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Business Visas

Coming to the United States is a very important life event for any immigrant. When deciding to come here, many people already have had an idea of how they will make the journey into the country legally. For many, the plan consists of making investments in the United States as a way to live here and work, or eventually achieve some form of permanent residency. For investors, there are three main areas which are available (depending on your country of origin) to you. Our firm can help you achieve your immigration goals through any of these visas.
When you are a citizen of another company starting a business in the United States is a large undertaking. To greatly increase the success of your endeavor, it is important to contact an attorney with a solid understanding of immigration and naturalization law.

Legal Assistance With Securing an Investment Visa

An investment visa (EB-5, E-1, or E-2) allows those who are not yet United States citizens the opportunity to develop a pre-approved business. This business must serve the U.S. economy. In EB-5 cases, you and your dependent family members may file for permanent resident status. The stipulations for an investment visa or green card through investment include hiring at least ten authorized persons or citizens, as well as making a minimum financial investment. The minimum amount of investment for your business depends on area where it is established: $500,000 for high-unemployment areas or $1 million dollars for metropolitan areas. We can direct you to a list of permitted business investments. You will need guidance through necessary processes and paperwork regarding your visa and potential permanent residences.

E-2 Visa

The E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa designed for investors who want to live and work in the United States, without the dual intent of trying to establish permanent residency in this country. E-2 visas are only available to those who live in treaty countries, that is countries which have a specific treaty with the United States which allows one from that country of origin to enter with an E-2 visa.

The amount of investment that a foreigner must make in the United States under the E-2 visa depends on the type of business that he or she wishes to buy or create. The government simply defines the amount as “substantial”. This essentially means that the capitalization of the particular business must be sufficient to operate and run the business successfully.

As previously mentioned, this visa is for non-immigrant, meaning that the investor cannot come with the dual intent of staying here and achieving permanent residency status. Nevertheless, with an E-2 visa, a person can renew the visa indefinitely. That is, there is no limit as to how many times you can renew your visa and continue staying in the United States so long as the business is still viable and supporting you and your family, if applicable.

The spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of their nationality may apply for derivative E-2 visas so that they may accompany the principal alien.

Required Documentation

  • Form DS-160.
  • DS-156E.
  • A passport that is valid for travel to the United States. The passport must be valid for at least six months past the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States.
  • One 2 x 2 inch photo.
  • Males between the ages of 16 and 45 must complete and submit a form DS-157 in addition to the (DS-156E).
  • Usually an interview at the embassy consular section is required for almost all visa applicants.


The following lists the costs (not attorney’s fees) for the E-2 visa:

  • $325.00 filing fee main petition.
  • $290.00 filing fee for the family’s application, if applicable.
  • $1,225.00 fee for premium processing, is optional (a decision is made within 15 calender days)
  • $380.00 filing fee for spouse’s employment authorization (optional)

L-1 visa

The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant “intra-company” visa, which allows foreign nationals to
come into the United States and work. It is available to employees of foreign companies
with offices abroad and in the United States and it allows the employees from those
companies abroad to come in work in the United States.

The visa permits the foreign worker to relocate to the corporation’s US office. However,
the foreign worker must have worked abroad for the company for at least one year prior
to being granted L-1 status. The office here in the United States must have a common or same owner with the
company overseas.

Unlike the E-2 visa, this visa may be used as a conduit to obtaining a green card since
there is no dual-intent issue.

There are 2 subcategories to the L-1 visa:

  • L-1A for executives and managers. L-1A status is valid for up to 7 years.
  • L-1B for workers with specialized knowledge. L-1B is valid for up to 5 years.

After the employee has worked in the United States either for the 7 or 5 year period, they
must leave the United States for a total of 365 days during which they must work for a
parent or subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. company before they can reapply for an L-1

Spouses are granted an L-2 visa, giving them the opportunity to live and work in the
United States just as the principal. The primary applicant’s children who are under the
age of 21 may also be issued L-2 visas and are allowed to attend school but cannot be
gainfully employed.

Contact Information

Law Office of Edward Wong

2333 Camino Del Rio South
Suite 210
San Diego, CA 92108

Phone: 619-645-7722


Business Hours:
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Same Day Appointment Available


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