U.S. Entrepreneur Visas Live

U.S. Entrepreneur Visas Live

Angie: Hi there, hi everyone! Hi Natalia, are you with me? Yes, there you are. How are you?

Natalia: I am great, thank you.

Angie: Fantastic. Thank you so much for everybody who joined! And it looks like we are going to actually start right on time, which will be amazing. So, we are here to talk about entrepreneurs coming to the United States and how to get visas: starting your own business, running your own business, buying your own business right? So, this is going to be in Spanish and English, right Natalia?

Natalia: ¡Si! También vamos a hablar en español sobre las diferentes visas para los emprendedores que quieren migrar hacia Estados Unidos.

Angie: So, what are the things that I’d like to talk about? It’s just a list of the visas that actually could work for entrepreneurs. So, all of the different visas in the United States have different requirements; there are no two that are exactly the same. Whatever it is that you’re doing and your business you may fit into a different category so, don’t have your mind… I think one of the most important things is not to have your mind set immediately on “This is the visa I am going to get,” because it may not fit exactly for you. Right, Natalia?

Natalia: Si, entonces digamos que cada visa depende de la necesidad del emprendedor. Uno no puede decir “bueno me voy a ir por esta visa” si tienes unas necesidades diferentes. Uno se tiene que adaptar un poquito a las necesidades que tiene un emprendedor en cuanto a migrar a Estados Unidos.

Angie: So, I think… Let’s kind of go through the list. Some of these maybe you’ve heard of, some of them you haven’t. One of them is actually almost brand-new, maybe six weeks old or so. So let’s talk about the different options. The first one is maybe the one you’ve heard about the most, which is the EB-5, now that’s a green card and you get that for investing in a business and it’s a little bit…. it’s going through some tumultuous times at the moment because there are some changes going on but, most people predict that within the next three to four months it will kind of be back to its regular self. But, for now the EB-5, which is a green card, requires a minimum investment of $500,000 into a business.

Natalia: Entonces, la primera visa que de pronto ustedes han escuchado es la EB-5. La EB-5 es una visa que te da la residencia, la green card. Tiene un monto mínimo de inversión de $500.000 dólares en un negocio. Por ahora esta visa es muy nueva, tiene por lo menos 6 semanas y ha tenido un poquito de cambios, pero pronto va a volver a la normalidad.

Angie: Yeah. So that’s probably one of the most common ones. Another one is in L-1 Visa, which is great if you own a business in your home country and you want to open another business in the United States. Both of those businesses need to be running simultaneously and you need to have worked at the business in your home country or in any country aside from the United States for at least one year in the last three years. That’s the minimum requirement for the L1.

Natalia: La otra visa es la L1 que es para personas que tienen un negocio en su país y quieren empezar otro nuevo en Estados Unidos. En este caso tienen que estar trabajando simultáneamente en las dos empresas para poder obtener esta visa L-1.

Angie: So then there’s the O1 Visa. Now, some people, especially where I live in Los Angeles, “La La Land” as we call it, think of the O1 as the “movie star visa,” which it is; but there are two types of O1 visa.  O1-B are for people who are in the entertainment industry, but O1-A are for people who are in science or business. And for someone to get an O1-A you must show that you have extraordinary ability within the world of business. So you really need to show: “There have been articles written about me, I´ve had publications, I’ve made much more money than most people within my industry, I had these types of awards and successes…” Those are the types of things they are looking for in an O1-A entrepreneur.

Natalia: La otra visa es la O1 que le llaman la visa de las estrellas. Es para gente que está en el mundo del entretenimiento y por otro lado está la O1-A que es un visa para personas que tienen unas habilidades especiales por así decirlo, que tiene un recorrido que ha sido memorable y por tanto pueden obtener esta visa O1-A.

Angie: So, those are some of the main ones that you may I’ve heard of before. But, our law firm specializes in E-2 visas and E-1 visas. So let’s go over the E-1 a little bit. A rare-ish visa but,  those are for people who have a business that has been established for at least a year that has trade going between the United States and the country where it operates. That should also be the same country where you have a passport. So, if you have a passport from the UK and you have a business that’s been running in the UK for three years and you have substantial trade of goods or services, maybe it’s all of your clients are in the United States and you’re offering your services. If you have an established trade route of goods or services for at least the last year between the United States and your home country you may be eligible for an E1 Visa.

Natalia: Ahora vamos a empezar a hablar un poco de las visas que nosotras en la firma podemos tramitar. La primera es la visa E-1 que es la visa de comerciante y es para personas que han importado o exportado bienes desde Estados Unidos o hacia Estados Unidos desde su país de origen. Su país de origen debe ser el mismo país en el que tiene el pasaporte, debe estar una empresa por lo menos funcionando un año para poder tramitar esta visa y si cumplen con todos estos requisitos son elegibles para una visa E-1.

