3 U.S. immigration options for international entrepreneurs

By Kaitlyn Garcia, J.D. | Immigration Attorney | Houston, Texas

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), recently reported data showing a pick up in entrepreneurial activity on a global scale.

The fact that we have more innovation and business creation in the world cannot be ignored. So, what does entrepreneurship mean for the U.S. economy? It widely means economic growth, job creation, and global competitiveness.

In terms of immigration, a pick up in entrepreneurship means opportunity for everyone.

Since the inception of the country, immigration has been a cornerstone of fostering growth for the American economy. With no doubt, scholars and economic policy analysts widely agree that immigration is logical and beneficial to an economy and the quality of life of a nation and for it's people. I could go on and on about the economic benefits of immigration and international entrepreneurship but I'll pass the data over: check out the National Foundation for American Policy on Immigrants and Billion Dollar Startups, or the University of Pennsylvania's study on the effects of immigration on the United States economy for a good read.

Simply put: the intersection of entrepreneurship and creating a robust American economy in today’s world absolutely cannot be ignored.

Present-day Immigration Options for International Entrepreneurs

In building international bridges to bring global talent to the U.S., to foster innovation and business, and provide individuals and families opportunity, there are three U.S. immigration programs available for the international entrepreneur:

(1) The E-2 Investor Visa

(2) EB-2 Immigrant Visa for individuals with work found in the national interest of the United States (otherwise known as the NIW), and

(3) EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa

U.S. visa solutions and pointers for investors/entrepreneurs

For the E-2 visa, an individual can either start-up a new business, or buy into an existing business. Each has their own special requirements. Here is some further information and pointers I've shared about the requirements and how to qualify for an E-2 investor visa to start or buy into a U.S. business. 

For information on the EB-2 NIW visa option and qualifications for international entrepreneurship please see my previous piece, NIW: A Real Immigration Option for International Entrepreneurs for more detail. 

Overall, international entrepreneurship is important to ensure a healthy U.S. economy in today's world. The E-2, EB-2, and EB-5 visa are three immigration solutions that can help meet these goals. 


Any questions over the above visa options for starting or investing into a business in the U.S. can be shared by contacting me at kaitlyn@kngarcialaw.com. Comments/suggestions/ etc. feel free to drop a line below for everyone. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.