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Moving To U.S. and Starting A Sole Proprietorship

by Qingqing Miao, published: 2013-05-17 11:16 viewed: 824 times
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Question from kutyasi:

I and my family would like to move to the US. We are Hungarian, but we are living in Malta at the moment. We don't have green cards.

Can we move to the US and start a Sole Proprietorship? I heard this fasten the process of getting a green card.

Sorry, but my knowledge about moving to US not too good. :(

Can somebody help or offer me a webpage to collect information?

Answer:

Since E-2 visa option is not available for citizens of Hungary, starting a sole proprietorship is unlikely to provide any easy route to either a U.S. work visa or a U.S. green card.

Theoretically, you could invest at least $500K into your own business entity and if the entity will be able to meet the statutory requirements (including creating 10 full time U.S. jobs within the specified period), you could qualify for U.S. green card under the EB-5 program. However, EB-5 is not going to be an easy route. With sole proprietorship, obtaining an H-1B visa is basically impossible. You may try to incorporate your company and apply for H-1B but without knowing more of your background and your business, it is difficult to tell whether H-1B could be an option for you.

You may find the official website of the U.S. CIS very helpful. The CIS website has a specific section that discusses work in the U.S. It summarizes all the options that are available under current U.S. laws. The link is here.

The above answer is for information only and does not constitute legal advice.

Answer provided by Qingqing Miao
Ellis, Li & McKinstry PLLC
Comments (7)
1. saras 2013-04-26 18:28
hi
 please throw light on..
1. can foreign visitor open a business in usa and do business?
 if yes how? how to pay taxes etc and the wholeprocedure
thanks much
2. JC 2013-04-29 15:11
@saras,
Sure you can open a business in America, even as a foreigner. But, the caveat is that you can NOT work in your business, as mentioned in this article: Foreigner Starting A Business In USA, non-resident alien can take a "passive" role in a business.

For taxes, I believe each year you need to file tax return as nonresident alien using form 1040NR. Also each quarter, as a foreign owner of your company, you also need to submit 35% of the net profit as federal withholding tax to the IRS.
3. jenny 2013-05-16 20:08
Is purchasing of retail shop under my LLC consider as part of the 500k investment to help obtain the green card?
4. Qingqing Miao 2013-05-17 11:16
@jenny,

To answer your question fully, I will need to look at more specific information. It is possible to qualify for EB-5 (direct investment) by purchasing a retail shop if all the requirements (i.e. management, job creation, TEA or rural area, etc.) are satisfied. Generally speaking, direct investment EB-5 is much more complicated than regional center-affiliated EB-5 but it is doable.

The above answer is for information only and does not constitute legal advice.

Answer provided by Qingqing Miao
Ellis, Li & McKinstry PLLC
5. Emily 2014-05-16 00:40
Hi, My son is graduating in a college in California. He is a Singapore citizen and has intention to start a business to manage there. Please advise what type of pass that he should apply for purpose to stay and manage his business in California. Is there a maximum period that he is allowed to stay each time and is there a limit period of stay each year.

Please enlighten. Thank you.
6. JC 2014-05-19 23:28
@Emily,
You can take a look at this page: Foreigner Starting A Business In USA, search on that page for Singapore. There is a question and answer about it.

To stay in the USA and conduct business, I suspect that your son need to get H1b visa. Even if your son can register a C-Corp in California, still he can not work for his own company without some type of work visa like H1-b.
7. Qingqing Miao 2014-05-22 20:57
@Emily,
Based on the information provided, your son may be eligible for E visa & possibly H-1B1. Depends on what the business does and his own background, he may be qualified for other types of work visas. The length of stay varies from visa to visa. A consultation may be necessary for you to explore fully what the available options are.

The above response is for information only and does not constitute legal advice.

Answer provided by Qingqing Miao
Ellis, Li & McKinstry PLLC
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