Expand All | Collapse All

Technically, yes if there is a permanent residence category in which the entrepreneur already qualifies – but it isn’t practical in most cases. Going “straight to a green card There is no prohibition on applying directly for permanent residence from abroad in a category where the person qualifies, without first coming to the US on a non-immigrant (temporary, not permanent) visa. But even for the quickest categories, processing time will normally at best be close to a full year. This doesn’t even include time it may take to assemble this type of case for filing. In most cases, the demands of the business require the ability to get to the US (or remain here) relatively quickly; most [not all] non-immigrant visas can be obtained in three months or less. Often, longer-term plans have yet to form. The entrepreneur – and perhaps an overseas parent – often wish to wait to see how things progress with the US entity before committing to a permanent residence process (with its higher cost, increased level of commitment required form the company, etc.) So, we normally seek a relevant and accessible non-immigrant visa to allow the entrepreneur to get to work sooner rather than later. A permanent residence process can then go forward “in the background” – with the entrepreneur in the US and running the new US company on a day-to-day basis using a temporary/non-immigrant visa while the permanent case is processing.