THE E-2 VISA

For Entrepreneurs

 
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The E-2 is essentially a visa for entrepreneurs who want to come to the U.S. to open and operate a business. The regulations refer to it as a “Treaty Investor Visa” and this simply means that there must be a treaty between your country and the U.S. that allows you to apply for the E-2. Most countries are eligible, however some major countries like China, India, Russia and Brazil are not.

 
 
 
 

The Basics

The E-2 visa is an excellent option for entrepreneurs starting or purchasing businesses in the U.S. The regulations do not state a minimum required investment for the E-2 visa. In our experience, we have successfully represented clients investing as little as $79,000. The required amount of investment depends greatly on the nature of the business and can include working capital as well as past expenditures such as computers, software, furniture, etc.

For more detailed information, please see our E-2 Visa Guide.

 
 
 

Quick Processing 

The client will receive their E-2 visa in as little as 15 days of application with the USCIS if premium processing is selected, or as little as 30 days of application at a consular post. 

 
 
 
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Benefits/Challenges 

Benefits:

  • Infinite duration: the E-2 visa can be renewed as long as the business continues to operate
  • Validity periods are often 5 years at a time
  • Does not require a massive investment

Challenges:

  • Not all countries are eligible

  • Cannot use a loan as the source of funds for investment 

 

THE H-1B VISA

For Temporary Workers in Specialty Occupations

 
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Path Law Group specializes in H-1B's for companies of all sizes looking to hire foreign professionals in "specialty occupations". Our attorneys have nearly a decade of experience with H-1B petitions. We have represented large multinational corporations as well as startups looking to hire foreign talent. Our core competencies are providing unparalleled access to your attorney, clear and accurate legal advice and efficient execution. We work with clients closely to determine the eligibility of their employees and create smart strategies and action plans to obtain one of the limited number of spaces available in the H-1B category each year.  

 
 
 

The Basics 

The H-1B visa is an employment visa for foreign professionals who wish to work in a "specialty occupation". While there is no clear definition, a specialty occupation is typically one that requires at least a Bachelor's degree. If the applicant is eligible, his or her H-1B will be valid for up to 3 years with the option to extend an additional 3 years (for a total of 6 years). In certain cases an H-1B can be extended beyond the 6 year period.

For more information please see our H-1B visa guide.

 
 
 

Path to Permanent Residency 

The H-1B allows sponsorship for a Green Card through an employer via the Labor Certification process. The process is relatively quick for most nationalities and can be an effective recruitment tool for employers.

 
 
 
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Benefits/Challenges

Benefits:

  • When Premium Processing is selected, the H-1B can be issued in as little as 15 days in most cases
  • Provides a clear path to a Green Card
  • Can be extended beyond the 6 year max in many circumstances

Challenges:

  • Subject to an increasingly competitive lottery
  • Green card requires employer sponsorship
 

THE O-1A VISA

Individuals with Extraordinary Ability in the Sciences, Education, Business, or Athletics

 
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IF YOU HAVE RISEN TO THE TOP OF YOUR FIELD IN BUSINESS, SCIENCE, EDUCATION OR ATHLETICS, YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR AN O-1A VISA.

Path Law Group has a decade of experience securing O-1A visas for CEO's, researchers, professors and athletes. If you believe that you among the top of your field, we will review your work and walk you through the requirements of the visa and together we can decide if the O-1A is the right fit..  

 
 
 

The Basics 

The O-1A is an temporary work visa for those in the arenas of business, science, education and athletics who have risen to the tops of their fields. Satisfying the O-1A requirements may be as simple as showing evidence of a major, international prize or as complex as providing a wide array of evidence spanning an entire career. Thankfully, USCIS has set out clear guidelines for how to qualify for O-1A status and a qualified attorney should have no problems determining your eligibility. 

For more information please see our complete O-1A visa guide.

 
 
 

Fast Processing

Standard wait times for O-1A visas are short - sometimes as little as two weeks. There are some points during the year where wait times are longer, in which case Premium Processing ($1,225) is still an option.

 
 
 
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Benefits/Challenges

Benefits:

  • May allow applicant to work for multiple employers
  • Can be renewed indefinitely with no maximum term
  • Quick processing even without premium processing

Challenges:

  • Requires a high level of achievement 
  • Requires at least one job offer
 

THE O-1B VISA

For Individuals demonstrating Extraordinary Ability in the Arts or Extraordinary Achievement in Motion Picture or Television Industry

 
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IF YOU HAVE ACHIEVED SIGNIFICANT SUCCESS AND RECOGNITION IN YOUR FIELD, YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR AN O-1B VISA.

