Provided you have a valid passport, and hold a return or onward ticket to a country other than Canada, certain citizens of foreign countries can enter the United States using the Visa Waiver program, which allows you to visit for up to 90 days without a Visa.
If required, a stay of up to six months in any one year can be achieved by obtaining a B1 or B2 temporary visa from a United States Consulate Post.
A B2 visa is the most widely used visa allowing vacationers and home owners to spend more time in the United States than those on the Visa Waiver program. Normally, the Immigration Officer at the port of entry will allow the duration of the stay under a B1 or B2 visa to be based on a time that is reasonable and fair for the completion of the purpose of the visit.
The B2 visa covers numerous activities that are permissible such as family visits, tourism, medical reasons such as treatment, touring of universities by prospective students, etc.
A B1 visa is required for business travelers. Under this visa, a salary or payment cannot be received from any United States employer or other source, other than reimbursement of expenses accrued while in the United States.
Permissible activities include negotiations between United States and foreign businesses, discussion of planned investments, attendance at meetings, sourcing a suitable business for purchase interviews etc. The running of a business or gainful employment in the United States may not be carried out under a B1 visa.
E1 Treaty Trader
International Trade Between United States and Foreign Countries
●Alien is entering the United States for an indefinite time, based upon treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty or other arrangements between the United States and country of which the alien is a national.
●The person is entering solely to carry a substantial trade which is international in scope principally between the United States and the foreign country of which the alien is an national.
● Principal employer and key employee are national of treaty country and enterprise or organization is 50 percent or more owned by treaty national
●Trade is defined as the international exchange of items of trade for consideration between the United States and the treaty country. Domestic trade is not counted in determining trade.
* Trade must be principally with treaty country.
* More than 50 percent of total volume of international trade must be between United States and treaty country.
*The amount of trade cannot be based on a single transaction, regardless of how protracted or monetarily valuable.
*Volume of exchanges is given more weight that the value of the exchanges.
*For smaller businesses, income derived to support trader and their family constitutes a favorable factor in assessing existence of substantial trade.
Nationality of Corporation
* At least 50 percent of stock owned by nationals of treaty country permits joint venture.
*Nationals owning stock who are not resident abroad must be "E" status
* If employer is not a corporation, but an individual, must maintain "E" status.
*Employee can be a new hire and need not have worked for the company previously.
L-1 Intra-company Transferee
Opening New Business/Transferring to Existing Business
Qualification for an L1 visa is dependent upon being employed outside the United States, as a manager, executive person, or person with specialized knowledge for at least one continuous year out of the past three years, and transferring to the United States to be employed in a similar position.
*be employed in executive or managerial position, or have specialized knowledge
* have held that position for one continuous year in the last three years
* be transferring to the United States to open new office, or fill executive or specialized knowledge position in existing office
* supervise subordinate managers
* be a bona fide non-immigrant
Overseas Company must:
*be current and continue to be engaged in regular systematic and continuous provisions of goods/services
* be in business for on year or more
* be employing transferee in executive/managerial position supervising subordinate managers or be employing transferee in specialized function in that business
*provide current financial statements
* provide evidence of recent business conducted
* provide evidence of staff employed, recommended at least four full-time workers
* provide management and personal structure
A United States Corporation must:
* be a legal entity registered to conduct business in the United States
* have identical structure, be owned or controlled in the majority by foreign corporation
* be intending to employ United States workers in managerial and subordinate positions
* be registered with Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes
* have lease securing physical premises to house a United States entity
* have opened a United States corporate bank account~ New offices must have sufficient funds to initiate start up
* have a United States corporation income tax return ! Applies to existing offices on year or more
* have financial projections for at least first year of trading ~ Applies to new offices
Permanent Residence Green Card
The term "green card" has been a misnomer since the 1960s when the color changed to blue, more recently to pink, and currently white plastic with a green stripe. The new card is unique, packed with the most-up-to-date technology. It includes microscopic portraits of all 42 presidents, an embedded hologram of the Statue of Liberty, and a laser etched digital color photograph of the card holder. Minute drawings of the 50 state flags, a dozen holograms, and a digital fingerprinting system combined with an optical memory stripe will enable authorities to establish whether the card is fake.
A lot of people mistakenly believe that green cards are nothing more than work permits. While a green card does give you the right to work legally in the United States where and when you wish, that is just one of the features. Identifying the holder as a permanent resident of the United States is its main function.
When you have a green card you are required to make the United States your permanent home. If you do not, you risk losing your card. This does not mean your ability to travel in and out of the United States is limited. Freedom to travel as you choose is an important benefit of a green card. However, no matter how much you travel, your permanent residence must be the United States, or your card could be revoked.
Personal Income Taxation in the United States
Income taxes. The Internal Revenue Service. Not favorite topics of conversation in the United States. Nonetheless, this is a subject you need to know plenty about if you are considering spending any length of time in the United States.
If you are not a citizen of the United States, specific rules apply to determine if you are a resident alien or non resident alien for tax purposes. If you are a resident alien, you must include and pay tax under United States laws on your worldwide income.
Generally you are considered a resident alien if you meet the green card test or the substantial presence test. You meet the substantial presence test if you are physically present in the United States for at least 31 days during the year, and 183 days during a three year period-counting all days of physical presence in the current year, one-third number of days in prior year, and one-sixth number of days in the second prior year.
Generally non-residents are taxed only on income from source in America.
Tax treaties exist with many countries to prevent people paying double taxes. Short-stay visitors, teachers, employees of foreign governments trainees, and students are a few groups that benefit under these treaties. The attached outline summarizes the computation of taxable income.
You need to discuss your situation with a reliable professional before making any financial decisions that may result in irreversible, adverse tax consequences.
We have given you an update of a limited number of visa types for visiting the United States of America. We mentioned "limited" as there are many more visa types, however we selected a few based on earlier frequently asked questions. An immigration attorney can give you advice based on your personal circumstances.
Disclaimer:This information has been furnished for informational purposes only. We advise you to request legal advice as every case has to be judged on its own merits. Although Downtown Brokers LLC has gathered and verified this information to its best abilities, it will not accept any responsibility for its contents.