Business and Work Visas

A B1 Visa will normally be appropriate for business purposes when traveling to the United States infrequently on business for short periods of time with no employment contemplated.  Contrary to what many Hi-Tech companies believe, this is not generally an appropriate visa for their employees in Israel who travel to the United States to provide services to their clients in the USA.

As a matter of fact, companies that regularly send their employees to the United States to provide services actually expose their employees to the danger of being denied entry, turned around at the border and otherwise prohibited from entering the United States – possibly for five years or more.

Customs and Border Protection will closely scrutinize the alleged purpose of visit when immigration records show that the applicant for entry to the U.S. has visited the country on more than one occasion over the course of the year, and the length of time of previous and present contemplated visits.

Although a B1 Visa may be appropriate for someone traveling to the U.S. to meet with business colleagues, trade shows, board members, potential clients etc., it is not appropriate for employees who are coming to provide services to a U.S. company who might otherwise employ someone to perform those duties.

In the case where an Israeli company regularly provides services to a U.S. company there may be other options available to the Israeli company – options that will not place the employee’s present and future status in the U.S. at risk.

The various options mentioned below may be relevant for temporary visas which contemplate both employment and extended temporary residency in the U.S.

Where an Israeli company regularly receives/provides or needs to receive/provide goods or services from/to a U.S. company, an E1 Visa might be appropriate – especially in cases where the the U.S. or Israeli company is at least 50% owned by Israelis who have neither Green Card or dual U.S./Israeli Citizenship.  The trade must be significant and continuous but if these criteria are met it is possible that the E1 Visa will be a viable option for their employees who must travel frequently and for long periods of time to provide services to clients or affiliated company abroad.

Another option worth contemplating might be an L Visa for a long time Employee of an Israeli Company who is a Manager, or who is Highly Skilled, and whose services are needed in a Parent, Subsidiary, Branch or Affiliate of a Company in the United States.

Persons of Extraordinary Ability in the Arts, Sciences, Business and Motion Pictures, Athletes and Entertainment Groups may apply for O and P Visas, respectively, to work for U.S. Employers in need of their skills if they can prove that they are distinguished and have reached the top of their field of endeavor.

Needless to say, these are but a few of the options available for temporary or permanent business/work visas.

For more information on B Visas, L Visas, O & P Visas, and E Visas or to schedule a consultation contact us.

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