Does a Non-US Citizen Need A Visa To Own A US company?

A visa is not required to own a business in the US as a non-US citizen. However, if the individual plans to live in the US or work in the US (for the business) while running the business, a visa would then be required.

There are several visa options available for non-US citizens that wish to start a business in the US. The most common visa categories for entrepreneurs are the E-2 treaty investor visa and the L-1 intracompany transferee visa.

The E-2 visa is available to citizens of certain countries that have treaties of commerce and navigation with the US. To qualify for the E-2 visa, an individual must make a substantial investment in a US business and be able to demonstrate that the business will create jobs for US citizens.

The L-1 visa is available to non-US citizens who work for a foreign company that has a qualifying relationship with a US company. To qualify for the L-1 visa, an individual must have worked for the foreign company (with the qualifying US relationship) for at least one of the past three years and be coming to the US to work in a managerial or executive capacity for the US company.

While there are other visa types available, the aforementioned types are the most popular for the discussed circumstances.

It is important to consult with an attorney to determine the visa category that is most appropriate for each and every specific situation. If you have any questions about creating a US business, contact Givner Law to have a conversation.

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