The Immigration and Nationality Act provides non-immigrant visa status for a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation who is coming to the United States to carry on substantial trade or to develop and direct to operations of an enterprise in which the national has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. For more information visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1273.html. Some requirements for Treaty Traders and Investors are:
The trader applicant and trading firm or investor, either a real or corporate person, must be a national of a treaty country.
The international trade must be “substantial” in the sense that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade. The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.
The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment. The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States. The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
The trader applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.
The United States Department of Commerce, Export Assistance Center provides exporters with trade leads and market research regarding the best potential overseas markets for their products. 200 East Las Olas Boulevard, Suite 1600, Ft. Lauderdale. www.export.gov 954.356.6640
The U.S. Customs Service, Miami District provided information on the amount of duty required on imported products. Customs also clears imports and collects required tarrifs. 6601 NW 25th Street. www.dhs.gov 305.869.2800
The Small Business Administration guarantees up to $1.2 million in loans, and up to $750,000 for revolving lines of credit for qualified exporters. The SBA also cosponsors matchmakers and provides training and counseling in international trade, as well as supplying marketing information through the Export Information Service. www.sba.gov 305.536.5521
The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services provides information on immigration laws and employee regulations, as well as enforcement and changes in visa status.