Law Offices of Stuart J. Reich, PLLC

Practice Limited to Immigration & Nationality Law

11 Broadway, Suite 615
New York, NY 10004

(212) 430-6582 phone
(212) 430-6583 facsimile

What about getting a green card [permanent residence] for the entrepreneur?

Q: Why should I bother with any of these temporary [non-immigrant] visas – can’t I just go straight to a green card if that’s what I want?

A: 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.

Contact us here to arrange a consultation, to inquire about retaining us to handle your immigration matter, or simply to suggest topics you would like to see covered on our site.


The above is presented for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship with our firm. The information provided should not be used as guidance in pursuing an immigration matter absent consultation with a qualified immigration attorney.