Girish Mohile is an Associate with D&A based in Mumbai, India. Girish works as local Business Development representative for the firm and acts as liaison between Indian clients and US attorneys on their source of funds. Girish is not licensed to practice law in the United States and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.
Are you planning to invest in a business in the United States? Or are you all set to expand the company and establish a brand new office in the US? If yes, then are you aware of L-1 and E-2 visas? These are both work visas which can be obtained in a matter of just a few months. These are most useful for the investors who wish to immigrate quickly to the States.
Both the visa classifications are solely intended for the investors’ US immigration business visa; however, there are few essential differences between these two classes. The ideal way of navigating through the L-1 and E-2 requirements is to come with a very clear overview of all that needs to be achieved. Do not panic if there is no plan yet. Here is a table to help you:
1-year start-up visa, usually three
5 Year Visa
Active management needed
Direct and develop the business
Strong presence in the U.S.
Flexible presence in the States
Elimination of no investment treaty
Investment Treaty required
Proof of sufficient funds with its source visible
Funds security source and path available
Direct path to attaining Green Card
No direct path to attaining Green Card
No Management Required
Maximum of 7 years
Can be renewed for an indefinite period
Investing in new business
The L1 classification enables U.S employer to transfer a manager or executive from its affiliated foreign offices to the United States. This classification enables a foreign company that does not have a U.S office that is affiliated to further send a manager or executive to the States in order to publish one. The E-2 visa makes way for a national of a treaty country to get admitted to the States while investing a good amount of capital in the business abroad.
When the country does not have an investment treaty with the States, the only option an Investor is left with, is the L-1 visa. Even if there is eligibility to apply for either of the investor visa in the USA, the choice depends on your intention and requirements involved.
The requirements of E-2 investor visa doesn’t demand minimum amount of investment. The amount, however, needs to be substantial relative to the entire cost of purchasing or creating a company. On the contrary, in L-1 visa scenario, for opening a brand new office in the States, you are required to prove that it has been funded adequately so that the investor is able to maintain the operation and also pay salary to the employees. Moreover, you will also be asked to show physical premises for the new office you intend to build. Hence, you need to obtain a lease agreement for US business immigration.
Thus, these two Visas help attain immigration to the US for investors. Now that you are aware of the information and its process, it is time to go online and apply.