Information for foreign nationals wanting to emmigrate to Florida
We work with Immigration Attorneys, Visa Specialists and Business Planners who can assist you obtain immigration or residency in the United States. Below are the Immigrant Visas and Services available.
H1-B VISA (Employment Visa)
Applies to any foreign graduate who holds the equivalent of a 4-year U.S. college degree in professional fields such as engineering, accounting, finance, economics, etc. If you do not have a college degree, experience can qualify you for an H1-B Visa. Experience is a big plus when it comes to obtaining a sponsor/employer for this Visa. We can be helpful in showing you how to locate a qualifying sponsor. This Visa will convert to a Green Card (Permanent Resident Status) and application can be made immediately upon arrival of your H1-B Visa. H-1B visas are issued in 3 year increments up to a maximum of 6 years. A limited amount of H-1B visas are issued each year. Once the cap has been reached for each fiscal year, Immigration will stop approving H-1B petitions for that year. Employers must wait for the beginning of the new fiscal year before employing an H-1B worker.
October 1, 2004 = 65,000
October 1, 2005 = 65,000
- must be a U.S. employer. A U.S. employer is a person, firm, or corporation in the United States with an Internal Revenue Service tax identification number.
- Prior to the H-1B employee commencing employment, must obtain approval of a non-immigrant work petition from the INS
- must have a job offer from a U.S. employer.
- must have a U.S. Bachelor or higher degree. If the worker has a foreign degree, that degree must be evaluated by a recognized degree evaluation service.
- an employee lacking a U.S. degree or equivalent must have 3 years of specialized training or work experience for each year of college-level education that he/she lacks towards that degree required for that field.
- must intend to remain in the U.S. temporarily, for no longer than the term of the visa.
- must reside abroad for 1 year after expiration of his/her visa, before applying for another H-1B visa.
L1 VISA (Intra-company Transferees)
Requires a substantial investment into a business. The worker will perform services either in a managerial capacity (L-1A) or that, which would entail specialized knowledge (L-1B). The worker or company must invest approximately $100,000 into a new or existing business in order to qualify. The parent company must have been in business for at least 12 months, providing evidence of staff employed and recent business conducted. This Visa will convert to a Green Card (Permanent Resident Status) and application can be made 6 Months after the L-1 Visa approval.
The Overseas Company must:
- be in business for at least 12 months
- provide current financial statements
- provide evidence of recent business conducted
- provide evidence of staff employed, recommend at least four full-time employees excluding transferee
- provide management & personnel structure
- must remain in operation for the term of the L-1 visa.
The U.S. Corporation must:
- be a legal entity registered to conduct business in the U.S.
- have identical structure, be owned or controlled in the majority by foreign corporation
- be intending to employ U.S. workers in managerial and subordinate positions
- have lease securing physical premises to house U.S. entity
- have opened U.S. corporate bank account ~ New offices must have sufficient funds to initiate start-up
- have U.S. corporation Income Tax Return ~ Applies to existing offices one year or more
- have financial projections for at least first year of trading ~ Applies to new offices
- At time of renewal provide evidence of staff employed, recommend at least four full-time U.S. employees excluding the transferee
- Any legal form of doing business is acceptable, including but not restricted to: corporations, limited companies, partnerships, joint ventures and sole proprietorships.
- There are no quota restrictions on the L-1 visa. Initial visa will be issued for 1 year (new U.S. business) or 3 years (U.S. business trading for at least 1 year). L-1A visa is renewable for up to 7 years and L-1B specialized knowledge visa is renewable for up to 5 years, providing transferee and business qualify.
E-2 VISA (Treaty Investor)
This Visa requires a substantial investment into a business; buying or starting a new business would qualify.
The investor must invest money in a real ands active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking, producing some service or commodity. The size of the investment is usually determined by the type of business purchased, so the investment could actually be less than $100,000. The country of the alien applying must have treaty with the U.S. for this type of Visa to be issued. This Visa is not normally convertible into a Green Card (Permanent Resident Status).
The Foreign Individual must:
- be a national of a treaty country
- be making a substantial investment
- have funds personally at risk
- show transfer of funds into U.S.
- have committed funds to the investment
- be investing in a real operating enterprise
- be coming to the U.S. solely to develop and direct the investment
- be supervising subordinate employees
- be a bonafide non-immigrant
The United States Corporation must:
- be a legal entity registered to conduct business in the U.S.
- be owned by foreign individual from treaty visa country
- be a business enterprise requiring U.S. workers in addition to the investor to operate
- have the capacity to generate significantly more income than just providing a living for the investor
- have lease or deed securing physical premises to house U.S. entity ~ Private residence cannot be used as business location
- can be an existing or new start up business ~ Must have sufficient funds to initiate start-up
- have a business plan and financial projections
- provide management and personnel structure
- investment funds must be available in advance and must be secured in an escrow account
- Principal employer or key employee is a person with nationality of treaty country and enterprise or organization is 50% or more owned by treaty national.
- Funds for investment must be at risk. The capital must be irrevocably committed to enterprise and subjected to partial or total loss if investment fortunes reverse. It must be the investor's unsecured personal business capital or capital secured by personal assets. Intent or prospective plans are insufficient.
- Placing funds in escrow, pending approval of "E" classification, that irrevocably commits funds, but also protects investor if the application is denied, is permissible.
- Investor must establish that funds are his/hers, not a third party's.
- Investment cannot be marginal:
- cannot be solely to earn a living for the investor and his family - will expand job opportunities
- will generate other sources of income
- will generate income substantially above what would be considered a living
- investor will not work simply as a skilled or unskilled worker, but must manage business or have controlling interest
- Employees can be a new hire and need not have worked for the company previously.
- Normally visas will initially be issued for 2 or 5 years depending on the size and type of business.
B1 / B2 Temporary Visa
Provided you have a valid passport and hold a return or onward ticket to a country other than Canada, certain citizens of foreign countries can enter the United States using the Visa Waiver program, which allows you to visit for up to 90 days without a visa. If required, a stay of up to six months in any one year can be achieved by obtaining a B1 or B2 temporary visa from a United States Consulate Post.
A B2 visa is the most widely used visa allowing vacationers and home owners to spend more time in the United States than those on the Visa Waiver program. Normally, the Immigration Officer at the port of entry will allow the duration of the stay under a B1 or B2 visa to be based on a time that is reasonable and fair for the completion of the purpose of the visit.
The B2 visa covers numerous activities that are permissible such as family visits, tourism, medical reasons such as treatment, touring of universities by prospective students, etc.
A B1 visa is required for business travelers. Under this visa, a salary or payment cannot be received from any United States employer or other source, other than reimbursement of expenses accrued while in the United States.
Permissible activities include negotiations between United States and foreign businesses, discussion of planned investments, attendance at meetings, sourcing a suitable business for purchase, interviews, etc. The running of a business or gainful employment in the United States may not be carried out under a B1 visa.
Contact Us for more information about visas and businesses available to purchase.