How to Apply for a Startup Visa in the USA

The Startup Visa program in the United States allows entrepreneurs from around the world to start and grow their businesses in the country.

It’s a special program that aims to attract talented people with new and innovative business ideas.

By getting a Startup Visa, entrepreneurs can access the resources and opportunities available in the vibrant startup ecosystem of the USA.

Eligibility Criteria for the Startup Visa

To qualify for the Startup Visa program, you need to meet certain requirements set by the U.S. government.

How to Apply for a Startup Visa in the USA

These requirements are in place to ensure that only genuine entrepreneurs with promising startups are granted visas. Here are the main things you need to qualify:

Entrepreneurial Skills

You must show that you have the necessary skills and experience to start and run a business.

Investment in Your Startup

Your startup needs to receive a significant amount of money from qualified U.S. investors or government entities. The exact amount may vary depending on where your business is located and what it does.

Creating Jobs

Your startup should have the potential to create a good number of jobs for people in the United States. The specific number of jobs required may depend on your industry and business model.

Viable Business

You must prove that your startup has a good chance of growing and succeeding. This can be done by having a well-thought-out business plan, understanding the market you’re targeting, and showing that there is demand for your product or service.

Applying for the Startup Visa

Once you meet the eligibility criteria and have a qualified startup, you can begin the application process for the Startup Visa. Here are the general steps:

Fill Out Form I-941

Complete Form I-941, Application for Entrepreneur Parole, and submit it with the necessary documents. This form asks for detailed information about your startup, the money you’ve received, your plans to create jobs, and other important details.

Biometrics Appointment

You’ll be called for an appointment where your fingerprints and photos will be taken for background checks and identification.

Application Review

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review your application and supporting documents to decide if you’re eligible for the Startup Visa. This process can take several months, so be patient.

Entrepreneur Parole

If your application is approved, you’ll be granted Entrepreneur Parole. This allows you to enter the United States and work on your startup for a specific period, usually up to five years. It gives you enough time to establish and grow your business.

Renewal and Permanent Residency

During the parole period, focus on building your startup and meeting the job creation goals. If you’re successful in creating the required jobs and meeting other conditions, you may be able to apply for permanent residency in the future.

How to Apply for a Startup Visa in the USA?

Here are the documents you’ll need, the financial requirements, and the application process.

Required Documents for the Application

When you apply for a startup visa in the USA, you’ll need to gather some important documents to support your application. Here are some common documents you’ll likely need:

  • Business Plan: A detailed plan that explains your startup’s goals, target market, how you’ll advertise, and how much money you expect to make.
  • Incorporation Documents: Papers that prove your startup is legally registered, like articles of incorporation or registration certificates.
  • Proof of Funding: Evidence showing that you have enough money to support your business and yourself while you’re in the USA. This could be bank statements, investment agreements, or letters from banks.
  • Market Research: Information and analysis that prove your startup’s product or service has potential in the US market.
  • Proof of Experience: Resumes or CVs that show your experience and qualifications as an entrepreneur.
  • Supporting Letters: Letters from professionals in your industry who can say good things about your business skills and your startup’s chances of success.
  • Intellectual Property Documents: If you have any patents, trademarks, or copyrights related to your startup, you’ll need documents to prove it.
  • Legal Compliance: Any permits, licenses, or certifications that your business needs to have.

Application Process

The application process for a startup visa in the USA usually has a few steps. The details might vary depending on the visa program, but here’s a general overview:

  • Research and Choose the Right Visa Program: Learn about the different startup visa programs available, like the E-2 Investor Visa or the O-1 Visa for Entrepreneurs, and decide which one suits you best.
  • Prepare and Organize Your Documents: Get all the necessary documents ready as required by the visa program. Make sure they meet the specific requirements and are translated into English properly.
  • Submit Your Application: Send in your completed application along with all the required documents to the government agency that handles startup visa applications.
  • Attend Interviews or Complete Additional Steps: Depending on the visa program, you might need to go for an interview or provide more information or evidence to support your application.
  • Wait for Approval: After you submit your application, it will take some time to get a decision. The time it takes can vary depending on the visa program and other factors.
  • Travel to the USA: If your startup visa application is approved, you’ll receive the necessary documents to travel to the USA and start your business.


What is an entrepreneur visa?

An entrepreneur visa is a type of visa that allows individuals to start or invest in a business in the U.S. It promotes entrepreneurship and job creation in the country.

What are the types of entrepreneur visas available in the USA?

The types of entrepreneur visas available include the EB-5 Visa, E-2 Visa, L-1 Visa, EB-1C Visa, and the International Entrepreneur Rule.

How much capital do I need to invest for an entrepreneur visa?

The required capital investment varies depending on the type of visa, ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000. Some visas do not require a capital investment.

How long does it take to obtain an entrepreneur visa?

The processing time varies depending on the visa type and the workload of the embassy or consulate, but it generally takes several months.


As you noticed, a start-up visa is also called an entrepreneur visa. You must have a crystal clear business plan, idea, or investment budget to begin with. If you’re already in the US, you can still proceed to get the visa. You’ll get more updates on the government of the US official website. Good luck.