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Employment & Business Visas 101

Thousands of individuals every year come to the United States for work in order to earn a living for themselves and their families, but it has the ability to become complicated. As many people have to come to know, the United States does not simply let in everyone that would like to come here. Below you will find a guide to what visas allow workers to enter the U.S. and what requirements they carry.

E-1 Visas

E-1 visas are designed for treaty traders, meaning anyone who wishes to conduct business in the U.S. under a treaty of commerce between the United States and their country of origin.

Requirements:
The main requirement for this type of visa is the applicant must be from a country that holds a current treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. The reason for traveling to the states must also be to work in a substantial trade that qualifies for the E-1 visa. It is also only given to foreign employees in supervisory or executive positions and those with skills essential to the operation of their business.

E-2 Visas

E-2 Visas given to treaty investors, individuals entering the U.S. to either purchase or start a business. The type of visa requires the applicant to invest a substantial amount of capital and eventually hire U.S. workers in order to fully qualify.

Requirements:
Must be a national of a treaty investor company that is classified under the U.S. State Department. The applicant must also invest substantial capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States, while also being actively involved in developing or directing the investment enterprise through at least 50% ownership.

You may also be able to obtain an E-2 visa as an employee if your role is considered supervisory or executive in nature, you are essential to run the business, and you come from the same country of origin as the primary E-2 applicant.

L-1 Visas

L-1 visas are available for temporary intracompany transferees who work in managerial positions or have specialized knowledge. There are two types of L-1 visas: L-1A and L-1B classifications.

L-1A

L-1A visas enable a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to an office in the United States. This visa also allows for a foreign company that does not have an affiliated office in the U.S. to send an executive or manager with the intent to establish one.

Requirements:
An applicant must have generally worked for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within three years immediately before their admission into the United States. Applicants must be seeking to enter the U.S. to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.

L-1B

This type of visa is a nonimmigrant classification that enables a U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests from one of its affiliated foreign offices. The visa also allows a foreign company to send a specialized knowledge employee to the U.S. to establish an affiliated foreign office if they do not already have one.

Requirements:
Applicants must have specialized knowledge about the petitioning organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests. They must also have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately before admission to the United States, as well as seeking to enter the U.S. to provide services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer.

Contact Our Full-Service Immigration Team Today

Many aspects of immigration law can be seen as tedious and confusing. We offer our experience and our knowledge of these complex affairs to help you reach the success you are looking for.

If you have questions about which employment or business visa is right for you, do not hesitate to contact us through our website or give us a call at (703) 552-5051 to schedule a consultation!