Thank you for responding. £30.000 would be roughly a little over $33,000US. That way below the amount needed for a successful investment visa. The problem is that while the law only says, "substantial investment", for the E-2 visa they usually look for around $200,000 or more. Usually attorneys do not take cases of E visas for less than a $200,000 investment because they do not want to risk losing the case and having an upset client because the client has to have the money already invested and at risk and if it is denied, they have to try to sell the business or something to try to recoup their investment.
Here is a link to the E-2 if you want to read more:
If you own a business outside of the U.S. for more than 1 year and will continue to run that business, you can invest $100,000 or more in a U.S. business (doesn't have to be the same business, but must be related by ownership) and you can try for an L-1A visa. Here is a link to that, but keep in mind that both businesses have to be run and should be successful. You can't just come to the U.S. and forget about the business outside and let it die:
For apprenticeships, I see two possibilities, either an H-3 or a J-1. Here are the links:
Be careful with the J-1 visas because many of those require you to go home for 2 years and that doesn't go away even if you marry your U.S. Citizen girlfriend.
And there is also the H-2B worker visa. For an H-2B worker visa, it is expensive and difficult to get because the employer would have to go through an expensive process called a Labor Certification where the position is advertised in the local media, the employer must receive all resumes and eliminate all candidates for valid reasons, not just because they have a job for you. This is to prove that you would not be taking a job away from a U.S. worker. Here is a link:
Also, because they are used up for this year, you will need to apply on April 1, 2017 to start working on October 1, 2017 or later. Here is a link in regards ***** ***** H-2B cap
So there are options, but none of them are really good. You may want to reconsider marrying your U.S. Citizen girlfriend.
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