

This nonimmigrant visa boasts a dual intent provision, allowing employees to pursue a potential green card application while working in the United States.

No Specific Investment Requirement:

    • Unlike some other American visas, the L1 visa does not stipulate a specific investment amount.

    • An attractive option for corporations seeking to expand operations across borders.

Spousal Work Eligibility:

    • Spouses of L1 visa holders are eligible to work in the U.S.

    • Enhances overall flexibility and provides support for relocating employees and their families.

L1 Visa Requirements 

Qualifying Relationship:

L1A for Managers and Executives:

    • Managers and executives must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year.

    • Their role should involve significant decision-making responsibilities.

L1B for Employees with Specialized Knowledge:

    • L1B is designed for employees with specialized knowledge essential to the company’s operations.

Corporate Connectivity and Global Collaboration:

    • The L1 visa emphasizes corporate connectivity, benefiting companies aiming to expand their global footprint.

    • Provides a platform for employees to showcase their skills internationally.

    • Stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit in multinational enterprises, promoting cross-cultural exchange and driving innovation in the evolving global business ecosystem.

Hands of diverse individuals holding puzzle pieces, symbolizing L1 visa corporate connections.

4. H-1B Visa: Bridging the Tech Gap

H-1B Visa: Bridging the Technological Frontier for Skilled Professionals

The H-1B visa emerges as a pivotal tool in bridging the technological gap, specifically designed to welcome skilled professionals into the United States. With a focus on the tech industry, this visa category has become instrumental in addressing the demand for specialized talents in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Benefits of the H-1B Visa

Authorization for Skilled Professionals:

    • The H-1B visa offers authorization for highly skilled professionals to work in the U.S.

    • Serves as a gateway for individuals with specialized knowledge to contribute to American industries.

Contribution to Technology Sector:

    • Particularly beneficial for professionals in the rapidly evolving technology sector.

    • Enables skilled individuals to actively participate in and contribute to technological advancements.

Pathway to Green Card:

    • As with other American visas, the H-1B visa serves as a pathway for professionals to obtain a green card.

    • Offers long-term career prospects and growth opportunities in the U.S.

Requirements for the H-1B Visa

Sponsorship by U.S. Employer:

Applicants must secure sponsorship from a U.S. employer.

Specialized Knowledge and Expertise:

    • The job must require specialized knowledge and expertise in a specific field.

    • Often demands educational qualifications and relevant work experience.

Integral Contributors to U.S. Workforce:

    • H-1B holders become integral contributors to the U.S. workforce.

    • Address the demand for skilled professionals and propel innovation across various industries.

Role in Advancing Technology:

    • The H-1B visa plays a crucial role in ensuring the U.S. remains at the forefront of innovation.

    • Attracts skilled professionals globally, addressing industry needs and fostering a collaborative environment.

    • Contributes to diverse perspectives converging to drive technological progress and excellence in the ever-advancing technology landscape.

A person facing away from the camera, observing a US flag, while a lightbulb with the message 'Entrepreneur' hovers above their head.

5. Entrepreneur Rule Program: Enhancing Flexibility

The Entrepreneur Rule Program is like a special plan that uses the Department of Homeland Security’s power to allow certain noncitizen entrepreneurs to stay in the U.S. This program is designed to recognize and support individuals whose businesses can help the United States, and who deserve special permission to stay.

Benefits: Under the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), entrepreneurs are granted parole benefits from a period of authorized stay, enabling them to work exclusively for their startup business. This authorization extends to spouses, who may apply for work authorization once present in the United States as parolees. While children are not eligible to work, they, too, may be eligible for parole. The program allows for parole consideration for up to three entrepreneurs per startup entity.

Requirements: Entrepreneurs seeking parole under the IER must demonstrate:

    1. Substantial Ownership: A significant ownership interest in a startup entity created in the past five years in the U.S. with substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.

    1. Active Role: A central and active role in the startup entity, positioning it to substantially contribute to its growth and success.

    1. Public Benefit: Providing a significant public benefit to the United States based on their role as an entrepreneur, demonstrated through:
        • Significant investment of capital from qualified U.S. investors.

        • Receipt of substantial awards or grants for economic development, research and development, or job creation from government entities.

      • Partial meeting of the previous two requirements with additional compelling evidence of the startup entity’s potential for rapid growth and job creation.
      • Favorable Exercise of Discretion: A favorable exercise of discretion based on an overall assessment of the entrepreneur’s merit.

Spouses or children applying for special permission must show on their own that they’re eligible because of a big benefit to the public or urgent humanitarian reasons. They also need to prove that they deserve special permission.

So, the Entrepreneur Rule Program is like a guiding light for entrepreneurs whose businesses can help the public. It provides a flexible and creative way for them to do business in the United States.

As you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, carefully assess the benefits and requirements of these American visas. Seek professional guidance to ensure a seamless application process, opening the doors to business success on American soil.

In the realm of United States investment visa, the road to business ownership is diverse, empowering entrepreneurs to shape their American dream with precision and foresight.


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