Founding a U.S. Startup & Getting a Work Visa
This is a guest post from our friends at Legalpad!
If your goal is to obtain a U.S. work visa, founding a U.S. company could help you get a visa. However, you'll likely have to do more than just start a company to qualify for a U.S. work visa.
Let's go into the specific ways that founding a U.S. startup might make it easier to get a U.S. work visa:
All U.S. work visas require a sponsoring company. If you don't have a U.S. company willing to sponsor your visa, starting your own company and sponsoring yourself can make it easier for you to get to the U.S.
Keep in mind: To avoid a visa denial, you'll need to establish an employer-employee relationship. Thankfully, a simple way to do this is to own less than 50% of the company's shares, or establish a Board of Directors.
2. Satisfying Visa-Specific Qualifications
Each work visa has unique qualifications. While there aren't any visas you'll automatically qualify for by starting a company, milestones you hit as a founder could satisfy visa qualifications.
Overview of the Best Work Visas for Startup Founders
The O-1A visa is the only visa with criteria that align with common startup founder accomplishments like raising venture capital funding and participating in accelerator programs. Meeting at least three of eight flexible criteria will secure you three years of work authorization with unlimited extensions.
If you have already founded a startup outside the U.S. and would like to expand operations to the U.S., the L-1 visa might fit. You can work in the U.S. for up to seven years if you qualify.
The best path forward will depend on your unique situation. You might find that getting a job at an existing U.S. company that sponsors visas may be easier than starting your own company. However, many entrepreneurs come to the U.S. on work visas each year. If you'd like to discuss your immigration case, contact our friends at Legalpad, who specialize in visas for startups.
Excerpt: Although founding an American company does not guarantee you a visa, it might make it a little easier to get one.
Confidently Launch your US Business and Open Bank Account in less than 10 minutes.Get Started Today →
We’ve got you covered! Book your free 10-minute consultation call today.Schedule Free Call →
Everything you need to know about LLCs, DAOs and How to 5x your revenue.Download For Free →