Start Up / Entrepreneur Immigration

Continue the legacy of American innovation and entrepreneurship by starting a business in the U.S. and hiring strong foreign talent.

ILG believes that entrepreneurs are vital to the U.S. economy and contribute immensely to their communities and the world at large.

We excel in advising founders and entrepreneurs of new and small businesses on immigration matters. Whether you’re looking to obtain work authorization as a founder to get your business off the ground, or if you’re interested in hiring your first nonimmigrant employees, we are here to help. ILG handles immigration matters for companies of all sizes, including new and developing organizations, and we have years of experience working with entrepreneurs who are establishing and growing new companies in the U.S. 

ILG understands both long-term and immediate personnel needs for new companies. We help organizations navigate immigration processes efficiently and effectively, advising on strategic immigration goals, developing corporate policies, and securing temporary work authorization and permanent residency for founders, executives, and employees. Our knowledge of corporate organization enables us to advise on how company policies and immigration law interact so that you can avoid critical errors and be compliant with current regulations.  We find solutions when other firms tell you it’s impossible.

Each company is unique, and their immigration needs are too. We provide individualized strategies based on your company's goals. Contact us today to discuss your current needs.



What are the E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor Visa programs?

The E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant classifications permit traders/investors from treaty countries, to work in the U.S. Their employees can also come to the U.S. to work in positions that are managerial, or require special/essential skills.

Treaty traders must carry on substantial trade between their country of nationality and the U.S. Treaty investors must invest a substantial amount of capital in a new or existing U.S. business.  Both the trader/investor and the employee must be a national of a country with which the U.S. has a treaty. 

E-1/E-2 status can be obtained by applying directly at the U.S. Embassy abroad, or by applying directly with USCIS. Once granted E-1/E-2 status, you are given an initial period of admission of up to 2 years. Your status may be extended indefinitely, in increments of up to 2 years. However, this  is a temporary visa, and you must not intend to stay in the U.S. permanently.  In addition, under the E-1/E-2 visa, spouses can apply for work authorization.

What should I consider before hiring my first foreign employee?

Before hiring a foreign employee, you should consult with experienced immigration counsel to determine if the candidate requires sponsorship, whether they qualify for work authorization, and if there are any potential issues with hiring them.  

Also consider the requirements for employers imposed by certain types of visas. For example, the H-1B requires that an employee make a certain wage, and you must establish that there will be enough work throughout the requested employment period, including workspace and equipment. You will also need to demonstrate a proper employer-employee relationship through management and oversight. Hiring a student may require your company to enroll in the E-Verify program and/or establish an internship/training program. If your company decides to sponsor someone throughout the green card process, or who is already in the process of adjusting status, you will be required to pay a prevailing wage once they receive their green card.

Developing a corporate immigration policy during the early stages of your company will provide a solid foundation as your foreign workforce grows, while ensuring efficiency and transparency with employees.

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