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Business Visa – An overview of the different types of US visas

By August 2, 2017October 8th, 2018No Comments

Any person, who plans to visit the US in order to start a business, will need to obtain one of the various types of business visas offered by the US government. However, if you do not obtain the visa, you can still hold a managerial position in a company.

You can be the manager or owner of a US based company but you may not be able to legally work over there as per the information offered by Dallas business lawyers.  As such, if you still work for your company without actually obtaining a proper visa, you may get deported, without being given the right of coming back to the US. Moreover, your company will be fined for hiring an illegal person.

As per the lawyers of immigration in Dallas, you can own and start a business in the US, without visiting the country. While people think that opening a bank account to facilitate your business operations is difficult, in this scenario, it can be achieved while even being outside the United States.

Similarly, managing an LLC is allowed while being outside the US, but it may not be allowed within the US if you do not hold a valid visa for work. In the eyes of Dallas business lawyers, it is allowed to be a shareholder or a director of a US based corporation without having any type of visa, but performing your duties of being an officer, is not allowed within the US in a similar situation.

To assist you further, let us have a look at the different types of business visas offered by the US government.

Different Types of Business Visas

Being an attractive location to start or establish a subsidiary of a foreign company, the US has developed a well sought out business visa system to support the business plan of its foreign employees, i.e. non-resident employees.

While a normal individual would face many hurdles and formalities in obtaining any type of US visa, Dallas business lawyers suggest that a foreign multinational company can easily comply with all the legalities and formalities that are required to obtain a visa or any other requirements of their foreign workers.

There are two types of visas available i.e. non-immigrant and immigrant types. These visas depend on the length of the employee’s education, assignment, position or the area of work that is being performed.

The lawyers of immigration in Dallas suggest that to avail these visas, an individual has to go through extensive verification of the educational background, employment contract, and other technical expertise.

Let us have a look at the different visas, their length and limitations. However, this information is only meant to be used as an overview and is not a detailed analysis of the immigration laws of the United States.

B1 – This is the business visa that is short term. Persons who hold this visa are not allowed to perform work for hire or to sign contracts. The length of such kind of visa is temporary i.e. up to six months. People holding B1 visa cannot sign contracts. They can only negotiate on the terms.

 B2 – This type of visa is termed as a tourist visa – short term. The length of this visa is also temporary and is up to six months’ duration. People who hold this visa have a limitation just like the B1 visa where they may negotiate but they will not be able to sign any contract.

E1 – This type of visa is good for the sale of a business that would trade with the home country of the visa-holder. This is known as the treaty (trader) visa. The length of this visa is again temporary. The visa can, however, be renewed until your business is no longer operating which means that the visa will remain valid till your business is operative. However, children under the age of 21 cannot work and they may lose their visa status once they become 21 years old.

E2 – Dallas business lawyers term this visa as the treaty (investor) visa. This visa permits the citizen of any treaty country to visit the US and to initiate a business. This visa is offered for a temporary period of time which means that the visa will remain active up to the period that the business remains operative for. The visa is then no longer active once your business is shut down. However, children under the age of 21 cannot work and they may lose their visa status once they become 21 years old.

EB5 – This visa type is termed as the green card program for investors. It requires an investment ranging from $500k to $1MM. Moreover, there are some conditions for this visa which may include the hiring of at least ten US residents in the duration of 2 years and their survival for more than five years. Once you complete the probation period, this visa offers permanent residency.

L1 – This type of visa, subject to some limitations, offers the visa holder to transfer to a US company from a foreign company, thereby termed as inter-company transfer visa. The length of this type of visa is basically one year but can be extended up to three years. There is a limitation to this visa which is that the employee must have been in a related foreign company for more than a year, in the last three years.

H-1B – This is known as the visa for specialized labor. The length of this visa is extendable for up to three years of time. There is however, an annual quota for the number of visas that will be issued. This type of visa cannot be used for the purpose of getting self-employment.

O-1 – These visas are for special persons. This is termed as the extraordinary ability visa. The length of this visa is again extendable up to 3 years of time. As per the lawyers of immigration in Dallas, to avail this type of visa, one must document and disclose extraordinary ability.

TN – This is used to avail the benefits of temporary work in the US. As per Dallas business lawyers, NAFTA is the authority that offers the permit for temporary work and this can be extended up to three years of time. However, one cannot use this type of visa for self-employment and in such a case, strict measures might be taken against the illegal employment.


Qualification Criteria for Business Visa

Whereas there are many limitation, legalities, and formalities that are attached to all the different types of US business visas, Dallas business lawyers tell us that to avail the basic business visas such as B1 or B2, the applicants must demonstrate;

  • Purpose of the trip i.e. to enter the United States with the intention of business
  • The time period for which they intend to remain in the US. This should be a specific period of time
  • Evidence of any existing funds in the US to cover the expenses
  • Evidence of having a residence as well as binding ties, outside the United States, which will ensure their return at the end of their planned visit.

However, there is a visa waiver program, according to which, the citizens of some countries may not be required to obtain a business visa if their trip to the US is for less than ninety days.

For many people and companies, entering the US and obtaining a business visa (even in the case of obtaining a business visa for the foreign employees) can be quite an extensive and complex procedure. With so many legalities and formalities, chances are that you may get delayed in entering the US for the purpose of work.

However, by taking the assistance of Dallas business lawyers or lawyers of immigration in Dallas, such as The Law Offices of LaSusa & Deb PLLC., you can easily make the most of your visa application. They provide excellent consultancy for your entire visa and immigration related concerns.