US EB2 STARTUP INVESTOR PROGRAM
The EB-2 Start-up Investor Program is regulated by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. It deals with offering a visa to a candidate who is willing to place his or her capital at risk for a profitable return. Investments by a candidate under EB-2 Start-up Investor Program are done in the commercial sector. This may either be in the form of funds or assets.
This program gets its name from being the employment-based second preference visa. EB-2 Start-up Investor Program is offered to foreign nationals provided their country has signed a Treaty of Trade and Commerce with the United States of America.
Candidates who apply under EB-2 Start-up Investor Program must possess exceptional ability or must be a professional with an advanced degree. The advanced degree can be equivalent to that in the United States of America.
A businessperson, a scientist, and an artist are some of the types of candidates that can apply under the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program. Entrepreneurs looking to establish a new venture can also consider this option.
EB-2 Start-up Investor Program is a faster way to secure a permanent visa in the United States of America. One with a desire of buying the existing commercial enterprise is also counted to avail the benefits of the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program.
Categories And Eligibility Criteria For EB-2 Visa
The EB-2 Start-up Investor Program can be discussed in three different categories. Every category has different eligibility criteria.
The EB-2 Start-up Investor Program under Advanced Degrees requires the candidate to have an advanced degree. It must be at par with the American standard. Eligibility criteria under Advanced Degrees categories of the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program are as follows:
- The candidate must meet all the requirements that are specified under the Labor Certificate.
- It is mandatory to have five years of experience after completing the bachelor’s program. To keep things on track, keep the work experience relevant to your field of interest.
- Having an advanced degree is the center of this category.
You must have abilities that are exceptional in nature. This refers to you being at your best in a particular field. It can be arts, science, or business. Your ability must add some value to the United States of America and its overall ecosystem. Here are the eligibility criteria for the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program under Exceptional Ability:
- It is mandatory to showcase exceptional ability. Merely claiming to have one does not suffice. Authorities for EB-2 Start-up Investor Program take every possible care to ensure that such claims are qualified enough to be approved.
- Having an official academic record of your exceptional ability is a positive addition. It adds weights to your application under the category.
- You must fulfill all the requirements under the Labor Certification.
- A work experience of 10 years is a must and it must be a full-time experience.
- License to practice and membership of the professional association, if applicable, are mandatory for EB-2 Start-up Investor Program under Exceptional Ability.
National Interest Waiver
There is a way to get all the requirements waived off by the authorities at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Once approved, you would not be required to have a job offer and/or meet the requirements of Labor Certification. The eligibility criteria for EB-2 Start-up Investor Program under National Interest Waiver are discussed below:
- The employer in the United States of America must prove that there is no qualified candidate in the country.
- The United States of America must largely benefit from you.
- Provide evidence of the exceptional ability. This may include a certification or school record. The evidence that you provide should highlight the exceptional ability that you possess.
All the points mentioned above are subject to change. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services revises the eligibility criteria and categories under the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program regularly.
Documents Required For EB-2 Visa
Documents for the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program refer to the pieces of evidence that support your claim of being qualified for the program. These differ based on the category under which you plan to apply for the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program.
The category of Advanced Degrees under the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program is very specific in terms of documents that you must submit. Here is the list:
- An academic record issued by an institution that is duly recognized by the government of the relevant authority in your country. The record that is issued to you must hold equal standards that are set in the United States of America.
- Letter from your employer, or letters from your employers, which can prove that you worked for five years after completing the bachelor certificate. A positive comment from your employer would be a huge plus for the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program application.
- A doctorate from an institution that is located in the United States of America. You can alternatively showcase an equivalent degree from your country.
Out of all the documents mentioned below, you can showcase any three documents for the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program under the Exceptional Ability category. These documents are:
- Academic record issued by your educational institute that is operating legally in your country. It must be recognized by the authorities or the Government.
- An employment letter that highlights your total work experience period of 10 years. This can either be from one employer or many employers, depending on the number of jobs you have done during that time.
- If applicable, then you must have a license to practice your service in the country. For instance, a Chartered Accountant must have a Certificate of Practice issued from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
- Your salary slip that clearly shows the amount of remuneration you are currently being paid.
- Other documents that may be specified in the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program application form.
National Interest Waiver
The EB-2 Start-up Investor Program application under National Interest Waiver skips the requirements of having a job offer or Labor Certification. However, you may still be required to present some supporting documents. These are:
- A document that supports your claim in the form of the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program. This refers to an advanced degree or certification for exceptional ability.
- The endeavor that you propose must be of national interest and the document must prove this. If you are looking to earn an EB-2 Start-up Investor Program visa for medical research, then present well-documented evidence of how it will benefit the United States of America.
- Showcase a document that proves that you have the capability of advancing the endeavor that you have proposed. This can be your previous work experience, business achievements, or backing of reputed investors.
Process For EB-2 Visa
The process for the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program depends on the category under which you fill out the application form. More or less, it remains the same. The entire process is reviewed and administered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Submit Form I-140
The process for the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program begins with the employer filing Form I-140. The form represents the Petition for Alien Worker. It must be submitted to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
A candidate is rarely involved at this step unless the employer needs some details or documents from the candidate. This is the first for Advanced Degree and Exceptional Ability categories of the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the process is mostly conducted on the internet. An employer would not have to file the application offline, nor will you have to do anything from your side through any offline mode.
