Business immigration allows foreign nationals to enter the United States, either temporarily or permanently, to engage in work and other commerce-related matters. The largest area of U.S. immigration law, business immigration is fairly complex, with many confusing and often-changing laws, regulations, requirements, and processes.
It is important that you work with a knowledgeable business immigration lawyer when you wish to navigate this process. Whether you want to open or run a business in the U.S., bring an employee over to a U.S.-based office, or conduct investments, the team at Hart David Carson can help. Our Greenville, SC business immigration lawyers assist foreign nationals, investors, entrepreneurs, business owners, and large corporations with all aspects of immigration law.
Learn how Hart David Carson can assist you with your business immigration matter; contact us online or by phone at (630) 931-0379 for a complimentary consultation. Hablamos español.
How Our Business Immigration Attorneys Can Help
Obtaining an employment-based visa to live and work in the United States can be a complex and often lengthy process, as it involves meeting various eligibility requirements, providing valid documentation, understanding English language proficiency and U.S. laws and culture, and paying fees. It is wise to consult with an experienced attorney, like those at Hart David Carson, who can help guide you through this process.
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At Hart David Carson, our Greenville, SC business immigration lawyers are prepared to assist you with every aspect of employment-based visas and green cards, including but not limited to:
- Helping you determine which type of visa to apply for based on your situation
- Gathering and submitting relevant, accurate, and up-to-date documents
- Preparing your application and minimizing the chance of requests for further information
- Meeting all necessary filing deadlines and complying with all applicable regulations
- Helping you avoid common mistakes made during the application process
Business immigration offers a variety of opportunities for individuals seeking to work and conduct business within the U.S. Several different visas are available, and each has its own set of eligibility requirements, application processes, and necessary documentation.
The most common types of business visas include the:
- E-1 Treaty Trader
- E-2 Investor
- L-1 Intra-Company Transfer
- H-1B Specialty Occupation
- O-1 Extraordinary Ability
- TN NAFTA Professional
Each of these visas has different sets of requirements, and the process for obtaining each differs slightly from one to the other.
The E-1 Treaty Trader Visa
The E-1 Treaty Trader visa is designed for those engaging in substantial trade between their home country and the United States. This type of visa requires proof that at least 50% of international trade is conducted between these two countries, i.e., goods are exported from the home country to the U.S., or services rendered from one country to another. It also requires evidence that this trade is done on an ongoing basis with significant monetary value being exchanged.
Depending on an individual's circumstances, they may be able to extend their stay in the U.S. beyond a two-year period through a process known as E treaty trader status adjustment, or they may renew their visa after five years have passed since receiving their initial E-1 classification.
The E-2 Investor Visa
The E-2 Investor visa is suited for those wishing to make a substantial investment in a valid enterprise located in the United States. Such investments must be sufficient enough that they show evidence of being "at risk,” meaning that they may lead to financial success or failure depending on how well-managed and invested resources are used. They must also demonstrate either entrepreneurial activity or job creation within the local economy due to this venture.
This type of visa can typically be renewed every two years for up to five years before needing to adjust one’s status or return to one’s home country for at least one year before reapplying again.
The L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa
The L-1 Intra-Company Transfer visa was created specifically for employees transferring from one office belonging to an international company (outside of the United States) over to another location based within the U.S. Those eligible must have worked abroad with this organization for at least one year during the three years prior to applying; however, if no such foreign branch exists, then applicants must be employed full time by its parent company located elsewhere for at least 12 months before being considered eligible for this specific visa classification.
Usually valid for up three years initially upon approval, this type of visa can also lead toward green card eligibility through L intra-corporate transferee adjustment status adjustments if all criteria are met under this category’s guidelines, as established by USCIS.
The H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa
The H-1B Specialty Occupation visa is a type of business visa designed for foreign nationals who possess specialized knowledge and skills related to fields such as engineering, computer programming, medicine, or science. The H-1B visa allows these individuals to temporarily reside in the United States and work in a specialty occupation that requires their particular set of skills and expertise.
In order to obtain this visa, applicants must submit evidence verifying their qualifications, such as educational degrees or professional licenses, proof of relevant industry experience or training, and valid passport documents. A successful application will be reviewed by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Once approved by USCIS officials, an applicant may remain in the United States for up to three years with potential extensions available depending on their situation.
The O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa
The O-1 Extraordinary Ability visa is a business visa for foreign nationals who have achieved extraordinary success in their field of work. This type of visa is reserved for individuals who possess an unusual level of expertise in their profession, as demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, and requires applicants to provide evidence such as awards, publications, and other recognition from peers.
To qualify for this type of business visa, applicants must also demonstrate that they are coming to the United States to continue working in the same field. Additionally, those applying for this type of visa must provide proof that they have the required qualifications needed to successfully engage in whatever activity they will be conducting while in the United States.
The TN NAFTA Professional Visa
The TN NAFTA Professional visa is a business visa available for citizens of Canada or Mexico who possess certain professional credentials, or Canadian citizens with specific academic qualifications required by certain occupations such as accounting or architecture. It allows foreign nationals to reside in the United States and engage in activities related to their profession for up to three years, with potential extensions depending on the situation.
In order to qualify for this type of business visa, applicants must provide evidence verifying their qualifications, such as educational degrees or professional licenses, proof of relevant industry experience or training, and valid passport documents. Additionally, applicants may need to demonstrate an understanding of English language proficiency and knowledge of U.S. laws and culture before submitting their applications.
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