I own a Business in India. What are my Options in the United States?

If you own a business in India that you have worked in for over one year you may be able to obtain an L-1 non-immigrant visa by opening an office or new business in the United States. After having held an L-1 visa for one year you may then be able to apply for a "green card" as an international manager or executive through the EB1(c) program or at any time through the EB-5 program. Additional options may exist depending on your circumstances.

The experienced L1 Visa Lawyers at D&A has helped small and large businesses from multiple industries from locations across India successfully obtain L1-A and Direct EB5 visas. Our clients see us as the "go to" US law firm in this area.

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L-1 Visas for Indian Business Owners Expanding to America

The L-1 Visa is an employee transfer visa that allows is normally used to move staff from the Indian office to the US office of the same company. It is especially popular with multinational corporations in the IT sector with a presence in both India and the USA.

However, it can also be used by Indian business owners and entrepreneurs to expand their existing business to the United States. New-Office L-1s allow you to move a manager or executive to the United States for the purpose of setting up and growing the US business. The L-1A visa for managers and executives and the L-1B visa targets employees with specialized knowledge. Spouses can accompany an L-1 visa holder and can apply for a US work permit.

L-1 Visa for Indians are granted for an initial period up to 35 months under the Department of State’s reciprocity schedule. However, they can be renewed upto a maximum of 7 years for and L-1A and 5 years for an L-1B. After that time, the employee would need to return to the United States or transition to a different visa. The EB1(c) Visa is the usual fit for the L-1A and the EB-3 Visa may be appropriate for the L-1B specialized knowledge employee,

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E-2 Visas for Indian Entrepreneurs Starting a Business in America

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa has emerged as a new trend in Indian immigration to the United states for business owners and entrepreneurs. The E-2 Visa allows a person to move to the US to invest in and run a business. This could include the acquisition of a ready-made franchise, the purchase of an existing business, or setting something up from scratch.

Family can accompany the E-2 Visa applicant to the United States. This includes any spouse and children under the age of 21. The spouse is permitted to apply for work authorization in the US. The E-2 Visa can be renewed indefinitely provided the underlying business continues to operate.

Indians are not directly eligible for the E-2 Visa because India does not hold and E-2 Treaty with the United States. We have nevertheless helped Indian entrepreneurs avail themselves of the E-2 Visa by helping them also first become citizens of countries that do hold E-2 Treaties with the United States.

The two E-2 countries with the fastest and most cost-effective pathways to citizenship are Grenada in the West Indies and Turkey. Processing times are so fast that it is feasible to be living in the United States on an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa within nine months of starting the citizenship by investment process of Grenada.

Click here to learn more about the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program

Click here to learn more about the Turkey Citizenship by Investment Program

Click here to learn more about how to become eligible for the E-2 Visa via these programs.

Many of our clients are Indian business owners, investors and executives looking to obtain access to the US market. We assist our clients with their plans to both expand their existing businesses in the United States and establish new businesses in the United States.

Can Indian Nationals Currently Obtain an E2 Visa ?

E1 and E2 visas are not currently available to Indian nationals because India does not hold the correct treaties with the United States. We have worked with Indian clients who have obtained a third country nationality and then qualified for an E1 or E2 visa on that basis. Grenada in the West Indies and Turkey at the crossroads or Europe and Asia are the most viable options. A list of qualifying nationalities can be found by clicking here.

Click here to learn more about the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program

Click here to learn more about the Turkey Citizenship by Investment Program

While E visas are non-immigrant visas they can entail significantly less investment than an EB5-based green card application. E visas do not have the requirement that L visas have for the continued operation of a qualifying business outside the United States.

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Green Cards: EB5 Investment and Permanent Residency in the United States

Investors with $900,000.00 to invest may be able to qualify for an EB5 visa. We are experienced at guiding clients specifically looking for Indian investor visa through the EB-5 immigration maze.

EB-5 is one of the fastest routes to US permanent residency. A whole qualifying family unit could move to the United States for a single investment and many of our Indian clients choose EB-5 because of their children’s education and post-graduate work prospects.

EB-5 gives the complete freedom to live and do business anywhere in the United States. The minimum investment of $900,000 must be made in a Targeted Employment Area. By investing with a reputable Regional Center and doing due diligence on the investment project, you will maximise the chance of having your capital returned and minimize any risks to your Green Card.

While there are many issues that have to be addressed when applying for a visa, in our experience a common issue with Indian applicants is the ability to prove the source of the invested funds. We also caution all potential EB5 investors to be extremely cautious when choosing a regional investment center to work with.

The most challenging part of the application process is demonstrating the source of funds used to pay for the EB-5 investment and also remitting those funds out of India. Davies & Associates has been present in the Indian EB-5 sector for almost a decade. Our American attorneys are familiar with the unique circumstances of Indian applicants and we have never had a case denied on Source of Funds.

Our local India-based staff can advise on tax and remittance issues. Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the Bank of India and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) restrict how much money a person can take out of India each year to $250,000. Our team can help troubleshoot this issue to ensure enough money can be paid for EB-5 in a legally compliant way.

More information on the EB5 visa process can be obtained by clicking here.

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Can my Spouse and Dependents Work in the United States?

The ability of your spouse or children to work in the United States depends on the type of visa you obtain and the specific facts of your case. The table below outlines the GENERAL position in relation to a trailing spouse but is NOT intended to provide specific legal advice.

