Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Right here’s one other version of “Expensive Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at know-how firms.

“Your questions are very important to the unfold of data that permits individuals all around the world to rise above borders and pursue their desires,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration legal professional. “Whether or not you’re in individuals ops, a founder or in search of a job in Silicon Valley, I might like to reply your questions in my subsequent column.”

TechCrunch+ members obtain entry to weekly “Expensive Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Expensive Sophie,

I lived and labored in the USA on an L-1B for a 12 months, after which modified to an H-1B for two.5 years earlier than I moved again to India (the place I’m a citizen) and based a startup.

Now I need to return to the U.S. to boost funds for my startup. What are my choices for returning to the U.S. as a founder?

— Quick-Transferring Founder

Expensive Quick-Transferring,

Congratulations on launching your personal enterprise and making the transfer to leap again to the States to broaden your startup and safe traders! I like to recommend working with an immigration legal professional to find out the very best choices based mostly in your long-term objectives, in addition to a company legal professional to debate the very best construction on your startup’s U.S. entity to make it engaging to traders. Most U.S. traders favor to spend money on a mother or father firm based mostly within the U.S. that’s a Delaware C company.

Relying on which non-immigrant visa you pursue, you could possibly keep away from having to undergo an in-person consular interview by means of the tip of this 12 months because you went by means of the interview course of on your L-1B intracompany transferee specialised information employee visa. The U.S. Division of State prolonged the visa interview waiver program till the tip of this 12 months. Consular officers have the discretion to waive the visa interview requirement for sure work visas just like the O-1A and H-1B if the beneficiary was beforehand issued a visa and has by no means been refused one. Sadly, the interview can’t be waived for the L-1 visa.

You could have a couple of visa choices to return to the U.S. as a founder, so let’s dive in!

Picture Credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a brand new window)

B-1 visa

If you wish to arrange your startup’s U.S. entity, discover workplace house, or meet with potential traders, you are able to do that on a B-1 customer visa for enterprise. The B-1 will allow you to enter the U.S. and keep for as much as six months. Nevertheless, you can not do any work whereas on a B-1. Your immigration legal professional can inform you what actions are allowed.

Whenever you arrive within the U.S., be ready that the U.S. Customs and Border Safety officer on the airport might ask you what enterprise actions you propose to do throughout your keep.

Whilst you’re within the U.S. on a B-1 you may change your standing to one of many visas beneath with out leaving the U.S.

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