Need help moving fron Norway to USA

Hi,

Ever since I was young, I have had a dream to live and work in USA. I want to help create jobs for American workers by starting and growing my own company in USA.

I am born and raised in Norway and have lived here my entire life, but for the past 25 years I have increasingly felt like an American living in exile. I realize USA has it's share of challenges, as any other country, so I pursue this with what I think is a balanced view.
Never the less, over the past 25 years I have studied and been fascinated by American culture, nature, politics, people, society etc.

As of today, It seems to me that an E-2 visa is the most viable way to go, according to an immigration lawyer I have spoken with.
I am left with many tasks, including scraping together funding as well as finding someone who have successfully transferred from a northern-European country, with a family, on an E-2 Visa starting with very low funds.

You can read more about my business idea on ***

1. Is there anyone who can put me in touch with anyone who have any real practical experience with this?

2. Also another separate thing that puzzles me: I frequently hear stories of people from poor backgrounds who just packed up their things and hopped on a plane to USA, starting a business from scratch. Surely it has to be more involved than that - or you'd basically be an illegal immigrant, which is not a viable or good way to start off in USA. Any comments on this?

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I think it would be helpful to you if someone responded who has  been in a similar situation and has successfully made the move.   I wish that person were me.  I would surely help in any way I could. I wish you the best of luck.   If you stay determined, you will do it.

Thanks. I agree. If anyone know of any such person/people, and would be willing to help me get in touch with them if they want to share their story, that would also be very helpful.

Even from other VWP countries because the process will most likely be very similar.

Please forget the fairy tales of rags to riches.
Do you know how to run a successful business?

I am running my own business, yes, but that's beside the point. If I can run a business in a country which has higher taxes than California, I think I at least have a decent start.

I am a US citizen and an entrepreneur. We could share your business ideas, I maybe able to sponsor you to stay in the US.

ae8262dfab :

2. Also another separate thing that puzzles me: I frequently hear stories of people from poor backgrounds who just packed up their things and hopped on a plane to USA, starting a business from scratch. Surely it has to be more involved than that - or you'd basically be an illegal immigrant, which is not a viable or good way to start off in USA. Any comments on this?

I would imagine many of those people had friends or relatives already in the United States who could help them get settled. No one arrives in the United States with a toothbrush and five dollars to become a millionaire. If the streets were paved with gold, there would not be millions of Americans living in poverty.

Most illegal immigrants arrive legally and simply overstay their visas. In a nation so large, it must be difficult for the authorities to keep track of everyone.

ae8262dfab :

I am running my own business, yes, but that's beside the point. If I can run a business in a country which has higher taxes than California, I think I at least have a decent start.

American taxes are incredibly low, despite how often Americans complain about how high they are. The same is true of petrol prices. Yesterday, I saw that the local gas station is selling for one fourth of what I would pay in my country.

ae8262dfab :

I am running my own business, yes, but that's beside the point. If I can run a business in a country which has higher taxes than California, I think I at least have a decent start.

Running a business is not all about taxes. To the best of my knowledge a different ball game here. You post about scraping funds and family. At 21 children are off your visa. You have to renew on regular intervals and proof your business is not only making a profit but you are living accordingly and the business is progressing. Renewals at country of origin. The waiting period for renewal almost bankrupted a friend of mine whose Christmas dinner was a can of beans.

Khalida.UNC :

American taxes are incredibly low, despite how often Americans complain about how high they are. The same is true of petrol prices. Yesterday, I saw that the local gas station is selling for one fourth of what I would pay in my country.

In general, yes, American taxes are low, but I think California stands out. At least people I know of that live there says so. But in any case, Norwegian taxes are higher still and much higher than the national average, as far as I have found out.

Petrol prices are ridiculously low compared with Norway now where the prices are at around 8.81 per gallon of gas...

Insurance is higher though, but that is offset by the lower taxes in most states.

twostep :

Running a business is not all about taxes. To the best of my knowledge a different ball game here. You post about scraping funds and family. At 21 children are off your visa. You have to renew on regular intervals and proof your business is not only making a profit but you are living accordingly and the business is progressing. Renewals at country of origin. The waiting period for renewal almost bankrupted a friend of mine whose Christmas dinner was a can of beans.

You are right that it's not all about taxes. There are a lot of variables you need to get right with a business. As per my investigations it should cost less to set up a business in USA compared with Norway, which is one of the most expensive countries on earth to live in, despite the myths to the contrary. Although I found that CPA and legal costs are about the same level, I would require more legal and CPA assistance in USA. That's definitely a factor to consider.

Considering I have experience starting a business in Norway, all my research indicates it's easier to get it off the ground in USA because of the difference in the marketplace. Norway is a strange country compared with USA and I find customer behavior to be different. Also the Norwegian market is only potentially 1.57% of the American market. And that's not including Canada.

About the E-2, according to my immigration lawyer, it should be possible to transition from an E-2 to an EB-5 while in USA.

E-2 renewals at country of origin, sure, that's true. That's an inconvenience I have to account for. Establishing my family on the east coast instead of the west coast would cut the travel costs almost in half.

