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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Immigration Law Answer Team
Category: Immigration Law
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Experience:  Immigration Law Expert
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I had a question regarding my work visa options for

Customer Question

I had a question regarding my work visa options for the United States. I am an alumn of UCLA and have a bachelor's in Economics. I applied for an OPT after graduation, which is almost a year ago, so the term for my OPT is expiring. I'm currently working at a nutraceuticals (vitamin) company called Nature's Gifts as a business developer. Under these circumstances what are my possible options for a work visa (B-1) or any other type of visa?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The B-1 visa requires at least $150,000-$200,000 investment into a business (the EB-2 visa requires $500,000-$1Million). If you are currently on your OPT and the employer wants to keep you, they can apply for an H1B visa, as you not only have experience in the position, but you are trained for that position as an "economist" or "economic forecaster" for the business.
An E-2 visa is another option if you are from a country that has a treaty with the US, such as Israel, the UK, most EU countries etc. The E-2 visa would allow you to open a small business in the US and remain in the US to run your business with minimal investment of money (no set amounts, but $15,000=$20,000 is about average minimum).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is the proceedure for my company to apply for an H1B visa on my behalf? Is there an average number of years of experience in a field whereby it is more likely for an H1B visa to be approved?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.It does not depend on your years of experience, it depends on your training and general experience, which can be demonstrated by you doing the job you have been doing. The employer would have to file the H1B application with an explanation for the need for a person in your specialty, economics, with your background and experience and that they cannot find anyone else reasonably to fill the position who is a US Citizen (which is a loose requirement, as you were in the position for a year and the training curve needed to bring a new person up to speed can be unreasonable hardship on the employer). Most times, the employer can get the H1B approved with minimal effort as long as they describe why you are the best person for the position.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about B1 and EB2 visas? The family I am working at is a family-owned business. Could I receive a non-immigrant B1 visa if I invested $150k-200k into our company (I'm not a shareholder currently)? On the matter of EB2 visas, could I get a green-card if I were to invest $500k into our own business?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.You could go for the B-1 visa or EB-2, but the EB-2 requires a high amount of investment and if you can afford to do that, then it is an option for you. The B-1 is more of a temporary visa for consulting purposes, so that is not really the best choice. Once you get your EB-2 you can use that as basis to eventually apply for a GC. Same with the HB-1, you can get that and eventually use that for the basis for your GC application.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Where exactly must I invest the money for a B-1 or a EB-2 visa? Can it be anywhere or are there restrictions on that?You mentioned that the EB-2 visa requires $500k-$1m. Why is the minimum amount of investment a range? Can I invest the minimum of $500k, or $150k in the case of a B-1 visa, into Nature' Gifts (our family business) to get the ball rolling on the application?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
The money must be invested into the business you are working at and running. So if you become owners of the business or open your own franchise of the business and invest the money in doing so, that is something that would get the ball rolling.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So if I buy the majority of shares in Nature's Gifts with $150k and am appointed as CEO could I apply for a B1 visa? How long does an application process like that usually take? Does my ownership of Nature's Gifts have to be 100% or can it be less?
In case of a EB-2 visa do I have to be appointed as a CEO in Nature's Gifts AND invest $1m in order to qualify?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You could apply for the B-1, EB-2 or possibly the E-2 visa. The process can take 6 months or so, it all depends on how busy the office is when your application is received. You do not have to be CEO, but you have to show the significant investment into the business.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In case of either EB-2 or B1 visas, does the company I am investing in have to meet certain criteria (i.e. number of employees, number of years in operation, number of new employees hired, etc...)?
With a B-1 visa how long can I stay in the U.S?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You have to show that you are creating at least 10 new jobs or that the business is failing and you are saving at least that number of jobs for the EB-2.
The B-1 visa is 6 months in any 12 month period, which is why I said it is not the best of the options.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Other than creating 10 jobs, are there any other requirements? Does it matter how long the business has been operating? Is the amount of taxes paid by the company relevant?
Could I possibly also qualify for an intra-company transfer visa?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
The amount of taxes is not relevant. You have to show for an existing business that it is failing and that your investment and work will save the company and save the jobs or create new jobs.
It is not likely you will qualify for an intra company transfer, since the company is not based out of the US.