Working or Investing
The Land of Opportunity
As the creator of the hit musical Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, says, "Immigrants get the job done."
The United States has long been a desirable destination for workers and investors, but getting a visa that allows you to work is not always straightforward.
The US does not have a "points" system. The is no such thing as a general "work visa." Employment-related visas are basically about facilitating desired businesses or providing needed personnel.
E Visas--Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors
Treaty Trader visas (E-1) and Treaty Investor visas (E-2) are, as the name suggests, for nationals of countries that have a treaty with the United States to facilitate friendship, commerce and navigation. Treaty Traders are those who seek to enter the United States to carry on substantial trade, principally between the US and their country (or to have their employee enter the US for the business); Treaty Investors seek to enter the United States (or have their employee enter) to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested or are in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. You can find detailed information on local processing at the US Embassy in London on their website under "Nonimmigrant: Treaty Traders and Investors."
L Visas-Intracompany Transferees
Managers and specialized employees of an international company may be temporarily transferred to a parent branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the same company in the United States under the L-1 visa. The company may be either a U.S. or foreign organization. The employee must be a manager or executive, or have specialized knowledge -- and he or she must be destined to a position within the U.S. company that is managerial, executive or requires specialized knowledge, although not necessarily in the same position as held previously. The employee must also have been employed outside the U.S. with the company for one year within the three years preceding the application for admission into the United States. L visas can be used to transfer staff within an existing corporate structure or as a means of establishing a new office in the US. An additional benefit of the L visa for executives and managers is that, if their services are required on a more permanent basis, they may be eligible for a Green Card as an EB-1-3 immigrant. For further information, please review the "Intra-Company Transfers" page, or download the takeaway pdf below.
The Best and the Brightest
Of course, you are good at what you do, but if your services are required in the United States because you are truly one of the best (and you can prove it), the O-1 visa for individuals of outstanding ability may be right for you. To learn more about the O-1, read the article "Well Done! (But O-1?)."
You can find more information about our business immigration services on the Practice page.
To learn more about E visas, L visas and other employment-related options on the USCIS website under "Temporary Benefits Employment Categories." For specific information about E visa processing at the US Embassy in London, please visit the Embassy website "Treaty Traders & Investors".
If you require additional information or would like to discuss specific business or employment opportunities, please contact us for a consultation.
Steven D. Heller
US Immigration Lawyer in the UK
Heller Immigration Law Ltd
Lewes, East Sussex
+44 (0)1273 434609