Temporary Visas based on Investment
Temporary visas allow the investor and family to live in the US during the duration of the visa status. The investor is authorized to work only in the business that is the basis for the visa. Under some visas (E-1, E-2, L-1) the investor’s spouse is eligible for an unrestricted work permit. These visas allow the investor to bring a household employee to the US (nanny, housekeeper, personal cook, etc.). There are three main categories of temporary visas appropriate for foreign investors:
- Treaty Trader Visa (E-1): The E-1 visa allows the investor to establish and operate an import or export company in the US. There is no minimum investment amount, nor target number of US workers required. However, the trade volume should be greater than $1 million per year and a majority of the trade must be between the US and the investor’s country of citizenship. More Information.
- Treaty Investor Visa (E-2): The E-2 visa allows the investor to establish and operate any type of business in the US. The business should create employment for at least 3-5 US workers and be sufficiently capitalized. The amount of capital varies according to the type and size of the enterprise. More Information.
- Intracompany Transferee Visa (L-1): The L-1 visa allows the investor to establish and operate any type of business in the US if the investor also has an operating business in the home country. The US business should create employment for at least 5-7 US workers. The home country business should maintain employment for at least 5-7 workers throughout the period the investor holds the L-1 visa. More Information.
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