Path Law Group has a decade of experience securing O-1B visas for artists, creatives and those in the motion picture industry. If you believe that you are an accomplished individual in your field, we will review your work and walk you through the requirements of the visa and together we can decide if the O-1B is the right option for you.  

 
 
 

The Basics 

The O-1B is the most popular visa option for top performers in the arts or motion picture/TV industry. The regulations require extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture industry. The USCIS has set out the criteria required for each and we can help walk you through the process, step-by-step.

For more information please see our O-1B visa guide.

 
 
 

Quick Processing

Standard wait times for O-1B visas are typically as little as two weeks. When wait times are longer the applicant can take advantage of Premium Processing ($1,225) and get an answer from USCIS within 14 days. 

 
 
 
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Benefits/Challenges 

Benefits:

  • May allow applicant to work for multiple employers
  • Can be renewed indefinitely with no maximum term
  • Quick processing

Challenges:

  • Requires a high level of achievement 
  • Requires at least one job offer
 

THE L-1 VISA

For Intracompany Transferees

 
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THE VISA FOR INTRACOMPANY TRANSFERSEES.

The L non-immigrant visa category is one of the most useful tools available to international companies who need to bring qualified foreign employees to the United States. Path Law Group works closely with employers on securing L-1 petitions for establishing new U.S. offices as well as transferring managers, executives and employees with specialized knowledge.

 
 
 

The Basics

L-1 visas are ideal for employees of international companies with offices in the US and abroad. The visa allows for relocation of foreign workers provided they have worked abroad for the sponsoring company for at least one continuous year within the previous three prior to admission to the US. The two entities (US and abroad) must be related in one of the following ways: 1) parent and subsidiary; 2) branch and headquarters; 3) sister companies owned by a mutual parent; or 4) 'affiliates' owned by the same or people in approximately the same percentages. The L-1 visa also allows a qualified foreign company to send an employee to the United States to help establish a new office.

For more information please see our L-1 visa guide.

 
 
 

Premium Processing Option

An employer has an option of Premium Processing an L-1 petition in order to guarantee an answer within 15 calendar days. The USCIS fee for Premium Processing is $1,225.

 
 
 
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Benefits/Challenges 

Benefits:

  • Path To Green Card: The L-1 is a dual intent visa, allowing options to obtain permanent residency
  • Spouse Can Work: L-2 dependent spouses can apply for work authorization, allowing them to work freely

Challenges

  • High Scrutiny for Managers: The USCIS routinely requests additional evidence for managerial transfers
  • Requires an Established Entity Abroad: It can be challenging for small & new companies to obtain L-1 visas
 

EB-1A Green card

For applicants with extraordinary ability

 

 

 

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THE GREEN CARD FOR THOSE WITH EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY

The EB-1A Green Card is the best option for applicants who can prove extraordinary ability in their fields. The requirements for this category are very similar to the O-1 category but are a bit more stringent. Please take a look at our overview and visa guide and feel free to contact us if you need more info.

 
 
 
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The Basics

The EB-1A classification is ideal for candidates who have been recognized as being at the very top of their field. In order to qualify, the candidate must be satisfy 3 of the following 10 criteria:

  1. Have you received any lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor?
  2. Are you a member of associations that require outstanding achievements of their members as judged by recognized national or international experts? 
  3. Is there published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about you which relates to your work in the field?
  4. Have you participated on a panel or individually as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization?
  5. Have you made original scientific, scholarly or business contributions that are of major significance?
  6. Have you authored scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media?
  7. Has your work been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases?
  8. Have you played a leading or critical role for an organization with a distinguished reputation?
  9. Have you or will you command a high salary or other remuneration for your services in comparison to others in your field?
  10. Have you enjoyed commercial successes in the performing arts?

For more detailed information please see our EB-1A visa guide here.

 
 

Quick Processing

Compared to other employment-based green cards, the EB-1A is incredibly fast and does not require the applicant to go through the lengthy PERM process.

 
 
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Benefits: 

  • Streamlined Processing: The EB-1A green card does not require going through the PERM process
  • Does not require sponsorship: While the applicant must prove future work in the field, an employer-sponsor is not required

Challenges:

  • High Standard: The USCIS requires significant evidence to satisfy the criteria.
 

