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Guillermo Senmartin
Guillermo Senmartin, Attorney At Law
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 134380
Experience:  Over 12+ years of experience in various areas of U.S. Law and 15+ years of experience in U.S. Immigration Law..
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I have a US immigration question. I am a British citizen who

Customer Question

Hi,I have a US immigration question. I am a British citizen who is married to an American citizen - we live and got married here in the UK 3 years ago. I am about to apply for my IR1 green card but have a question about being able to apply for others visas whilst the green card application is pending.I am a founder of a start up that is growing quickly and is winning lots of clients in the US and its very possible that I'll need to go to the US to open a new office and hire / train a small sales team in the next 9-12 months. I understand that the green card processing times are approximately 18 months right now so I would need to apply for an L-1 or B-1 visa so I can go for a brief period and keep my business growing.Am I eligible for a business related visa whilst I have a pending green card application?Many thanks,Adam
Submitted: 17 days ago.
Category: US Law
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 17 days ago.

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. If I do not respond quickly, I promise I will reply as soon as I can. It may take a little time to research and write your answer.

The B-1 visa, you are limited to doing only the things listed in the first chart contained at the link below:

Business_Visa_March_2014_flier (state.gov)

If that will not work, then you need to invest a substantial amount in the business to get an E or L visa. What amount will you invest and in what city and state in the U.S.?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Hi Guillermo,Thanks for your response. I'm not yet sure which city we'll decide to open the office in - New Orleans, LA and Miami, FL are options we are currently considering - but we'll likely seed the US office with $200K+.The bigger question for me is whether you are able to obtain a B / L / E visa whilst a green card application is pending or are you ineligible for other visas?
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 17 days ago.

B, not really because it requires NON-immigrant intent. But an E or L are possible. Remember for those the money has to be your money, not divided up between partners, per se. Usually attorneys do not take cases of E visas for less than a $150,000 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:

http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/e-2-treaty-investors

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 $150,000 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:

http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/l-1a-intracompany-transferee-executive-or-manager

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