Listen to this article now

Immigrant business owners that have come to the U.S. can find it challenging to start their own companies or small businesses. This article will outline the specific types of visas available and the financial services for immigrants to start their entrepreneurial businesses. Knowing what to expect from the process will ensure future success from an entrepreneurial standpoint. 

Being an immigrant in the United States, there are many different steps and processes that one has to take to become a business owner. Within the first step is to ensure that you have permanent residency as there are no actual visas for immigrant entrepreneurs at this time in the U.S.

The Startup Act which found ground in 2017 has unfortunately not made any progress through the House of Representatives, it would have given 75,000 visas for entrepreneurs. It does not mean immigrants can’t start a business without one.

There are multiple hoops one has to go through to ensure their business checks all the boxes. Hopefully, one day this will change, and the United States will create a visa program for immigrant entrepreneurs. Fortunately these steps are to ensure that anyone is capable of starting their own business. With the right tools and business ideas, any entrepreneur can be successful in their endeavor. 


Entrepreneur sitting in immigrant owned clothing shop

To acquire a visa to the U.S. you have to choose the type, of which there are many. The different types are: tourism and travel, business or employment, and student or exchange. The type of visas entrepreneurs can obtain right now in the U.S. are the L-1 and the E-2 visa. The L-1 visas are issued for a year to already established business owners that want to expand their business in the U.S. In comparison, the E-2 visa goes to individuals that can demonstrate that their business will be profitable in the U.S.

For more information on visas, check out the website for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Financial Services

Immigrant applying for business loan

Starting any business can be hard, especially not knowing where your funding or investors will come from. There are many different kinds of financial opportunities out in the world for immigrant owned businesses. If your immigration status in the U.S. is not finalized and you don’t have a social security number, you can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Click here to apply.

The ITIN number is the first step to establish your business. It gives you the right to legally register your business, start bank accounts, pay taxes and build a credit history within your company. It can even increase your chances of receiving a business loan. Having the ITIN number legalizes your business and ensures that your business can grow. 

Business loans can be crucial for immigrants to start a business. There are many types of loans that are available for you out there. Small business loans are a beneficial way to obtain loans, and they are open to naturalized, lawful permanent residents, asylees and refugees, and lawful non-permanent citizens. 

Financial services that are run through nonprofit organizations can help fund your business or help jump start your business. Grants are available, lines of credit provided by a bank or an online service, and even the Microenterprise Development Program, which allows refugees specifically to receive financial help.

There are many tools out in the world for immigrants to start their businesses. Finding the correct visas and financial services is a must to create your business. Establishing your business in the U.S. and overcoming the barriers that will arise will only start a more substantial company.

Have any more advice for immigrant entrepreneurs to start a business? Let us know down in the comments.

This article was originally published on GREY Journal.