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startupguy

Visa to co-found tech/computer company

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Filed: Timeline

Hello,

I received my bachelors degree in computer science in the states (F-1 visa), completed my OPT, and moved back to my home country.

Now I would like to get a work visa to co-found a tech startup with a colleague in the United States. Are there any visa options for that? The company is for-profit. My colleague and I would consider bringing me in as an employee, and he be a single founder, if that is the only way. Since it is not non-profit, we would be subjected to the H1B cap, and would have to wait until April 1st to apply for the lottery, correct? We are looking to get started before January 2011, though.

Are there other options? Reading up, it seems there are H-3 / J-1 Trainee visas. Would the founder be able to apply for one of these and bring me on as a trainee?

Theres also the O-1 visa, where I feel that I could make a strong case for my 'extraordinary talent' in my tech field, for which I've won awards and have created many published and acclaimed works in the computer sciences. This is appealing since I can pay an extra 1000 dollars to get an expedited response (hear back in two weeks).

Lastly there's the B-1 Visitor visa, but it seems the max duration is 6 months and it is very difficult to know whether you'll be able to get into the US since the border official determines everything on the spot.

Because the company is not yet formed, it is a bit malleable in how we create the company, and can make some changes based on the best way to get the visa.

Please let me know if I have other options and which one I have the best chance of being accepted.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: China
Timeline

Look at the E-5 visa. Need some $$ , but is easily do-able.

see http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1323.html#fifth for the quickie run-down.

Edited by Darnell

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
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I was thinking EB5 Investor Visa. Gets you a GC straight away.

I would have thought a H or L would be a long shot, maybe E2 if you are eligible and can configure it correctly. Good questions for an Immigration Lawyer.

B is for business, not working.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Filed: Timeline

I was thinking EB5 Investor Visa. Gets you a GC straight away.

I would have thought a H or L would be a long shot, maybe E2 if you are eligible and can configure it correctly. Good questions for an Immigration Lawyer.

B is for business, not working.

Thanks Boiler and Darnell!

This company will be a small bootstrapped tech company. My cofounder and I are not planning on hiring 10+ employees any time soon, nor getting investor funding soon (at least not within the year). We will not be able to invest over 100k so the EB5 is out of reach. We each will be putting our 'nest egg' into the company, which is less than 100k. The E2 looks like a wonderful chance. Anything else out there similar to an E2? (just so we know all our options) ?

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
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E2 is more than 100K

Are you Australian?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Filed: Timeline

E2 is more than 100K

Are you Australian?

Nope, not Australian.

And I read that the smaller the company the smaller the investment needed, especially since the investment will be 50% of the company, and my cofounder will contribute the other 50%.

Right now we are planning on putting in 30k each. Would that get by? This is a small computer-based content creation company, with plans to expand and hire US employees, as well as make profits over and above our living expenses.

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Filed: Timeline

Nope, not Australian.

And I read that the smaller the company the smaller the investment needed, especially since the investment will be 50% of the company, and my cofounder will contribute the other 50%.

Right now we are planning on putting in 30k each. Would that get by? This is a small computer-based content creation company, with plans to expand and hire US employees, as well as make profits over and above our living expenses.

And, here is some info on what exactly is a 'substantial investment'

http://e2visalawyer.net/substantial_investment.htm

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Filed: Timeline

And, here is some info on what exactly is a 'substantial investment'

http://e2visalawyer.net/substantial_investment.htm

Near the bottom:

"The lower the cost of the business the higher the percentage of qualifying investment is anticipated. Thus, investments of 100 percent would normally automatically qualify for a small business of $100,000 or less. Yet, a business of this size involving two equal partners or joint ventures may prove qualification for E2 investment visa status."

Maybe I'm being dull here, but what does this mean for two equal partners, and do I need to 'invest' all of my money before applying for the visa?

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
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http://www.investorvisausa.com/how_much.html

Your money needs to be committed, in ESCROW pending visa issue whatever.

It does vary from one Consulate to another, but the numbers on that site look very low. And with a start up you have your own expenses on top.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Filed: Country: China
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Right now we are planning on putting in 30k each. Would that get by? This is a small computer-based content creation company, with plans to expand and hire US employees, as well as make profits over and above our living expenses.

good thing you know the rules, because you will be booted if you fail to make a substantial profit and pay salaries above your own living expenses. you will have to hire USC or legal residents to do the work, and pay them as much as your effective salary in order to pass a review, when USCIS decides to review you.

if this is net based, why move to USA at all? everybody knows net service is better outside of USA. call me cynical...


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Filed: Timeline

good thing you know the rules, because you will be booted if you fail to make a substantial profit and pay salaries above your own living expenses. you will have to hire USC or legal residents to do the work, and pay them as much as your effective salary in order to pass a review, when USCIS decides to review you.

Review happens after the period for which you apply, not before thats up, right? They do understand that it takes time to make moneys in a startup tech company, right?

if this is net based, why move to USA at all? everybody knows net service is better outside of USA. call me cynical...

We both went to school together in US, and the other co-founder is already rooted in the US, with a wife. I want to come back to join forces with him and the time difference is too much to run a small startup like we are planning.

Edited by startupguy

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Nigeria
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There are a lot of technical people that have 30k and a friend in the US. If it were easy to get the visa, half of Nigeria and India would already be here with "tech start up companies" That is why they impose all the additional conditions.


This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
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Review happens after the period for which you apply, not before thats up, right? They do understand that it takes time to make moneys in a startup tech company, right?

We both went to school together in US, and the other co-founder is already rooted in the US, with a wife. I want to come back to join forces with him and the time difference is too much to run a small startup like we are planning.

Basically you need the money for the substantial investment and the business plan.

Usually the initial visa will be issued for 2 years, the review may be more interesting after this.

But at least you are not looking a pool cleaning in Florida.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Filed: Timeline

Basically you need the money for the substantial investment and the business plan.

Usually the initial visa will be issued for 2 years, the review may be more interesting after this.

But at least you are not looking a pool cleaning in Florida.

Yeah, seriously, how many Florida pool cleaners can you possibly have? Is that some kind of new front for the mafia? :)

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Filed: Country: China
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Review happens after the period for which you apply, not before thats up, right? They do understand that it takes time to make moneys in a startup tech company, right?

review happens whenever they want it to.

We both went to school together in US, and the other co-founder is already rooted in the US, with a wife. I want to come back to join forces with him and the time difference is too much to run a small startup like we are planning.

too bad you didn't marry an American girl, like he did.


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