Immigration Programs for Current and Aspiring Entrepreneurs to Enter and Contribute to the American Economy

The United States has been a magnet for immigrants from all over the world for many decades. One of the reasons is that the U.S. has an incredibly diverse economy that provides countless opportunities for people to start businesses and create jobs. The U.S. government recognizes this and offers various immigration programs that allow current and aspiring entrepreneurs to enter the country and contribute to the American economy. Listed below are some of those programs:

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program: The EB-5 program is a popular immigration option for individuals who want to invest in the U.S. economy. This program requires a minimum investment of $900,000 (or $1.8 million for a regular investment) in a new or existing business that will create at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers. The investor must also prove that the investment is coming from legal sources. The EB-5 program offers a path to permanent residency and citizenship for the investor and their family members.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa: The E-2 visa is available to individuals from countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. This program requires a substantial investment in a U.S. business, typically between $50,000 and $100,000, and the individual must own at least 50% of the business. The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, which means that it does not provide a direct path to permanent residency, but it can be renewed indefinitely if the business remains in operation.

L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa: The L-1 visa is available to entrepreneurs who already own a business outside of the U.S. and wish to expand their operations to the United States. This program requires the entrepreneur to have worked for the foreign business for at least one year as a manager or executive. The L-1 visa allows the entrepreneur to transfer to a U.S. subsidiary or branch of their foreign business and stay in the U.S. for up to seven years. The L-1 visa does not provide a direct path to permanent residency, but it can lead to an EB-1C visa, which is a green card option for multinational executives and managers.

O-1 Visa: The O-1 visa is available to individuals who possess extraordinary ability in their field of expertise. This program requires the entrepreneur to have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in their field, such as receiving awards, recognition, or publications. The O-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, but it can be extended indefinitely, and the individual may be able to apply for a green card in the future.

National Interest Waiver (NIW): The NIW program is available to individuals who can demonstrate that their business will benefit the U.S. national interest. This program requires the individual to have a business plan that outlines how their business will create jobs, improve the economy, or contribute to U.S. innovation. The individual must also demonstrate that they have the necessary qualifications and experience to run the business. The NIW program is a green card option, which means that it provides a direct path to permanent residency.

Read about Startup and Entrepreneur Visas by Country HERE.

In addition to the programs mentioned above, there are also other programs such as the H-1B visa, which is available for foreign workers with specialized skills and knowledge, and the E-1 visa, which is available to entrepreneurs who engage in substantial trade between their home country and the United States.

It is important to note that the immigration process can be complex, and it is highly recommended to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney. They can help navigate the process and ensure that all requirements are met, which can increase the chances of a successful application.

Moreover, it is also essential to consider the different states and cities in the United States that offer incentives and support for immigrant entrepreneurs. For example, cities like New York, San Francisco, and Boston have thriving startup ecosystems and provide resources such as mentorship programs, incubators, and funding opportunities. Various states also have their own visa programs, such as the Massachusetts Global Entrepreneur in Residence program, which is designed to help individuals start and grow businesses in Massachusetts.

In conclusion, the United States offers several immigration programs for current and aspiring entrepreneurs to enter and contribute to the American economy. These programs have different requirements and benefits, and it is essential to consider all options carefully and seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney. Additionally, individuals should also consider the various resources and support available in different states and cities in the United States to help them start and grow successful businesses.

Immigration is pure entrepreneurship. You leave behind everything familiar to start somewhere new. You must acquire skills. You will have to improvise on occasion. It’s a bold proposition. – Reid Hoffman, American Internet Entrepreneur

Understanding the Terminology

The terminology used to refer to current and aspiring entrepreneurs from other countries can vary depending on the context and purpose of the communication. However, here are some general guidelines that may be useful:

  • “Foreign entrepreneurs” is a common term used to refer to entrepreneurs who come from another country and establish a business in a new country. This term emphasizes the fact that the entrepreneur is not a citizen or resident of the country where the business is located.
  • “International entrepreneurs” is another term that can be used to refer to entrepreneurs who operate businesses across national borders. This term emphasizes the global nature of the entrepreneur’s business activities.
  • “Immigrant entrepreneurs” specifically refers to individuals who have migrated to a new country and established a business there. This term emphasizes the fact that the individual is an immigrant to the new country.

Ultimately, the choice of terminology may depend on the specific context and the intended audience of the communication. It is important to use language that is respectful and accurate, and that avoids stereotypes or assumptions about the individual’s background or abilities.

Acceler8Success Group Immigrant Business Services

Aligned with all aspects of Acceler8Success Group comprehensive services & resources is a select team of highly experienced multi-lingual business development professionals led by Acceler8Success Group president, Erik Premont.

Erik’s proficiency in French, Spanish and Portuguese is an asset in assisting immigrants from Canada, Latin America, and various European countries. Also conversant in Italian, German and Russian, and with even a slight understanding of other languages and cultures, Erik has helped immigrants from all corners of the world explore business ownership and franchise opportunities within the United States.

For more information or a referral to an Immigration Attorney, please reach out directly to Erik Premont at

Ask Erik about the Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative.

Inflation & Recession Concerns?

The future may be a bit bumpy. Knowing who to turn to and when to turn to for guidance and help is important. Having resources at your disposal is also important. So, if you hit a wall, for whatever reason, please feel free to reach out to me for assistance or even if you just need someone to talk to. Please do not hesitate.

You can reach me via a LinkedIn message, by email to, and by phone or text at (832) 797-9851.

Learn more about Acceler8Success Group at Also, please visit two of our additional resource sites: and

Make it a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

All my best,

Paul Segreto, CEO & Founder, Acceler8Success Group