Differences Between E and L-1 Business Investment Visas in California

There are a number of different business investment visas available for foreign workers who wish to come to the U.S. in order to set up a new business venture. The most popular are the E visa (which includes the EB-1, E-2, and EB-5 visas) and the L-1 visa.

While both types of visa can be used to bring employees to the United States, there are very specific rules surrounding the E visas. For example:

  • There must be an existing treaty between the United States and the foreign employee’s country
  • The company must be owned or controlled by nationals of the foreign treaty-abiding country 
  • Each employee who seeks E visa status must be a citizen of the treaty-abiding country 

The E visa can be limiting, as there are many countries that do not currently have treaties with the United States. The L-1 visa is a good alternative for companies in non-treaty countries who need to bring workers to the U.S., since it has fewer restrictions than the E visa, including:

  • L-1 workers do not need to hold a degree
  • L-1 companies do not have to attempt to fill the position with an American worker
  • There is no annual quota on the number of L-1 visas

The L-1 is a non-immigration visa, meaning there is no guarantee of residency after the term of the visa has expired. However, at the Law Offices of Vaughan de Kirby, our San Francisco immigration lawyers can help workers who wish to stay in the U.S. transition from temporary visa to green card status. 

To find out how we can help you, call (415) 221-2345 today or order our FREE report, The Business Owner’s Guide To United States Residency Via the L-1 Visa. 

Vaughan de Kirby
California Immigration Attorney
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