For a significant part of the world, traveling to the United States means a visa is required. The reasons for travel may differ from tourism, business, a job offer, education, or merely moving there permanently. The United States is known as the land of opportunity as it is the country that attracts a wide range of people looking to achieve the so-called “American Dream.” Applying for a visa is one of the main barriers to traveling legally to the U.S., and understanding the type of U.S. visa you will use is the next step to fully exploring your options.
An H-1B Visa
What is an H-1B Visa?
The H-1B visa is an employment-based, non-immigrant visa for temporary workers. For this Visa, an employer must offer a job in the U.S. and apply for your H-1B visa petition with the U.S. Immigration Department. This approved petition is a work permit that allows you to obtain a visa stamp and work in the U.S. for that employer.
The H-1B visa is issued for a specialty occupation. It requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge and requires the visa holder to have at least a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit or “cap” of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. There are an additional 20,000 visas for applicants who completed their master’s degree from a U.S. university. This cap is subjected to change based on regulations set forth by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Initial approval is for three years, which can be extended in increments of up to 3 years. The typical process to obtain an H-1B Visa is that you must qualify and be eligible for H-1B criteria. Plus, an employer gets a Labor Condition Application (LCA) approval from the Department of Labor in the U.S. A US employer should file an H-1B petition with USCIS and get support for it. The foreign worker must apply for the Visa and stamp at the appropriate U.S. consulate in his/her home country.
Investing in the United States
An EB-5 investment visa is a type of immigration visa available to foreign investors that wish to immigrate to the United States. Different countries have different types of immigrant investor programs that function to encourage foreign investment in exchange for conditional or permanent residency. The requirements for an investment visa differ between countries and visa types. Different programs will also require different amounts of investment and will award other types of residency. The United States offers two types of investment visa—the EB-5 Visa and the E-2 Visa.
EB-5 Investment Visa
An EB-5 investment visa is different than other types of visas available in the United States, including other employment-based visas, the diversity immigrant visa, and family-based visas. In the United States, the EB-5 Visa is the only employment-based Visa that requires investment.
The EB-5 Visa is a means for foreigners to obtain a green card and potentially citizenship in the United States. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services oversees the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and offers investment visas to foreign investors who invest $1.8 million (or $900,000 if the investment is made in a targeted employment area) into a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. The investment must also create ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers. The foreign investor will then be able to apply for a U.S. green card and eventually obtain permanent residence if the jobs are proven to have been created.
E-2 Investment Visa
Another type of investment visa in the United States is the E-2 Treaty Investors visa. The E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa that is obtained by a foreign investor from a country that maintains a treaty of navigation and commerce with the United States. To receive the Visa, the applicant must invest capital into a business in the United States. Under the E-2 visa option, specific employees of the investor or the authorized organization may also apply for the Visa. There is also an application process for family members of investors obtaining a U.S. visa under the E-2 option.
In order to be approved for an E-2 nonimmigrant visa, the investor must have invested (or begin the investment process) a substantial amount of funds into a genuine U.S. business—enough to start and operate the business. Unlike the EB-5 Visa, the E-2 Visa requires renewal; however, there is no limit to how many times the Visa can be renewed. Once the business venture is complete, the foreign investor must leave the United States or change their status—the E-2 Visa does not directly lead to a green card and citizenship like the EB-5 Visa.
About Gomez Law
“As others want to lose small, my law firm wants to win big. You always have a choice.” – Sandra Gomez
At Gomez Law PLLC, our primary focus is to provide individuals with professional consult in matters of Immigration Law and Naturalization.
The Gomez Law story starts back in 2011 when Sandra Gomez, a graduate from South Texas College of Law realized her passion for the law. The firm gained its traction through winning complex cases and measuring its success through its clients.
Gomez Law PLLC has committed itself to provide its clients with exceptional legal consult and representation with great results. Our world-class expertise is without peer, as our firm extends its services ranging from employment law to investor visas and business law. Among other practice areas are family law, trusts & wills, and mediation.
As a truly diverse legal team, Gomez Law is known to its very core to provide dedication to each client and excellence in order to reflect what the firm stands for; a result-driven, powerful legal team where individuals not only are provided with a greater chance of a positive result but are offered a greater understanding of the process itself. Gomez Law has legal counsel in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Vietnamese.
About Attorney Sandra Gomez
Attorney Sandra Gomez was born and raised in the state of Texas.
Mrs. Gomez has developed a keen awareness of the needs and problems which are prevalent in the immigration community. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Houston after which, she pursued and received her Juris Doctor Degree, J.D. from South Texas College of Law (now Houston College of Law). She has been recognized by and is a member of the Texas Bar Association; she is also a member of AILA, HISBA, and Houston Trial Lawyers Association. Moreover, Mrs. Gomez is admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas. In her years of practice, Sandra Gomez has committed herself to provide her community and her clients’ exceptional legal consult and representation by personally attending and managing each case in which she is presented.