Angie: Great, so E-1 visas are really great for someone who has an established business and someone who is always either buying goods, selling goods or is trading services between their home country and the United States. That would be somebody who is perfect for the E1 Visa. Sorry, Natalia I will let you just kind of reiterate that point.

Natalia: Para retomar un poco, la visa E-1 es principalmente para personas que importan o exportan desde un país, que debe ser su país de origen, país de su pasaporte, que hacen bienes y si se cumplen todos estos requisitos pueden ser elegibles para la visa E-1.

Angie: So now let’s get down to it. The E-2 Visa, which is what we do most often. So, we do also handle E-1 cases but E-1 are somewhat rare, there are only a few thousand of those every year. But, the E-2 Visa: there are many more E-2 visas issued each year and an E-2 visa is perfect for someone who wants to start or buy a brand new business in the United States. You do not need to have a business established in any other country, you do not even necessarily need to have ever owned a business. This is just starting a brand new business in the United States. That’s the person that would be best suited for somebody who wants an E-2 Visa.

Natalia: Las visa E-1 como veníamos diciendo, son un poco raras, no se tramitan muchas al año pero pues en nuestra firma hemos tenido algunos casos de visas E1. Pero por el contrario, para las visas E-2 siempre tenemos muchos clientes, son para personas que quieren iniciar un negocio nuevo o comprar un negocio ya existente en Estados Unidos. No hay necesidad de tener un negocio ya andando en tu país de origen, simplemente es abrir un nuevo negocio en Estados Unidos y cumplir con el requisito mínimo de inversión.

Angie: Right! So, Natalia I am going to let you kind of take this for a little bit because we work on E-2s all the time, right? You and I together. And… What are some of the common questions that we get regarding E-2? Maybe people who have never owned businesses in the US before…

What are some common questions that we get?

Natalia: Ummmm…. Minimum investment. Yeah, always.

Angie: What’s the minimum investment? Excellent question, and we always tell them “it really depends on the business” right? So, the minimum investment… there’s no number. You’re never going to find a number in any U.S. regulation. However, experience tells us that about $100,000 U.S. would be the minimum. However, it could be more. The way that the Consular officers view your investment, what they consider to be a substantial investment is based on proportionality. If you have a business that may only cost $150,000 to start up, you would need to invest 100% of the start up cost which would be about $150,000. If you buy a business that may cost a million dollars to start up, a substantial investment could be closer to $400,000 or $500,000 even though that’s not even close to a hundred percent; but, that’s a substantial amount considering the cost of the business. So, I think that’s generally what we say. Plan on a minimum of $100.000 but it could be more. It depends a lot on the type of business that you want to start or buy.

Natalia: Esta es una de las preguntas que más nos hacen y es: ¿cuál es el mínimo de inversión que se tiene que hacer para poder abrir un negocio en Estados Unidos? Y la respuesta es depende. No hay ninguna regulación en Estados Unidos que diga que tienes que invertir un monto específico. Simplemente dicen que tiene que ser proporcional al tipo de empresa que una persona está tratando de empezar. Por ejemplo, si el mínimo que se necesita para una empresa serían por ejemplo un millón de dólares pues, la suma tiene que ser proporcional a lo que se estima que puede ser su valor para iniciar operaciones. Entonces siempre depende del tipo de empresa que la persona quiera empezar para saber cual es el mínimo de inversión que se puede tener para la visa E-2.

Angie: I think something else that maybe we want to discuss today too because we’ve mentioned all of these other ways that entrepreneurs could come to the United States and get a visa to come live and work in the United States, are the advantages, maybe of going with an E-2 Visa versus some of the others. So in my opinion, one of the biggest advantages is that lower investment amount. I talked earlier about the EB-5, that’s going to be a minimum of $500.000, in some cases it will be a minimum of $1.000.000 US. Obviously both significantly more than the $100,000 to maybe $150,000 US dollars right?

Natalia: ¡Si! Otra de las preguntas que más nos hacen es ¿cuales son las ventajas de tener una visa E-2 con respecto a las otras? En principio, es la inversión. Si bien para la EB-5, el mínimo de inversión son $500.000 US, puede llegar a ser $1´000.000 US. Y para la visa E-2 pueden ser $150.000 US, $200.000 US. Una inversión mucho menor a la que se puede dar con otro tipo de visas.