Submit ETA Form 9098
The ETA Form 9098 generally accompanies Form I-140. It represents an approved application for Permanent Employment Certification that is issued by the Department of Labor. The employer must submit the form from his or her side.
You would rarely be involved in this process as well unless some important information is required from you by the employer.
The step to submit the ETA Form 9098 is a part of the Advanced Degree and Exceptional Ability categories of the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program.
Showcase Federal Income Tax Return
Employers of the commercial American company must present the income tax return to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. This applies to the Advanced Degrees and Exceptional Ability categories under the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program.
In addition to the Federal Income Tax Return, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services may seek the annual report of the company or an audited financial statement. This is essential to know that the wages which have been committed will duly be paid to the employees.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services retain the right to modify the process at any time. Remain in touch with the employer or the authorities to know the recent update.
The National Interest Waiver skips all the above steps. Since you do not require a job offer, you can petition all the forms yourself and submit them to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. You must also file the Labor Certificate directly to the department.
Processing Time And Fee For EB-2 Visa
The time for the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program visa varies. It depends on the caseload of the authorities at the US Citizenship and Immigration. The processing time can also vary based on the immigration policies of the United States of America.
In general, it takes four to six months to process Form I-140. This automatically means that ETA Form 9098 takes four to six months as both of them are submitted together. The time would further depend on how many applications the US Citizenship and Immigration Services has received.
Fee involved in the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program is $700 for Form I-140 and $85 for biometric. The fee may go up or down as it is subject to change. Look up the official website of the department to stay in the loop.
General Benefits Of EB-2 Visa
The EB-2 Start-up Investor Program Visa serves many benefits. We will first look into the general benefits which are directly related to you.
- You are automatically signed up for the fast track way of obtaining Permanent Resident Status and Social Security in the United States of America.
- It is easier to opt for National Interest Waiver, provided you meet all the requirements.
- The EB-2 Start-up Investor Program processes an application faster than any other visa program.
- You enter a large pool of opportunities. These are related to employment and business.
- Criteria under the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program are less stringent as compared to other visa programs.
- Your spouse becomes eligible to enter the United States of America under E-21.
- Your unmarried children under the age of 21 automatically become eligible to enter the country under E-22.
Economic Benefits Of EB-2 Visa
These benefits focus on the financial benefits that you gain through the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program. The United States of America offers tremendous benefits in terms of economy. Here are some of them:
- The country has an economy that is diversified. Every business category gets an opportunity to succeed in the economy.
- You'll have access to cutting-edge research and development facilities. Your report would not just reflect a true picture but also an accurate picture of your study.
- Legal system is transparent, offering you a good chance to have a peek into the requirements.
- Workforce in the United States of America is well-educated, courtesy of its education system, and reaches every citizen. The workforce is also innovative and skilled to perform every type of task.
- As a global financial power, the United States of America has the highest GDP. You can bet on your chances of succeeding in the country.
Renewal Of EB-2 Visa
Like every other via, the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program visa can also be renewed or extended. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services offers two options to renew or extend the EB-2 Start-up Investor Program visa.
The first way is to travel out of the country and then enter again. This will automatically renew your EB-2 Start-up Investor Program visa. You can take this as an opportunity to visit your home country to spend some time with your family. Spend a few weeks and return later. This will renew your EB-2 Start-up Investor Program via.
Another way is to file a request with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. You will be required to submit a new I-129 petition along with Form I-539 and other documents. This will save you some travel money. This way is better if your family is already with you in the United States of America.
Drafting A Business Plan
While not necessary, you may be required to present a business plan. This applies if you intend to launch a venture in the United States of America. The authorities will review it closely and approve your application based on the business plan that you present.
Here is a general template that you can keep in mind.
1. Prepare Executive Summary
The initial section of a business plan is called the executive summary. It comprises the basic details about your company or venture, its mission statement, details about the leader along with employees, a brief summary of financial information, and future plans supported with management ideologies.
2. Write Company Description
Here you get a chance to talk about your company in detail. This must present a good picture of what you do, the industry you work in, and what problem your company is trying to solve.
3. Showcase Market Analysis
Tell the authorities about the type of customers you are targeting with your venture. Offer some market research with numbers, graphs, and charts. Also, highlight your unique selling point.
4. Organization And Management
Talk about what kind of venture you operate. Share its legal status like a partnership, private, or public, to mention a few. You can also take this as an opportunity to share insights about the achievements of all the members of the team.
5. Service Or Product Line
Draft a list of services that you will offer in the United States of America. Give a list of reasons why you would offer those services. In the case of products, support the list with how your products meet the industry standards.
6. Marketing And Sales
Share your marketing strategy and other ways in which you plan to attract customers. Label every stage of the lifecycle of your product or service. Give details about research and development that you have done till now.
7. Funding Request
It is normal to seek funds for your venture. That is the very basic manner of running a business. In such cases, you must outline the purpose of raising funds and how they will be deployed in your company.
8. Financial Projections
You would be offering jobs to the citizens of the United States of America. Therefore, you must show the financial projection of your venture. The authorities would basically try to understand if you will be able to pay the wages.
Conclude your business plan with other supporting documents or material. This can include reviews of your current customer, credit history, or letter of reference.
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