If you’re a foreign national, and would like to start a business in the U.S., never fear! You too can have access to the American markets and investors.

First off, while the U.S. immigration system can seem complicated first, the good news is that almost anyone can open a business in America, as long as the proper paperwork and fees are paid.

The most common entry option is the E-2 treaty investor visa, which allows non-citizens to start a business, as long as they are able to invest upwards of $50,000. As the owner, you and your family can live in the states legally for as long as the business exists. Your spouse will be eligible for work in the U.S. as well. Keep in mind that this visa is only available to those from certain countries that honor the treaty.

The application is no small task but it is really the only option for many small business owners. You must be ready to make a “substantial” (varying by your consulate) investment, as the purpose of this visa is to allow in businesses that will have a meaningful impact on the local economy. The visa also needs to be re-approved every 2-5 years, during which you’ll need to show that your businesses is thriving and providing economic benefit.

If you go the route of an E-2 visa, it’s a good idea to not only save for a large investment to your company, but also obtain a lawyer who specializes in the particular rules and variances of the situation.

Learn more about the E-2 visa here.

You must be ready to make a “substantial” (varying by your consulate) investment, as the purpose of this visa is to allow in businesses that will have an impact on the local economy.

About the Author

Paul Nugent is a small business advocate, and Head of Marketing at ShopKeep point of sale’s UK headquarters. Paul uses his background in the startup space, along with his POS system expertise, to allow small business owners to make informed decisions within their specific budgets.