People from all around the world seek to come to the United States to live, work, study and invest. No matter the purpose of your trip to the United States, the motivations are easy to understand. Manufactured goods and electronics are plentiful and inexpensive. Schools provide high quality education and good training for future employment. The economy is stable and opportunities are accessible to people in all social classes. Crime is relatively low, streets are safe, and police, fire fighters, and emergency medical help are only a phone call away. There are beaches, valleys, mountains, desserts, forests, and water ways. And, most importantly, Disney – everybody loves Mickey Mouse!
Fortunately, the US immigration system has many different visas to help all kinds of people to achieve their objective. For those who wish to study at a high school, English school, college, university or post graduate program, there is the F1 visa. The F1 visa allows the visa holder to study at any school at which they have been accepted and matriculated. The student’s spouse and single children under 21 years can also come as dependents and can also live and study in the US. Best of all, those on F1 student status can maintain legal status as long as they are studying at a school that accepts international students.
For those looking to invest in the United States or start their own company, there exist the EB5, E2, and L1 visas. The EB5 visa is obtained by making an investment in the US economy that will create at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers. If you are investing in your own business, the minimum investment is usually $1 million, with some exceptions. If you are investing through a Regional Center which has been approved by the US Immigration Service, the minimum investment is $500,000. An EB5 visa leads to a green-card (permanent residence) for the investor, their spouse, and their single children under 21.
E2 visas are available for people with nationality in a country that has a treaty of commerce and trade with the United States. Unfortunately, Brazil and Portugal do not have this kind of treaty. But many other countries like Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, and Poland do. Although this visa does not lead to a green-card, it allows the investor to open and administer a company anywhere in the US. The best part is that the visa can be renewed or extended indefinitely – so you can live in the US for the rest of your life, whether 30, 40, or 50 years, in E2 status.
L1 visas are for multinational executives and managers who are being transferred to the US from a foreign affiliate company. This visa is a dual purpose visa, which means it is for people who intend on working for a few years and returning to their home country, as well as those who want to immigrate to the United States. Although this visa was designed for executives and managers of large multinational companies like IBM, Microsoft, or Toyota, it can be a great was for small and medium sized business to expand to the US. Also, this visa can lead to a green-card for the beneficiary, their spouse and single children under 21.
There are also visas available for journalists, diplomats, athletes, artists, singers, professionals, victims of certain crimes and many others. Speaking with an immigration attorney can help you understand your options and identify a path for you to achieve your unique objectives. So whether you want to live, work, study or just have fun in the United States, speak with a qualified professional today.