I Have An Overseas Company & Want To Open A U.S. Subsidiary. Which Visa Do I Need?

If you are looking for a lawyer for immigration, it might be to assist with the selection of the right Visa to send an employee to the United States (U.S.) as an executive or manager to establish a new office. You will need to follow specific procedures as a foreign national to open your U.S. office, which requires careful planning.

The two main options available to you are an “L-1” Visa and an “E” Visa for a foreign national desiring to open a U.S. subsidiary.

What Visa Do You Need If You Are A Foreign National And Want To Have Or Already Have A Company In The U.S.

L-1 Visa Basics For Foreign Company Owners

The L-1 Visa is appropriate if you’re a foreign business and would like to open a new office in the U.S. that is a related entity in one of a few different ways. For example, suppose the new office will be a parent, affiliate, branch, or subsidiary of an already-in-existence foreign company. In that case, you can use the L-1 Visa process to open your new U.S. office. There are two subcategories of the L-1 Visa to consider:

  • The L-1A Visa is for intracompany transferees who work in managerial or executive positions in a company that is located outside the U.S.
  • The L-1B Visa is for intracompany transferees who work in positions requiring specialized knowledge.

Also, in establishing this new U.S. office, you must show:

  • You have a physical location for the new office;
  • The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years before filing the petition; and
  • The new office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition.

E-1 Visa Basics For Foreign Company Owners

There are three subcategories of the E Visa. The E-1 classification is one of them to consider. To qualify, you must:

  • Be a national of a country the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with;
  • Carry on substantial trade; and
  • Carry on principal trade between the U.S. and the treaty country, which qualified you for E-1 classification.

E-2 Visa Basics For Foreign Company Owners

The E-2 subcategory of the E Visa is another option. To qualify, you must:

  • Be a national of a country the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with;
  • Have invested, or are actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the U.S.; and
  • Be seeking to enter the U.S. solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise.

As you can see, this can be a complicated decision and one that is usually made with the support of an immigration lawyer. An immigration lawyer will meet with you and determine which Visa options are available to you and talk you through the factors to consider.

Evidence Requirements For E-1 Or E-2 Visa

There is also a lot of evidence required if you need to submit an E-1 or an E-2 Visa. This is because you have to provide proof about the substantial nature of the trade relationship between the treaty country and the U.S. One of the most important things to note is that you want to ensure your application is fully and properly drafted the first time around because there is no appeal process in place in the U.S. if your E-1 or E-2 Visa is denied. While you can resubmit that application with new evidence, this can add to further delays and could impact your timeline for opening your U.S. office as a result.

It is in your best interest to work with an immigration lawyer to gather all the material needed for your Visa and to submit it together. It decreases your chances of any delays and places you in the best possible position to have the application reviewed and approved in a timely fashion.

Hiring The Right Immigration Lawyer: Lozano Law Firm

When it comes to the connection between personal and business interests in U.S. immigration, time and details are both important. You want to ensure that you have a dedicated immigration lawyer who has helped other people with similar applications in the past. Your lawyer is an essential resource to you from the moment you hire them, and finding the right attorney to direct your questions to can make this process much easier to understand. Contact our offices today for a consultation about the Visa options for a foreign business owner interested in opening a company office in the U.S.

A lawyer for immigration can also help you with your first-time application. Alfredo Lozano, a board-certified immigration attorney in good standing licensed to practice U.S. immigration law, can help you navigate confusing paperwork with expertise, dedication, and an individual approach. For legal advice on your L-1 or E Visa case from one of The Lozano Law Firm PLLC’s immigration attorneys in Texas, fill out our contact form or call us at (210) 899-2290.

Copyright © 2021. Lozano Law Firm. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (post) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Lozano Law Firm
5718 University Heights Blvd #104
San Antonio, TX 78249
(210) 899-2290

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