IN THE AGRICULTURAL & LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY
Buying a Business
Selling a Business
Businesses For Sale
There are two (2) types of visas: (1) Immigrant Visas (for individuals who wish to become legal permanent residents of the US; and (2) Non-Immigrant Visas (for individuals who intend to come to the US for a limited time, generally for employment purposes, and then return to their home country)
Generally, an individual who is legally in the US as a non-immigrant can change or adjust his/her visa to an immigrant visa if: (1) that person did not have the intent to immigrate at the time they entered the US as a non-immigrant; and (2) that person meets the requirements for the immigrant visa they are seeking.
THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF NON-IMMIGRANT VISAS:
– These visas can generally be gotten at local consulates without the assistance of an attorney. If, after coming to the US on a Tourist Visa, a foreigner wishes to remain in the US, they would, most likely, be able to extend his/her visa. Alternatively, they might be able to adjust his/her status to another visa with longer duration.
– E Visas can be used to conduct a trade between the US and countries with which the US has a treaty (an E-1 Visa “Treaty Trader Visa”) or to oversee the investment of money in the US from a treaty country (an E-2 Visa “Treaty Investor Visa”). It is important to note that, a treaty must exist between the US and the country of the person seeking an E-Visa. An E-1 Visa should be considered if a foreign national wishes to come to the US to set up a company to engage in substantial trade between the US and the foreign national’s country. An E-2 Visa should be considered if a foreign national wishes to come to the US to invest.
– This visa is appropriate if a foreigner has a college degree or equivalent experience (three years work experience equals 1 year of college) in a “specialty occupation” or, in other words, an occupation requiring a specialized body of knowledge. To be eligible for an H-1B, a US employer must be willing to sponsor/employ the foreigner.
– This visa allows foreign companies to transfer employees temporarily to the US in order to aid or initiate operations in the US. The person(s) being transferred to the US must have been employed by the foreign company for at least one (1) year within the last three (3) years, and must have been employed in a managerial or executive capacity. If a foreign buyer/investor owns a business in another country and wants to start a business (or purchase an existing business) in the US and “transfer” himself to the US to run that business, the L Visa should be considered.
E2 Investor / Investment Visa
Foreign investors who invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. enterprise, and who will develop and direct the enterprise, may apply for E2 visas if their country of citizenship has the required treaty with the U.S.
If the investor is inside the U.S., he or she may apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service) for a change of status, extension of stay, of change of employment. The E2 category does not require a petition for employment if the investor is outside of the U.S. In that case, the investor may apply for the E2 visa on his or her own behalf directly to a U.S. consular office abroad.
The investment involved must place lawfully acquired, owned, and controlled capital at commercial risk with a profit objective, and be subject to loss if the investment fails.
E2 Visa / Document Requirements
The visa application must be filed with evidence that:
1) The investor is a national of a country with whom the USA has the requisite treaty or agreement; 2) The applicant (or in the case of an employee of a treaty investor who seeks classification as an E2, the owner of the treaty enterprise) will direct or develop the enterprise. The applicant must demonstrate that he or she controls the enterprise by showing ownership of at least 50 percent of the enterprise, by possessing operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device or by other means; 3) The investor has invested in or is actively in the process of investing in the enterprise; 4) The investment is substantial, i.e. sufficient to ensure the investor's financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise and big enough to support the likelihood that the investor will successfully direct and develop the enterprise; 5) The investment enterprise is not a marginal enterprise; 6) If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in an executive or supervisory capacity, or possess skills that are highly specialized and essential to the operations of the commercial enterprise. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify; and 7) That the applicant intends to depart the United States upon the expiration of E2 status.
E2 Dependents / Family Members
Spouses and unmarried children under age 21, regardless of nationality, may receive derivative E visas in order to accompany the principal alien. Family members may be students in the U.S. while remaining in E2 dependent status and spouses may apply for work authorization with the USCIS.
Holders of E visas may reside in the United States as long as they continue to maintain their status with the enterprise.
E Treaty Countries with United States
● Bosnia - Herzegovina
● China (Taiwan)
● Costa Rica
● Czech Republic
● Slovak Republic
● Sri Lanka
● Trinidad & Tobago
● United Kingdom
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