Nonimmigrant Entrepreneur Visas


B-1 Business Visitor F-1/OPT Optional Practical Training H-1B Specialty Occupation
Can enter the US to carry out a number of business activities such as funding or office space, negotiate a contract, attend business meeting. Make necessary arrangements in connection with setting up a business



Length of stay generally up to 6 months

Extension – possible but not usually more than 12months in total


Available only to those already n the US on an F-1 student status, except those in English language training programs



Can start up a business that is directly related to the  major area of study

Length of stay generally up to 12 months / 17 months for those with a qualifying Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) degree

Extension – possible upon seeking another post-secondary degree at a higher degree level

Available to those planning to work for the business they  start in the United States



Occupation should normally requires a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field of study

Applicant must have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a field related to the position.

Length of stay is 3 years.

Extensions -possible- but maximum period of stay generally 6 years (extensions beyond 6 years may be possible).


O-1A Extraordinary Ability and Achievement E-2 Treaty Investor L-1 Intracompany Transferee
Available to those with  extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics



Exceptionality should be demonstrated by sustained acclaim and recognition
Can start business in the same field as the exceptional ability

Length of Stay s up to 3 years
Extensions –available in 1 year increments as necessary to complete or further the event or activity.

Available to those who want to invest a substantial amount of money in a new or existing U.S. business.



Must be from a treaty country

Length of Stay-Initial period of 2 years.

Extension available is  in 2 year increments.

Available to executives, managers, or a worker with specialized knowledge who has worked abroad for a qualifying organization .



Can seek to set up a branch or affiliate office or manage and existing business in the US.

Initial period of stay in the United States: Up to 3 years (1 year for new office petitions).

Extensions possible in up to 2 year increments.

Maximum period of stay: 7 years for managers and executives; 5 years for specialized knowledge workers.