Following up on my post from nearly two years ago, the Department of Homeland Security has finally released details of the plan to use its “parole” authority to admit promising startup founders and their families. Although I have not yet had time to thoroughly review the 155-page document, here are a few preliminary highlights: [Read more…]
As discussed in detail in the prior post, the E2 visa is a great option for founders from certain countries who have invested their own money into the initial operations of the company. After establishing that they might qualify, the next question is always “how much do I have to invest?”
There is a common misconception among potential E2 applicants that $100,000 is the minimum. This is a myth, completely unfounded in law. Unlike the EB5 Investor Green Card, which requires a specific investment amount, there is no set amount of investment that needs to be made for an E2 visa. Really.
Instead, the amount of investment required is defined [Read more…]
The E2 Investor Visa can be an excellent way for early-stage bootstrapped startups to hack a startup visa. The pros: it’s available year-round, renewable indefinitely, open to majority or sole owners, and frequently granted to companies that can show a strong business plan, even it they aren’t in full-swing operations yet. The cons: it’s only available to citizens of certain countries (China, India, and Brazil aren’t on the list) and it must be initially financed with money coming from citizens of that same country (as opposed to US angel or VC funding).
There are two ways to qualify for an E2 visa: 1) as the principal investor, and 2) as an employee. In this post, I’ll explain the requirements for the principal investor route. The “principal” investor [Read more…]
Yes. Even an early stage startup with just one or two employees can sponsor an H1b visa. You can be sure, however, that the application is going to get significantly more scrutiny than an application filed by a large, established company. When a startup sponsors and H1b visa, these are the areas of the application that need to be especially well-documented: [Read more…]
This evening President Obama announced a number of immigration reforms that will be enacted through executive action. Two of these are especially exciting for startup founders.
First, the President indicates that USCIS will issue guidance clarifying how the existing “national interest waiver” currently available for EB-2 green card application can be used for startup founders. EB-2 green cards are currently available for workers who have advanced degrees or exceptional ability in their field of work. Normally, to obtain an EB-2 green card, a person has to have a job offer at a company willing to go through the expensive and time consuming process of proving to the government that there are no available US workers to fill the petition.
With the national interest waiver, however, [Read more…]