L1 Visa Financial Requirements

Posted on October 30, 2007 by Warren Wen | Category: Immigration

Financial Requirements for L-Visa Application

Mr. Wu asked:

I have a stone import and export business in Korea and my business runs well.  I have had business relationships with US businessmen for a long time.  I now want my child to get better education in the US, so I plan to immigrate to the US.  I have a lot of friends who have immigrated to the US and they suggested that I apply for an L visa and adjust to green card later.  They said that the L visa has relatively lower requirements on investment amount, and it seems easier to get the application approved.  I want to know if I must invest in the US in order to go to the US with an L visa.  If yes, is there any requirement on investment amount?  And is there any requirement on individual assets?


Generally speaking, compared to the EB-5 visa, the L visa is a better option for Korean entrepreneurs who have existing businesses in Korea.

For your question on investment in the US, if your company has no branches, subsidiaries or affiliates in the US, you have to invest or purchase one for your L visa application, because the L-1A visa is for executives or managers in multinationals and multinational background is one of the basic requirements for the application.

Regarding you question on whether there is any requirement on investment amount for doing business in the US, there is no minimum requirement for incorporation in the US according to pertinent immigration and corporate laws.  However, according to our years of experience on L visa applications, if your personal net asset is worth more than 1.5 million US dollars, it will be better for your application.  The reasons are for this are as follows:

First, in order to get an L visa approved and later apply for a green card, the business you invested in the US has to be a real business and your business in the US needs to do well in order to get a green card.  If you have no prior experience in doing business in the US, this will not be easy for you for the first couple of years.  Having a relatively deep pocket will help you go through this tough time.

Secondly, when you operate an enterprise in the US, besides expenditures on employees’ salaries, you need to pay for individual income taxes, insurance and welfare for employees.  These are not small expenditures.  Adding exchange rates between Korea and the US, the operating cost in the US is not low.

However, that is not to say that you’re not qualified for an L visa if your assets do not reach the normal standard.  Regarding the amount of investment required for an L visa, one of the key factors is the type of business you will run in the US.  If you invest in an area of business you have tremendous experience and understanding, the amount of investment required for the business could be much lower.  However, if you will invest in a new business area, you must prepare more capital to deal with unavoidable risk and difficulties.

This article is only for your reference. Please do not apply mechanically to any exact cases. You are welcome to consult our attorneys at Liu & Associates, P.C. For contact information, please click here.