The United States has the greatest number of immigrants of all countries in the world. Being an economic powerhouse, it is a perfect place for business owners & Investors. However, the U.S. immigration system is perhaps the most complicated one across the globe. Your ability to immigrate to the U.S. is based not on points, as it is in many other western nations. Instead, U.S. immigration is based on a person’s ability to fall into one of several pre-determined visa categories, usually having to do with work, investment, or family. Within the U.S. immigration system, our focus is on helping businesses, business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors. Our multinational team in Oman and the U.S. provides full concierge service to help our clients navigate the complex universe of U.S. immigration. U.S. immigration programs include the principal applicant as well as his or her spouse and their children aged 20 and younger. We work in the following categories.
Express Options – visas available within a few months
The L-1a category is for the executives and managers of multinational businesses. The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. Alternatively, the L-1a category also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.
The L-1a is open to citizens of all countries, but it requires both a U.S. business and one abroad, and the business must usually have similar ownership structures.
For U.S. start-ups, we offer full turnkey services. Our U.S. partners will do everything from registering the business in your preferred state to helping you select an office location there (a technical requirement of the program). We also handle all steps of the immigration process for our clients – not only filing the immigration petitions to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, but also preparing the Business Plan and other required documentation necessary for the file to succeed.
L-1a status is available for a total of up to seven years, but under some circumstances, it may be possible to convert the L-1a to a green card under the EB-1C category after 1-2 years of successfully operating the U.S. business. L-1a spouses are eligible for work authorization.
The E-2 category is unique in that it floats outside the normal U.S. immigration framework as it is based upon trade treaties between the U.S. and other countries. For that reason, E-2 status is only open to nationals of about 80 countries worldwide, although second citizenships can qualify a person for participation in the E-2 program.
The E-2 visa is for entrepreneurs moving to the U.S. to operate a business. It requires no foreign company affiliate. There is not a specific minimum investment that must be made in the U.S. business, but we generally suggest using about USD$100,000 as the suggested minimum.
As with L-1’s, our U.S. partners provide full concierge service throughout this process. In addition to completing corporate registration, drafting the necessary business agreements, and assisting with other start-up tasks, our team has relationships with many franchise companies across the U.S. Franchises are a good fit for the E-2 program because they offer ready-made companies and often have infrastructure in place to help with sales, lead generation, and general business management.
The E-2 visa may be renewed indefinitely as long as the E-2 business remains in existence, however it does not lead directly to a green card. Upon arriving to the U.S., the spouse of the E-2 entrepreneur may seek and be granted work authorization.
Permanent Residence – Longer-term program leading to permanent residence in the U.S
Once the preferred immigration option for many, the EB-5 investment immigration program has fallen in popularity in recent years for two reasons. The first is that the U.S. government recently changed the investment requirements from a USD$500,000 minimum investment to USD$900,000, while also adding geographic restrictions on where the investment projects may be located. In addition, government processing times have swelled in recent years. Consequently, many people who previously would have considered an EB-5 investment no longer are.
The EB-5 program is often favored because it involves mostly passive investments, with minimal ongoing responsibilities to keep – perhaps sitting on a corporate board or something to that effect. This allows investors to explore other business opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. However, the cost increase and timing have made the program less palatable that it was in the past.
Nonetheless, if you are interested in the EB-5 program, we have a number of projects from which you can choose that fit your objectives in terms of both geography and risk/reward profile. Our U.S. partners have filed over 600 EB-5 applications and they have been deeply involved with the program since 2011, when it was just beginning to grow in popularity.
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