Visum – del 1 Överblick för entreprenörer
Visum Del 1 – Överblick av entreprenörs & jobb visum.
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Det första du ska göra är att bestämma varför du vill flytta och hitta något att göra. Mer eller mindre är grundförutsättningen för att få visum att du har något slags jobb, praktik, studier, ska investera pengar, flytta ditt företag eller att du ska gifta dig.
Följande avsnitt är på engelska och skrivet av en kollega.
If you will be traveling for less than 90 days at a time in the US, a visa will not be needed since Sweden is part of the Visa Waiver Program. If you plan to stay longer than this, you have to have a visa to come to the country (extensions for the 90 day limit are not granted under the Visa Waiver Program, and you can’t change your visa status while in the US). It’s especially important to note that you need a work-related visa in order to take a job or work yourself in the US, beyond attending conferences or meetings.
|Visa Name||Description||Duration (years)||Maximum Period, years (if renewed)||Application Fee ($)||Typical App Time||Immigration?|
|L1-A||Intracompany transferee – executive||Variable||7||150||Dual|
|L1-B||Intracompany transferee – manager||Variable||5||150||Dual|
Businesspeople seeking to work in the United States must obtain a visa that allows them to both live and work in the country. Visas are issued both for individuals that intend to permanently immigrate to the US (immigrant visas) for those that plan to return to their home country (non-immigrant visas), and for those who move to the US with non-immigrant intent can still change it (dual-intent). As a non-immigrant, it is essential to be able to prove that you have strong reasons to return to your country. This is in contrast to dual-intent visas that allow the recipient to come to the US as a non-immigrant with the option of changing status. (It is worth noting that immigrant visas are generally more difficult to obtain than non-immigrant visas.)
An important thing to keep in mind is that visas do not guarantee entry into the US; they merely give holders permission to travel to a US port of entry, where a customs official judges whether to allow individuals to enter. Along the same line, the validity of a visa is not necessarily the same as the permitted duration of stay (this time period is indicated on the I-94*), they merely indicate during which period and the number of times a person may attempt to enter the US.
Types of Visas for Entrepreneurs
America’s immigration process is universally known to be time-consuming and complicated, but the current structure presents extra hurdles to entrepreneurs and foreign small business owners wishing to come to the US.
There are still, however, a variety of possibilities. Among about the thirty-some specialized categories of visas, there are five that may be useful for the members of startups:
- B1: allows holder to stay in the US six months (renewable up to one year) in order to plan or coordinate business activities. Any wages received or revenue earned while holding this visa must be related to a non-US company.
- E – This class of visas is available to countries with which US has treaties concerning immigration for trade and investment, including Sweden.
- E1: Treaty Trader – for a business owned by a Swede that conducts 50% or more of its total international trade with the US. The visa is granted for a Swedish employee of the Swedish company or its American subsidiary to run trade and/or distribution activities from the US. The individual should have specialized skills and experience for this position. (Note: the 50% stipulation can be fulfilled by either the American subsidiary or its parent company—it’s acceptable for the parent company to have substantial trade with other nations as long as the subsidiary is primarily engaged in Swedish-American activity, or vice versa).
- E2: Treaty Investor – a “substantial investment” of cash is required to qualify for this visa. The desirable amount is unspecified but generally considered to be about $100,000, or enough money to get your business venture started and operating. “Substantial” also refers to that the planned business should grow and impact the American economy, rather than merely provide an income to the visa holder. Loans do not fulfill the requirements.
- EB-5: (Fast-track for a Green Card) Similar to E2, qualifying for this visa requires investment in a commercial venture, but at a much higher amount: $1 million dollars anywhere in the US or $500,000 in economically distressed regions called “Enterprise Zones.” The investor must also plan to create ten American jobs through the commercial activity.
- H-1B: generally used by American employers (not owned in whole or in part by Swedish companies) who wish to recruit a non-American employee. The applicant for this visa must be a “skilled worker,” which is loosely defined around a minimal educational attainment of an American bachelor’s degree or equivalent. The applicant must have a job offer, and the position must make use of skills related to the employee’s education or specialization.
The H-1B also has a quota system with a maximum of 65,000 visas per year available in this category. In recent years, the quota has been filled already by the end of the first half of the visa year (October 1 to September 30).
- L1 – Intracompany Transferees, for multinational companies (American or otherwise) transferring an employee from a foreign branch to an American one, or starting an American office. In this case “branch” can refers to a parent/sister/child company of the home country firm. This class of visa is dual-intent, which means that under the holder does not have to prove non-immigrant intent when applying, as well as that the holder can apply for immigrant status during this period. The initial duration of stay granted with an L1 visa varies, but it can be extended to a maximum of five or seven years. If the holder has L1 status without achieving permanent residency when the time is up, they must return to their home country for at least one year before re-applying for an L1 visa.
- L-1A: For executives or managers being transferred to a US branch of the company, to work in or start a new office. Renewable up to seven years.
- L-1B: For employees with “specialized knowledge” being transferred to a US branch of the company. Renewable up to five years. There are no precise definitions of “specialized knowledge,” but the focus is on proving the company has a particular need of the applicant’s skills or knowledge.
If currently living outside the US, applications are filed electronically and submitted to the nearest consulate. Consulates review applications and subsequently summon applicants to an interview. The interview is essential, and there are important documents that must be presented at the interview which vary for the different categories. According to the American Embassy in Stockholm, the necessary documents needed are:
B1: Employment letter (purpose of the trip, project, employer, financer of the trip); Invitation letter (if for example attending a conference or meeting with potential partners)
E: Company Approval letter, indicating that the visa applicant is either the investor or the trader responsible for the company’s US activities, and the form DS-156e (Application for Treaty Traders/Investors)
L, H: I-797 Work Permit
It’s very important to be confident in the interview and answer all questions honestly and accurately; the interview holds a lot of weight in the process. For tips on preparing for interviews a lot of informal anecdotal information is available from other applicants on the forums on the website immihelp.com.
Following the interview, you will receive a passport, and then you still have to travel to the US and go through customs properly to get in. Once you have a visa it’s important that you understand the limitations and requirements of your status, because if you stay longer than you are allowed or leave more often than you are allowed, you may be barred from entering the US for a period of time.
Visas and work authorization for spouses, children, and other family members
Visas are issued to a principal holder, but most classes of visa allow the holder to for the spouse and children to legally live in the US as well. In most cases the spouse will not automatically be granted work authorization but they can generally apply separately. Children usually cannot engage in paid employment (the process of applying for and receiving work authorization takes about 90 days).
Regarding the specific visa classes:
- B1: This visa is only for the principal holder, since it is meant merely for short-term business trips.
- E: Family members may apply for the same type of visa as the principal holder. The spouse may subsequently apply to the Department of Homeland Security for authorization to work in the United States. Children cannot work in the US.
- L and H: Family members may apply for the same type of visa as the principal holder. The spouse may apply to the UCSIC for a work permit (I-765).
US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
American Embassy in Sweden