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Ask Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. Your Own...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 109303
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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BizIP Esq. Hi I am following up on an earlier answer you

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BizIP Esq.

Hi I am following up on an earlier answer you gave me on Sunday March 10,2013.My question was that I would like to do business in the States.

You gave an option in Step Two - form an incorporate in the US. you mentioned I will need to consult an attorney for that.

I am getting ready to set up my incorporation in the US and would like your advise on the steps to take. I am a Canadian, with an Interior Design Business.
I have a US partner I would like to bring into the business either as a member of the Board of Directors.

It will be in Portland, Oregon

If this lawyer is not available,
kindly forward it to another US immigration lawyer
Thank you, Shelley
Hello and thank you for using our service. My name isXXXXX and I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help you. Just please remember that often the law is not good news. IF I have bad news for you, please remember I am only the messenger. When you rate me, it is my service to you that you rate, not whether the news is good or bad. Believe me that I will try my best to give you a solution if one exists, but sometimes the law does not have a good one.

I do not think BizIP is a U.S. Immigration attorney so I will give it a shot at answering your question. I assume you want to know what you need to do to immigrate to the U.S. How much money to you have to invest personally into the business? Do you own a business outside of the U.S. for one year or more that you will continue to run and be profitable while you are in the U.S.?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes - I have a business I have been running for a number of years.

Shelley Scales Design Associates that I will continue to run and be profitable while I am in the US.


And how much money will you be personally investing in the business in the U.S.?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am not sure what that means - but there will be start up costs and costs of personel and overhead to run the business - $55,000 at least, non to mention the cost of the labour and materials I will be buying and selling from the us to the us client.



Well, you are probably going to need around double that amount. Let me explain the two types of visas that are available to you. Essentially, you have the E-2 or the L-1A available to you.

The problem is that while the law only says, "substantial investment", for the E-2 visa they usually look for around $200,000 or more. This is because anything less is a weak case that could easily fail. And they will not approve a visa for a business that they think will easily fail and you would end up being out of status. If you go to a big city, Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, etc., where most people want to live, the cost of living and doing business is much higher. If $55,000 is all you have and you still want to be successful, you may have to open the business in some small town in the middle of nowhere that has a very low cost of living and doing business, like maybe a small town in North or South Dakota, Utah, Nebraska, etc. This is because a $55,000 or so investment would have a much better chance of succeeding in such a location and honestly, $55,000 even in a small town would most likely not work for an E-2, but may work for an L-1A.

Usually attorneys do not take cases of E visas for less than a $200,000 investment because they do not want to risk losing the case and having an upset client because the client has to have the money already invested and at risk and if it is denied, they have to try to sell the business or something to try to recoup their investment.

Here is a link to the E-2 if you want to read more:

Since you own a business outside of the U.S. for more than 1 year and will continue to run that business, you can invest $100,000 or more in a U.S. business (doesn't have to be the same business, but must be related by ownership) and you can try for an L-1A visa. Here is a link to that, but keep in mind that both businesses have to be run and should be successful. You can't just come to the U.S. and forget about the business outside and let it die:

Again, if you make the investment in a business in a small town, $55,000 might work, but there are no guarantees. And yes, you can have partners that can invest in the business, but the money that you personally invest in the business should be $100,000 or more.

Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance to you. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. If you do rate me positively, a bonus is always appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future, just go to and make sure you type: FOR GUILLERMO on the subject line. Thank you!

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