Question: I wanted to start my own business in the U.S. and in fact have sufficient money. However, I was told that I am not able to do so because I am not a citizen of a ‘treaty country’. Is there anything else I can do?
Answer: Yes, you can try the L-1A which actually requires considerably less money. You will have to either have your own company, or start a company in your home country.
Question: What is the L-1A?
Answer: The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. The L-1A intra-company transferee classification applies to qualified executives and managers within multinational companies. These individuals can be transferred from their foreign employer to work for up to seven years in the United States for an appropriately affiliated U.S. company.
Question: What if I am not a manager? Is there another type of L-1?
Answer: Yes. The L1B intracompany transferee classification applies to qualified specialized knowledge employees. Such individuals may be transferred from their foreign employer to work for up to five years in the U.S. for an appropriately affiliated U.S. company.
Question: What is the difference between the L-1A and the H-1?
Answer: Many employers in the United States routinely need temporary workers that are highly skilled. Therefore, there are various temporary work visas such as H1B and L1 (L1A and L1B) that allow the employers to hire foreign workers.
Question: Can somebody on the L-1 apply later for the Green Card?
Answer: As long as you were employed in managerial or executive position for one continuous year in the preceding three years (in U.S. or outside the U.S.), you can apply for green card in EB1C category immediately. ... Otherwise, you will have to be on L1A visa status for one year before applying for green card in EB1C category.
Question: Does the EB1C require a $500,000 investment or $1,000,000 investment?
Answer: No. This is not the EB-5 which does require that huge amount. The actual investment for the EB1C and the L-1 are much, much lower.
Question: What is the typical investment for the L-1A?
Answer: Many times, you can invest $10,000 to $20,000 only and that will be sufficient for the L-1A. The minimum for the E-2 would be about $75,000, so it is much less expensive. Also, businesses that do not qualify for the E-2 may very well qualify for the L-1A. It is just a matter of making sure it is prepared properly.