Angie: I mean, to me that’s one of the biggest advantages. The other advantage, another great advantage of the E-2 Visa is that you can choose almost any business and you can start it from scratch or you could buy an existing business. So really the options are up to you. Almost anything will work as long as it’s legal, obviously. But then also that you’re going to be able to have employees and you’re going to have clients. If you can fit all three of those qualifications, generally speaking, it’s going to work for the E-2 visa. So you have a lot of flexibility on the type of business and whether you start it on your own or buy an existing business. Anything’s possible.

Natalia: Otra de las ventajas que para nosotras es muy importante para la visa E-2 es la flexibilidad que hay en los negocios. Casi que cualquier negocio es posible para esta visa. Lo importante es que primero sea legal (lo más importante), segundo que tengas clientes y tercero que tengas empleados. Si cumples estos tres requisitos puedes casi que montar cualquier negocio desde cero o comprar uno ya existente en Estados Unidos para la visa E-2.

Angie: Yeah, I mean to me those two things, the flexibility and the relatively low investment amount… I think another really important advantage of the E2 may have over some of the other visas is its relatively quick. Anything that’s going to be a green card will likely take a minimum of a year, the E-2 Visa can be done more quickly than that. Which is great! Also the E-2 Visa only has one process. For most visas you must go through USCIS and then go to the Embassy or consulate for an interview. For the E-2 Visa you do not need to go through USCIS, we simply apply directly to the US Consulate or Embassy in your home country and then you get an interview, that’s the entire process. I think those are two real advantages over other types of visas: relatively quick processing times and only one step to the process.

Natalia: Otra de las ventajas que tiene la visa E-2 es que una visa EB-5 se puede demorar por ejemplo dos años, tres años en obtener en este caso la residencia o la green card. Para una visa E-2 se puede demorar 6 meses. El tiempo es mucho más corto que otro tipo de visas. Además, para otras visas el proceso es mucho más largo, primero toca hacer un proceso dentro de Estados Unidos y después otro fuera de Estados Unidos. Para la visa E-2 el proceso siempre va a ser a través de la embajada o el consulado del país del cliente.

Angie: Right. Overall I think the reason that we do E2 visas are because the E-2 Visa have a lot of advantages for people who maybe are new to being entrepreneurs or new to being business owners, people who want to quickly (I mean keep in mind that we are still dealing with immigration so nothing happens overnight)… that relatively quickly want to move to the United States. Obviously you can bring a spouse and children who are under the age of 21 with you. So those are also important things. And the E-2 Visa can be renewed indefinitely, meaning as long as you and the business still meet the E-2 Visa requirements you could renew this visa for 30 or 40 years or even longer.

Natalia: Otra de las ventajas, por así decirlo, es que esta visa es para todos los emprendedores que hay, todas las personas que quieran emprender, empezar un nuevo negocio, así sea emprender por primera vez, pueden hacerlo por medio de esta visa; con esta visa tú puedes ir con tu esposo, puedes ir con tus hijos menores de 21 y la puedes renovar las veces que tú quieras, pueden ser 30 o 40 años.

Angie: So I’m hoping that everyone can see me. I’m getting a note maybe that my resolution is off a little bit. But, I think we went over a lot of the advantages of the E-2 Visa and some other types of entrepreneur visas. Although we don’t handle the other types of visas, if you do want to reach out, I can always connect you with great attorneys here in the United States who can help with any of those other visas.  If you’re interested in the E-1 or E-2 please reach out to us any time. But I think now is a really good time to take a couple of questions… so if you have one please type them in the chat.  I have a couple of questions here from others who have reached out to me recently, so I just kind of wanted to go over that. Which is about your spouse and children. Someone asked me recently… They said that they actually are citizens of a treaty country, their spouse and their kids are citizens of a non treaty country and not the same country and also do not allow for the E-2. The great news is for the E2 only the investor needs a passport from the treaty country; so your spouse and kids can come with you regardless of where their passports come from. Doesn’t matter, they’re fine, so that’s a great news. Ummmm lets see…Natalia I´ll  let you repeat that part.

Natalia: Una de las preguntas que hace poquito nos hicieron fue ¿Qué pasa si el aplicante principal tiene un pasaporte de un país que tiene tratado con E

stados Unidos pero mi esposa e hijo no tienen pasaporte de un país que tenga un tratado con la visa E-2 con Estados Unidos? La buena noticia aquí es que solo el aplicante principal tiene que tener un pasaporte que tenga acuerdo con Estados Unidos, no importa si tu esposa e hijos tienen otra nacionalidad que no se pueda incluir dentro de la visa, lo importante es que el aplicante principal siempre tenga un pasaporte que se pueda tramitar con la visa E-2.

