These are commonly known as the “Einstein visa” or “rockstar visa” because they’re mostly granted to individuals of high acclaim such as scientists, actors, musicians, and athletes. However, this can also apply to top-tier business owners.
You can apply for an EB-1 visa if you want to run your business in the U.S. as an immigrant with permanent status. The USCIS has set the bar high for this type of visa. To qualify for EB-1 visa, you need to satisfy at least 3 from a given set of requirements:
- You’re an industry leader in your country.
- You became a speaker during conferences of high-profile industries.
- Your business has a $1 million or $1 billion dollar valuation
- Your business was featured in an international publication
- You’re given prestigious awards in business
- You own copyrights and/or patents of high value
You’ll probably need lawyers for business immigration to see to it if you’re a good fit for EB-1 visa. They’ll evaluate your claims based on the USCIS standards and help you decide whether to pursue or find an alternative route.
Similar to EB-1, you can apply for O-1 if you want to be an entrepreneur in the U.S., but only on a temporary basis (non-immigrant). However, the barrier to entry for this type of visa is lower compared to EB-1. You can renew your O-1 visa indefinitely as long as you’re in business and you’re operating within U.S. laws and regulations.
Your business immigration lawyer might advise you to apply for an O-1 visa if you don’t qualify for EB-1. Criteria for both EB-1 and O-1 are highly subjective, so you’re going to need an experienced immigration lawyer to assess the merits of your claims and decide accordingly.