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Understanding Work Visas: Non-Immigrant Visas

By Scott McVarish on October 11, 2013 - Comments off

People who wish to come to the United States to start businesses have several options when it comes to obtaining a visa. These “entrepreneur visas” cover a wide range of business plans, participation, and options. An experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney can help you determine which type of visa best fits your business plans.

Entrepreneurial visas are typically divided into two categories: non-immigrant and immigrant visas. Non-immigrant visas are for individuals who are not currently living in the U.S., but who wish to enter the country for entrepreneurial reasons. Immigrant visas are for individuals who are already pursuing business in the U.S. and who wish to apply for permanent residency.

Types of non-immigrant visas include:

  • B-1 Business Visitor – This visa allows you to attend meetings, seek out office space, and carry out other tasks related to starting a business in the U.S. It typically lasts about six months.
  • F-1/OPT – This visa allows students with an F-1 visa to work on starting a business in the U.S. It typically lasts 12 to 17 months, depending on the student’s field of study.
  • H-1B Specialty Occupation – This visa allows entrepreneurs with a bachelor’s degree or higher to work in the U.S. in a position that requires their degree. It typically lasts three to six years.
  • O1-A Extraordinary Ability or Achievement – This visa is reserved for individuals who have reached the top of their fields due to extraordinary ability or achievement. It is good for up to three years, with one-year extensions as needed.
  • E-2 Treaty Investor – This visa is available to those who invest substantial amounts of money in a U.S. business and meet other requirements. It is typically good for up to two years and can be renewed.
  • L-1 Intracompany Transferee – This visa allows certain employees of international companies to transfer workers to the United States from branches abroad. It is initially good for one to three years, with limited renewals available.

The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. can help you find the visa that best fits your circumstances. Contact us today to learn more.

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