Angie: So let’s see, any other questions today from the group? Go ahead and add them to the chat.  Otherwise, I kind of will keep talking here for just another couple of minutes if there are any other questions then we can kind of wrap it up.  But one of the questions that I get a lot is about people who want business partners. Yes, you can for sure have a business partner. You can do it a variety of ways: if there are going to be two investors, meaning two people who want the E-2 Visa you must own the business 50/50. They could be from your home country, they could be from another treaty country, that’s fine. If you have a US citizen partner or a partner from a country that is not a country and does not want an E-2, you should have a minimum of 50% but I would prefer 51%. So, if your sister is a U.S. citizen and you want to own a company with her and you want to get an E-2 Visa and your sister obviously doesn’t need one. I would say you should have 51% ownership and your sister can have 49% ownership or even more, right? You have 70%, she has 30% or what have you. That’s generally the way that I would recommend that you form a business if you’re looking for an E-2.

Natalia: Cuando son socios que quieren abrir un negocio en Estados Unidos, si son del mismo país y los dos quieren la visa E-2, lo importante es que tengan el 50% cada uno de las acciones dentro de la empresa. Si por el contrario, uno de los socios no quiere la visa E-2, es ciudadano americano, o de pronto es de un país que no tiene tratado con Estados Unidos, siempre recomendamos que se tenga el 51% de las acciones dentro de la empresa.

Angie: Yes. Thanks, Natalia. I did get a question here so at least let me answer that for you… If the home country Embassy is not currently processing E-2 due to covid, can that person apply for an E-2 within the United States? Yes. I normally don’t recommend it for a variety of reasons.

However we are in not normal times so yes you can.

There are a few caveats to that: first of all, you have to have a visa obviously to be in the United States in the first place, so sometimes that’s not that big of a deal, right? If we have someone from Mexico or Colombia or you know, oh my gosh its like almost most countries on Earth! You’d have to the B1 – B2 at least to get to the United States. However, if you’re from Canada… well that’s a bad example… Lets say… If you’re from the UK, if you’re from France or Spain you might be here on ESTA and in that case, you cannot change your status while you’re in the United States. But, you can change from other types of visas here while you’re in the United States. You must be in the United States a minimum of 90 days before you change status, and you need to know that you won’t be able to travel internationally at all with that status.

So sometimes I do, I have changed status for people while they’re in the US during covid-19 but I always recommend that they also apply at their home consulates. So as soon as the consulate opens they are able to go and get their visa, which will allow for travel for most citizens. Not all, there are a few that have really lousy visa reciprocities. But, for most people it is better to have the visa.

Natalia: Con respecto a la pregunta que hicieron, si ¿es posible tramitar esta visa dentro de Estados Unidos?, si es posible. Se cambia el estatus migratorio de la persona. Bueno, uno de los requerimiento obviamente es estar dentro de los Estados Unidos. Para esto, deben tener una visa y se deben quedar por un mínimo de 90 días para poder cambiar el estatus migratorio de turista o de cualquier otra visa a la visa de inversionista.

Siempre recomendamos que no lo hagan por este medio porque las condiciones son un poquito menos favorables a que si se hace fuera de Estados Unidos. Por ejemplo, no puedes viajar, ni puedes salir del país durante el periodo que estés con esta visa. Por eso siempre recomendamos que si lo van a hacer dentro de Estados Unidos, que también lo hagan por medio de la Embajada o Consulado de su país de origen.

Angie: Great. So I think with that we’re going to wrap today. But, we are definitely going to have more of these lives with very specific questions. The E-2 is a super complicated visa if you’re not used to the process; so I know everybody out there has a lot of questions, and we will be handling those questions kind of one-by-one so we can really get into the details.

Natalia any parting thoughts or words of wisdom for those seeking E-2 visas?

Natalia: No, es una visa maravillosa que a todos los emprendedores les permite crecer, les permite vivir en otro país, aumentar sus negocios, contactos… Entonces, así sea muy riesgosa y pueda ser difícil, vale mucho la pena hacerlo. Y si están interesados, podemos ayudarlos con esta visa que definitivamente es de las mejores que hay.

Angie: So, if you have any questions about the E-2 visa, the E-1 visa or any of the other entrepreneur visas that we talked about today, please reach out any time. You can call on whatsapp, which is country code +1 (323) 434-4385 or you can email arupert@rupertlawgroup.com. You can also go to www.rupertlawgroup.com and fill out a form. Any way you want to do it, we can answer your questions and help with E-2 visas. No matter what treaty country you are from or what state you want to live in, we can help. Thanks so much! Thanks, Natalia.

Natalia: Thank you. Thanks everyone.

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