Would and US immigration does not go together. Please do not trust an immigration attorney - verify!

EB5 is going up to 900k plus give or take 20% fees in TEA. Have you pulled up the currently available locations in TEA? Otherwise you will be looking at 1.8 plus fees. Rule of thumb - at risk means can you afford to lose it.

Khalida.UNC :
ae8262dfab :

I am running my own business, yes, but that's beside the point. If I can run a business in a country which has higher taxes than California, I think I at least have a decent start.

American taxes are incredibly low, despite how often Americans complain about how high they are. The same is true of petrol prices. Yesterday, I saw that the local gas station is selling for one fourth of what I would pay in my country.

Look at vehicles and distances in Norway versus the US outside a few metros. We lived in Dallas-Fort Worth which is one of the biggest metros in town and the nearest grocery store was 10 miles. Again, we live in a state capital and it is only 7 miles.

twostep :

Look at vehicles and distances in Norway versus the US outside a few metros. We lived in Dallas-Fort Worth which is one of the biggest metros in town and the nearest grocery store was 10 miles. Again, we live in a state capital and it is only 7 miles.

twostep, just curious; are you from Norway?
As you may know, Norway is a very long country. Outside of the 4-5 largest cities it's not uncommon to have to drive 12-24 miles just to get to the nearest gas station or grocery store. Traversing the two northern-most counties in Norway takes about 16 hours by car. In large parts of Norway, popping over to the neighbor can take like 1-2 hours by car.

My daily commute alone is 3 hours. An other thing in Norway is there is toll charges everywhere. In fact it's not uncommon to have to pay more in toll charges than for gas when going from one place to another.

Of course it's an entirely different thing to move to USA vs going there for vacation, and it is indeed a huge country, still I don't see it as that different when it comes to distances - of course that's just my opinion, I may be wrong.

Toll
We drove to NJ and back last week. Pennsylvania Turnpike alone was $72 toll. I did not keep up with the total. Gas was around 2k.

Norway
Growing up in Europe in an active sailing and skiing circle - Norway did not do anything for me. I am following the sun and the heat.

Distances
It is over an hour plus toll to the nearest (and absolutely great) hospital and we live in town. Commutes of over an hour one way are normal unless you work remote aka telefake. I think there is some public transportation around the various university districts. The only time I used it was while living in DC and it was all things but pleasant. It can take you hours even on beltways/city autobahns to make it through a city. Often there are no free roads. Try to drive through Kansas:) 12 lane turns into toll 4 lane at Kansas City limits with no sign of what is going to happen.

You need a plan. Taxes (Not sure who came up with the idea that taxes are low. Personally 30+% plus paying for our very good medical adds up.), gas are only part of the equation. For us the US worked out well but SO's skill sets are unusual. If you want to talk seriously about business and what is involved in the US - fine. But scrounging money for a business and then throwing EB5 out there is dreaming.
You understand that you are not eligible for any public services/assistance, medical/dental/vision insurance, ...

twostep :

We drove to NJ and back last week. Pennsylvania Turnpike alone was $72 toll. I did not keep up with the total. Gas was around 2k.

Gas was $2000 to drive from TX (which part?) to NJ and back?  Whoa.  What kind of car are you driving?


twostep :

Taxes (Not sure who came up with the idea that taxes are low. Personally 30+% plus paying for our very good medical adds up.),

Absolutely.  The 45% tax in Europe gives its residents free health care and free education.  Tax is lower in the States but good health care is not included (especially for business owners) and good education costs a whole lot more than an arm and a leg. 

My daughter, after 4 years undergrad and 3 years in an Ivy League law school, owes $485K in educational loan.  Her payment is $3500/m for 25 years.  Same goes for her husband.  Between the two of them, they owe almost $1 million in educational loan.  They will never be able to buy a house even with excellent salaries because the income-debt ratio is too high.  Where in Europe would two excellent lawyers (one is also a pro-tem judge) work 60 hrs/week, live paycheck to paycheck in a rented apartment (not upscale), and cannot afford a vacation but every other year?

ae8262dfab :

In general, yes, American taxes are low, but I think California stands out. At least people I know of that live there says so. But in any case, Norwegian taxes are higher still and much higher than the national average, as far as I have found out.

Petrol prices are ridiculously low compared with Norway now where the prices are at around 8.81 per gallon of gas...

Insurance is higher though, but that is offset by the lower taxes in most states.

Insurance prices could be far lower if they paid taxes. Americans would rather pay less in taxes and more for everything else. If the price of everything were higher than anywhere else in the world, they would be happy as long as their taxes were low. The British truly damaged their psyche with that tea tax.

twostep :
Khalida.UNC :

American taxes are incredibly low, despite how often Americans complain about how high they are. The same is true of petrol prices. Yesterday, I saw that the local gas station is selling for one fourth of what I would pay in my country.

Look at vehicles and distances in Norway versus the US outside a few metros. We lived in Dallas-Fort Worth which is one of the biggest metros in town and the nearest grocery store was 10 miles. Again, we live in a state capital and it is only 7 miles.

I am not sure I understand. Are you saying American companies set their prices lower because Americans drive more? That does not sound like American capitalism to me.

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