May 28, 2022

Here is another version From the “Dear Sophie” advice column, answering immigration questions about working in tech companies.

“Your questions are vital to spreading the knowledge that enables people around the world to rise above boundaries and achieve their dreams,” said Silicon Valley immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn. “Whether you work for People Ops, are a founder, or are looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’ll be happy to answer your questions in my next column.”

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dear Sophie,

I live in India and run a startup here, but most of my clients are based in the United States. I also have Delaware C Corp, which we founded before the pandemic. We have three full-time contractors doing business development and sales in the US and I still have a valid B-1/B-2 visitor visa.

As my business continues to grow, I am considering moving to the US with my family and buying a house. What are my best options?

Fearless in India

dear fearless,

Now is the perfect time for international startup founders like you to move to the United States! Most US regions are easing pandemic-related restrictions, and the US government is more open to immigration of startup founders, especially in STEM fields. Some consulates are also waiving visa interviews until the end of this year. Also, if you register now, you can avoid potential increases in USCIS fees. I covered these exciting updates and changes in a recent podcast.

As always, I recommend that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can advise you based on your specific circumstances and goals for you and your family. Do you have a co-founder? Does your spouse have to work for you to buy a house in the US? These are important conversations with your immigration lawyer.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently reported that their business had over 8 million backlogs by the end of 2021, so it’s important to consider allowing premium processing to get your main petition processed faster.

Because you have a B-1/B-2 visitor visa – assuming you ever visit the US. You have not been denied a visa – Consular officers may miss your in-person interview for an L-1A or O-1A visa at the US Embassy. Or the consulate, which can save you a lot of time considering immigration debt.

Composite image of immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn with the gaming-updates logo in the background.

image credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (Opens in a new window)

Visa L-1A

The L-1A visa for an executive or manager of an internal corporate recipient is a great option for international entrepreneurs. In addition, the L-1A allows you to obtain an EB-1C green card and your spouse is eligible to apply for a work permit as an L-1A dependent.

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