For many entrepreneurs, immigrating to the United States is a step in achieving both personal and financial goals. There are a number of ways to pursue legal citizenship, and options are tailored to immigrants' unique motivations and needs. If you intend to pursue business opportunities, applying for the EB-5 visa might seem like the obvious option.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an EB-5 is for immigrant entrepreneurs who intend to invest in a commercial endeavor. This type of visa can be competitive, though. If you are interested in immigrating for business interests, consider the following three alternatives.
1. Extraordinary ability
An EB-1A visa is for immigrants who possess extraordinary ability. This might be applicable if you have received an internationally known recognition of your ability or if you meet at least three of the 10 criteria which USCIS outline for applicants. Many entrepreneurs also win awards and possess demonstrable talent, so this may be another option to consider.
2. Multinational manager/executive
If you have worked as a manager or executive in your home country prior to applying for immigration, you may qualify to apply for an EB-1C visa. This type of visa is for multinational managers and executives who are seeking to expand their business or establish one in the United States. Entrepreneurs who have already acquired or established businesses in the U.S. can apply immediately.
3. National interest waiver
Entrepreneurs seeking to pursue business opportunities with the potential for major economic impact should consider applying for an EB-2 waiver. This option is great for any entrepreneurs who intend to create jobs and generate revenue. It is also available to self-employed businesspeople who meet the application criteria.