Digital nomads, freelancers, and the self-employed may be able to relocate to the U.S on possibly three types of visas.
Yes we know that there really aren’t any specific visa types for freelancers and while nearly every work visa in the United States requires sponsorship from a legal and operating US company or agency, but there are some visas that allow exceptions:
B-1 Business Visitor Visa
A B-1 visitor visa allows foreign nationals to visit the United States for business matters. Freelancer or self-employed workers who work in the following fields may conduct work while on the B-1 Visitor Visa:
- Research and design, including technical, scientific, and statistical research.
- Growth, manufacturing, and production, including harvest owners supervising harvesting crews and purchasing and production management personnel conducting commercial transactions.
- Marketing, including market researchers and analysts and trade fair and promotional personnel attending trade conventions.
- Sales, including sales representatives and agents taking orders and negotiating contracts for goods or services, but not delivering goods or providing services; buyers purchasing for an enterprise located in Canada.
- Distribution, including transportation operators delivering to, or loading and transporting from Canada or the United States, with no intermediate loading or delivery within the United States; customs brokers performing brokerage duties associated with the export of goods.
- After-sales service, including installers, repair, and maintenance personnel, and supervisors possessing specialized knowledge essential to the seller’s contractual obligation, performing services or training workers to perform such services pursuant to a warranty or other service contract incidental to the sale of commercial or industrial equipment or machinery, including computer software purchased from an enterprise located outside the country, during the life of the warranty or service agreement.
The O-1 Visa which is deemed for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. It is also a visa many freelancers or self-employed foreign workers tend to use to work in the United States.
Although the O-1 Visa still requires a company to sponsor a worker with the O-1 Visa, companies can hire freelancers under the 1099 tax form. A 1099 tax form is a record that a person gave you money but it does not require them to be a full-time employee. So if you have a freelance position through a US company they may be able to sponsor you through the O-1 Visa.
E-2 Investor Visa
The E-2 investor visa is perfect for those who are looking to start their own business in the United States.
This visa typically requires an applicant to open a business that employs US permanent residents or US citizens to help the economy. So if you are an entrepreneur who wants to start their own business the E-2 Visa will be perfect for you.
For your visa solutions please contact us