When you read up on the different types of employment visas for coming to the United States, many of them talk about individuals looking to come here and work for another company on a long-term basis. Few of those resources discuss visa options available to entrepreneurs looking to come here to do business.
Nowadays, with few exceptions, most people have to apply for a visa when traveling to the U.S. from abroad. Many people know there’s a backlog of applications that can take immigration officials a while to get to, especially since they must perform security and background checks on applicants before making any decisions. You might not have the luxury of time when you have a promising deal awaiting your attention. What can you do?
Might you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program or a B visa?
Foreign nationals hailing from 39 different countries, such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Chile, Germany, Australia, France and South Korea, may be eligible for participation in Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). It may allow you to come without having to first secure a visa provided that you:
- Aren’t a dual citizen of or haven’t traveled to terroristic countries such as North Korea, Iraq, Syria or Iran
- Currently have an e-passport with at least 6-months validity still left on it
If you don’t meet the eligibility for participation in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), yet you plan to come to the U.S. to work on a temporary project, then a visitor visa B may be an option for you.
A B-1 visa is a nonimmigrant one that foreign nationals looking to come here temporarily on business might qualify for (if the VWP process doesn’t apply to them). Most business people who apply for this visa do so to negotiate contracts or attend professional conferences.
Some instances exist in which foreign nationals might not require business visas. Canadians and business people from Canada generally don’t require visas to work temporarily in the U.S.
What visa do you require to temporarily perform work in the U.S.?
Many people understand there various types of visas available to individuals planning to work long-term in the U.S. but don’t realize different rules that apply to those looking to do work on a short-term basis. You’ll want to ensure that you’re meeting all necessary requirements to avoid unnecessarily exposing yourself to legal liability.