EB-1B Green card

For outstanding professors and researchers

 

 

 

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THE GREEN CARD FOR OUTSTANDING PROFESSORS AND RESEARCHERS

The EB-1B Green Card is reserved for 'outstanding' researchers and professors. More specifically, the successful candidate must prove that he or she is internationally recognized as outstanding in his or her academic field.  Please take a look at our overview and visa guide and feel free to contact us if you need more info.

 
 
 
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  1. The Basics

The EB-1B classification is a permanent immigrant visa (green card) for outstanding researchers and professors. In order to qualify, the professor or researcher must:

  1. Hold a tenure-track faculty position or have a permanent job offer;
  2. Have at least three years of prior research of teaching experience.

The petition must also include significant evidence proving international recognition. The required evidence is outlined in our visa guide.

For more detailed information please see our EB-1B visa guide here.

 
 
 
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Quick Processing

Compared to other employment-based green cards, the EB-1B is fast and does not require the applicant to go through the lengthy PERM process.

 
 
 
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Benefits: 

  • Streamlined Processing: The EB-1B green card does not require going through the PERM process

Challenges:

  • High Standard: The USCIS requires significant evidence to satisfy the criteria.

 

EB-1C Green card

For multinational managers or executives

 

 

 

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THE GREEN CARD FOR TRANSFERRING MULTINATIONAL MANAGERS & EXECUTIVES

The EB-1C Green Card is a permanent immigrant visa (green card) for multinational managers and executives. The visa requires that the executive/manager have a prior relationship with the U.S. company. We outline the basics below and the details in our visa guide here. Feel free to contact us if you need more info.

 
 
 
  1. The Basics

The EB-1C classification is a permanent immigrant visa (green card) that allows international companies to transfer top-level managers & executives to the U.S. In order to qualify, the employer must satisfy the following:

1.     The company must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company, such as a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate. These are collectively referred to as qualifying entities.

2.     The company must conduct business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization in the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods or services.

3.     The company must have been in existence in the United States for at least one year. 

In addition, the employee must have been employed for one year within the past three years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary or branch of the U.S. employer and they must work in the United States in a managerial or executive capacity.

For more detailed information about who qualifies as a manager or executive please see our EB-1C visa guide here.

 
 
 

Quick Processing

Compared to other employment-based green cards, the EB-1C is fast and does not require the applicant to go through the lengthy PERM process.

 
 
 
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Benefits: 

  • Streamlined Processing: The EB-1C green card does not require going through the PERM process

Challenges:

  • Proof of Managerial or Executive Capacity can be challenging for smaller companies

 

THE startup/ENTREPRENEUR rule ("EB-6")

 

 

 

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THE STARTUP 'VISA'

THE TEMPORARY STATUS FOR INCOMING ENTREPRENEURS.

After years of waiting the USCIS has finally offered a solution for entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses in the U.S. While not a formal visa, the USCIS decision allows qualified applicants to stay in the U.S. for up to 5 years (2.5 year initial duration with the possibility of an additional 2.5 year extension).

 
 
 
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The Basics

Effective July 17, 2017 certain entrepreneurs will be allowed entry into the United States in order to operate and grow their startup entities. In order to qualify for this discretionary grant of status, the entrepreneur must show the following:

  1. Formation of a new startup entity in the U.S. within the past 5 years;
  2. The entity has "substantial potential" for rapid growth and job creation;
  3. The applicant has at least 10% ownership stake in the entity at the time of application;
  4. The applicant has a central role in the operations and future growth of the entity;
  5. A showing of "significant" U.S. private or government funding;

We cover all of these requirements in detail in our Startup Status Guide here.

 
 
 

Employment Authorization for Spouses

The spouse of the primary applicant for the startup status is also eligible to receive employment authorization.

 
 
 

Benefits: 

  • No Per Country Limitations: This status allows applicants from any country, with no quotas or backlogs
  • Spouse Can Work: The primary applicant's spouse is eligible for a work permit for the duration of the visa

Challenges:

  • Case-By-Case Decisions: The status is discretionary and "case-by-case" meaning there may be some unpredictability
  • Limit of 3 Entrepreneurs Per Visa: Teams larger than 3 entrepreneurs will have to limit who enters the US on this status