From Tourist to Entrepreneur

June 13, 2018 by Liran Jakob Rosenfeld

From Tourist to Entrepreneur

A B-1 visa is issued to non-immigrants visiting the US for travel/leisure or for business purposes and it is valid for 6 months. In order to file for the extension of B-1/B-2 Visa for another 6 months, the non-immigrant needs to provide the documentation of his status as a tourist in the past 6 months. The documentation could include flight tickets, hotel/hostel receipts, car rental receipts and any other pieces of evidence that prove their status as a tourist in the US. Once the B-1 status of the tourist expires, they have 90 more days to change their status and file for another visa type.

Visa prospects

The different visa prospects that a non-immigrant can explore range from investors visa, entrepreneur visa, artist visa, visa for transferred professionals and green card.

Investors visa is the E-1, E-2 or E-3 and it allows non-immigrants from treaty nations to engage in trade in the US.
Another visa type that qualifies a non-immigrant to work on their own business in the US is the new startup Visa or the Entrepreneur Visa. To qualify for this visa type, an individual needs to own at least ten percent of an entity for which they are filing the visa and they should be able to demonstrate expertise and play a crucial role in the growth of the entity. The startup entity should have been formed in the past five years preceding the date of filing and should have the potential for growth and job creation.

Tourist to Entrepreneur Visa Prospects

The non-immigrants on B-1 Visa can also consider filing for the O-1 Visa which is applicable to the artists and individuals with exceptional abilities in the fields of arts, sciences, business, education or athletics or a researcher/professor or an individual working with a multinational in the executive or managerial capacity. In the television and motion picture industry, preference is given to someone who has won accolades or has credits nationally or internationally. The tourist should be visiting the US on a temporary basis to work for a US based employer in the extraordinary capacity and should be able to demonstrate proofs of accolades and acclaims.

Green Card application

Green Card application

Lastly, a tourist on B-1 visa can also file for a green card application, which is categorized into EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Visa sub-categories. EB-1A is a subgroup of the first preference employment-based immigration. It is regarded as the immigrant green card petition by the aliens who have extraordinary ability in the fields of sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. EB-2 Visa is acknowledged as the visa for working professionals who can prove to have an advanced degree or extraordinary skills in their respective fields of study. On the other hand, an international immigrant is eligible for the EB-3 Visa status if they are a skilled worker, a professional or other workers. Lastly, the visa category for which the B-2 candidates can file for an extension also includes the L-1 visa where the non-immigrant should be transferred by a foreign company to work in the US as an executive, manager or an individual with specialized skills that could help in the economic growth of the country.

This post is not a legal advice but just my 2 cents.