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Comparison Summary of Key Visas Available to Indian and Pakistani Small Business Owners, Investors and Entrepreneurs

L-1 Visas H-1B Visas E-Visas EB-5 Visas
Visa available to Indian nationals
Visa available to Pakistani nationals
Ability of dependent Spouse to work in US
Can the visa be renewed into perpetuity assuming I re-qualify?
Minimum investment Required Sufficient to operate valid foreign business and US office or business entity N/A Sufficient to fund business enterprise, generally around USD 100,000.00 Either USD 900,000.00 or USD 1,800,000.00
Immigrant visa status
Can lead to green card after one year

Transition to green card status through EB5 program possible

EbB-5 visa initially issued for a conditional two year period.

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UK Immigration Solutions for Indian Business Owners

Many Indians have family or friends in the United Kingdom and there is a long-held trend of immigration between the two countries. Indian business owners can move to the United Kingdom to expand their business under the Sole Representative Visa. Indian entrepreneurs can move to the UK to start or incubate a new and innovative business under the Start Up Visa or the Innovator Visa. The business needs to be innovative, scalable and viable. There are many different UK visas, contact us to learn more.

Read more about UK Visas

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Italy Immigration Solutions for Indians

Our firm welcomes a small but growing number of Indians who are interested in moving to Italy to live and work. Italy offers a variety of visas and tax benefits to Indians. The Elective Residency Visa offers residency to anyone who can prove that they have €32,000 per year from sources outside of Italy. The Italian government also has a residency-by-investment program for people wishing to settle in the country and offers tax benefits to pensioners and high-net worth individuals. Italy also has the famous €1 home program, which offers cheap old homes to people in depopulated areas provided they agree to renovate them. Indians who have been resident in Italy for ten years can apply for Italian citizenship.

Read more about Italian immigration options

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Why Should an Indian National Choose Davies & Associates as their US Immigration Lawyers?

  • Understanding.For over fifteen years we have worked with Indian nationals and understand their needs and culture.
  • Location.While much of your paperwork will need to be filed in the United States, some of it may need to be filed with your local consulate in India. Through our locations in the United States and India we maintain a presence in both locations and are ideally positioned to assist you.
  • Excellence.Given our knowledge and understanding of Indian clients we are able to craft unique solutions narrowly tailored to meet the needs of Indian nationals. We believe we produce the very best immigration solutions available.
  • Results.While there are never be any guarantees, to-date no visa application we have prepared has ever been denied.

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The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India are located at the following addresses:

New Delhi
Shanti Path, Chanakya Puri 110021
Telephone: +91-11-2419-8000
Fax +91-11-2419-8587
Mumbai (Bombay)
C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
Telephone: (22) 2672-4000
Chennai (Madras)
220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006
Telephone: +91-44-2857-4000
Fax +91-44-2811-2027
Kolkata (Calcutta)
5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071
Telephone: +91-33-3984-2400
Fax +91-33-2282-2335
Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500 003
Telephone: +91-40-4033-8300
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Client Reviews
Mark is one of the best things happened to me in immigration. I was very skeptical as my last attempt to obtain an L1A was a negative one through another lawyer. Mark came in and… [made] sure that the case [was refiled] successfully. Rest assured, I can vouch for his services and will recommend him highly. Indian L1 Applicant previously denied using another law firm
I have been dealing with this firm for the last several years. They got my E2 visa approved followed by my E2 visa renewal as well. They are the best immigration lawyers I have ever met….. No one can give you better service than this firm. Australian E-2 visa applicant
Several lawyers told me I would not be able to get a TN visa. Two weeks after contacting Davies & Associates I was working in New York, visa in hand. I have recommended this firm to several friends and colleagues, they do an excellent job every time." Individual Seeking 'Impossible' TN Visa
Davies & Associates provided me with truly outstanding customer service 7 days a week. Technically brilliant, Davies & Associates not only successfully obtained E-2 visa status for myself and my Indian wife but also seamlessly coordinated my entire legal team, ensuring the timely completion of my acquisition." E2 Visa Applicant and Business Owner
I was qualified as a physician in a foreign country. Being on a J-1 visa I was facing having to leave the United States and return to my home country. Davies & Associates secured one of only 30 J-1 visa waivers available in my State, allowing me to work for a US hospital and remain in the United States." Doctor Seeking J-1 Visa Waiver
My exisiting immigration lawyer, who has a global reputation in immigration law, told me that "it couldn't be done". Someone suggested I speak to Davies & Associates and they obtained the immigration benefits I wanted. I will always use this firm in the future, they are miracle workers." Small Professional Business With International Offices
I am very satisfied with the services Mark Davies has provided me. He has a very extensive knowledge in immigration laws and has a thorough approach to any case." U Visa Applicant, A Victim of Crime
There is no question that Davies & Associates is clearly the leading E-2 visa law firm in the United States." E2 Visa Applicant and Business Owner
Extremely knowledgable, available, and reliable Mark was a god-send when dealing with USCIS. He is very experienced so he knows the ins and outs of the process, can predict response times and is very available to answer questions in a timely and friendly manner. Highly recommended to anyone trying to navigate a complicated immigration process at any stage." Syrian Marriage Based Immigrant Visa Applicant with Two Year J-1 Waiver
I highly recommend Davies & Associates LLC Mark Davies is a joy to work with. His extensive knowledge, speedy response and attentive service took away all my fears of dealing with immigration and visa applications. He is very generous with his time in explaining every step along the way and I have already and will in the future recommend him to anybody who is looking for an immigration lawyer." Small Business Owner and E-2 Visa Applicant