• Arzu Jamilova

What type of visa I chose for my business immigration

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

When checking visa options for my business immigration, I knew that E-2 and L-1 visas are two visa options that investors and entrepreneurs often turn to in order to start up business operations in the US. However, while both allow a business owner to run a business in the US, they have different eligibility requirements and offer different rights for the applicant.

After learning more about the requirements and benefits of both L1 and E2 Visas I made my choice in favor of the E2 Visa. I had two main reasons for making this decision:

1. Easier application process and quicker processing times.

Application for an L1 Visa should be submitted to USCIS. Then, once the application is approved, you must go to a Consulate to get a visa stamp when you want to enter the US. The application process is complicated, and the processing time at USCIS might take up to 6-8 months. Issuing a visa stamp at the Consulate can take another 1-2 months. However, for the E2 Visa I could apply easier through the US Consulate in Azerbaijan by filling in DS-160 Form. Additionally, processing times for E2 Visas at Consulates are much shorter. In my case it took 60 days.

2. Longer duration of stay in the US.

For brand new businesses, an L-1 visa can be granted for 1 year, whereas an E-2 visa can be granted for up to 5 years depending on the country. Investors from Azerbaijan are allowed a maximum stay of 2 years and issued a single-entry E2 Visa which is valid for 3 months. It means that once you are granted a visa you can enter the United States only once within the validity time of your visa. If you don’t enter the US within the validity time, then you need to apply for a new visa.

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