Want to live or start a business in the United States? Learn about the possible visas.

One of the advantages of opening a business in the United States is the ability to move financial capital in one of the most valued currencies. Individuals from other nationalities can start a business and take advantage of the opportunities in the American market. To expand businesses, the first step is to open a company in the United States, which is relatively simple and does not require exorbitant expenses. It’s worth noting that the procedures vary depending on the chosen state (as laws, in this case, are state-specific), and foreigners can open a US company without necessarily living in the country.

The primary advantage of opening a business in the United States is the ability to move financial capital in one of the most valued currencies and, furthermore, have the opportunity to do business in an economically vibrant environment.

Although opening a company does not grant the right to a Green Card, foreigners who own an American business may find it easier to obtain residency in the country, as having a business in the United States can be a requirement for certain visas. For a better understanding, it is important to seek guidance from an attorney specialized in immigration processes.

Ingrid Domingues McConville, an Immigration Attorney, explains a bit about the possible visas – “The B1/B2 visa is a tourist and business visa that allows, besides visiting the country, conducting business activities such as meetings, buying or renting spaces, planning future investments, etc. However, it does not allow the person to stay in the country for more than six months. On the other hand, the EB visa category (Employment-Based) provides the possibility of obtaining a Green Card, and its categories range from establishing a business in the United States to having an employer or being characterized as a person with extraordinary or exceptional abilities.”

Another significant opportunity is the E-2 visa, which allows foreign entrepreneurs to live in the USA by investing a substantial amount in a business in the country. To qualify for this visa, one must make a “substantial” investment in a company and be a citizen of a country that maintains a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with the United States. Currently, Brazil is not part of the Trade Treaty; however, Brazilians with another nationality who wish to make a substantial investment may qualify for the E-2 visa.

The E-2 visa applicant can be the owner of the company or one of its employees. The employee must hold an executive or supervisory position or possess skills that are highly specialized and essential to the operation of the company.

There are several other visa categories that suit specific situations. To understand them better, the best way is to consult an immigration attorney with extensive experience in the United States. They will study each person’s situation according to their desires and guide them on the “correct” path to follow. The most curious thing is that people “imagine” a possibility, and when they learn the reality in its smallest details, they end up modifying the plan and following a different path, says attorney Ingrid Domingues McConville.

In 2022, the bilateral trade in goods between the US and Brazil reached a new record of 498 billion reais, 26% more than the 2021 record. Fifty-five percent of Brazilian exports to the US consist of value-added goods and services, an important job generator for Brazilians and Americans.

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  • Ingrid Domingues-McConville founded DM VISA LAW – Domingues McConville, P.A. in 1995. She is a member of the Florida Bar since 1995 and a member of the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. Ingrid earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, and her law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. With 28 years of experience in Immigration Law, Ingrid has represented clients throughout the United States and worldwide, addressing both business and family immigration matters. She has helped companies and individuals obtain visas and permanent residency in the United States. Ingrid plays a significant role in the Brazilian community in South Florida and across the United States, providing much-needed guidance and legal counsel.