Brazilians flock to Florida, and many come to transact business
by Mariana Ribeiro on March 09, 2012
More than 1.2 million Brazilians visited the United States in 2010, contributing nearly $6 billion to the U.S. economy. By 2016, the nation could host a record 2.8 million Brazilian visitors. A Brazilian immigrant myself, having come to the U.S. from Brazil when I was 13 years old, I see this as an encouraging trend.
As CNN recently noted, Florida is the No. 1 vacation destination for Brazilians. In 2011, the number of Brazilians visiting Florida as tourists – lured by our theme parks and shopping venues – was up by at least a third. Brazil was even named ‘Floridian of the Year’ by Florida Trend magazine in January.
In addition to the many Brazilians who are visiting South Florida for tourism, many Brazilians are coming here in order to transact business. Their activities include starting up new businesses, expanding existing businesses and investing in companies, real estate and other ventures.
However, persons traveling to the U.S. to carry out business activities need to be aware of the appropriate visa classifications for the business-related activities they wish to carry out.
A recent hot topic is the increased scrutiny being placed on the commonly used and abused Business (B-1) visa. Not understanding the limitations of such visas can have short and long-term consequences for both the business person as well as the company.
There are several work visa classifications that are better suited than the B-1 for certain business activities, such as the L-1 (Intracompany Transferee) or the H-1B (Specialty Workers).
Foreign investors and professionals seeking temporary or permanent employment-based visas should seek legal counsel for assistance on how to meet their business goals while complying with the United States’ complex and ever-evolving immigration laws.