Us visa options for foreign entrepreneurs

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This presentation explains the US Work Visas that are available to foreign born entrepreneurs. The case study illustrates practical examples.

This presentation explains the US Work Visas that are available to foreign born entrepreneurs. The case study illustrates practical examples.

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  • 1. Introductions! • Immigrant myself! • Owner/Principal Attorney- Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal based in the Bay Area • Chair, Silicon Valley, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) • Advocacy & Media Liaison, AILA • “Top 40 under 40” Immigration Attorneys in CA • Understanding of how US Immigration laws intersect with entrepreneurship • Overview of various work visas that can be used by foreign entrepreneurs and start-ups • Appreciate how seeming small changes in fact patters can effect available visa options 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 0 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 2. Welcome! Employment Based US Visas for Entrepreneurs, Startups, and Small Businesses Capital Factory, Austin, TX January 21st 2014 Sweta Khandelwal Principal Attorney Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 1 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 3. Disclaimer This presentation is not intended to give legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. It is geared to help participants get a basic understanding on how immigration law and practice intersect with entrepreneurship. 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 2 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 4. Agenda/ Roadmap • Importance of Immigration • Key non-immigrant work visas (NIV) or temporary visas • Key immigrant work visas (IV) or permanent visas or Green Cards • Case Study: Apply elements to potential scenarios 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 3 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 5. Entrepreneurs, Start-ups & Immigration Why is knowledge of US Visas critical to foreign entrepreneurs? Description Area • Why Immigration 25% of high-tech companies founded between 19952005 had at least one immigrant founder – Founders on right visa to ensure continuity of the company – Able to hire top global talent • Get creative • Explore USCIS & Entrepreneurs • – Shift – Old • Approach Potential Problem Wine in a New Bottle-Old Laws, New Business Creative & Customized – no one size fits all • Be-proactive • Stay business accordingly – Plan really ahead • Lack of standardization in applying laws – Laws have “gray areas” Best immigration decisions are usually not good for business (1) TBD (2) TBD Source: Source 1; Source 2; Source 3 4 in policy towards entrepreneurs options – Structure • Notes: Entrepreneurs in Residence Initiative 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential all informed
  • 6. Agenda/ Roadmap • Importance of Immigration • Key Non-immigrant work visas • Key Immigrant Work Visas • Case Study: Apply elements to potential scenarios 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 5 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 7. Non Immigrant/Temporary Visa Options Relatively easy, quick and economical! Typical purpose/ applicability Type of visa 1 2 Visitors B-1& Visa Waiver Program Students F-1 & OPT 3 Investors & their E’ees E-2 Notes: (1) TBD (2) TBD Source: Source 1; Source 2; Source 3 6 • • • • Useful in the preliminary stages Limited purpose No employment in the US No remuneration • • • Practical training- up to 12 months; +17 (STEM) Full time & Part-time; multiple jobs Not No minimum wage required applicable for India and China Available to Treaty Nationals (TN) Investor or Managers or Critical Employee At least 50% of business must be owned by TN Business must be controlled by TN • • • • 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 8. Non Immigrant/Temporary Visa Options Relatively easy, quick and economical! Type of visa 4 Inter-Co. Transfer L-1 Visa • • • 5 6 Professional Worker H-1B Visa • • • Used for “Specialized Occupation” workers Foreign National must have a Bachelor’s Degree Only NIV for US Companies! Extra-ordinary Ability O-1 Visa • Available for people in the arts, sciences or business who are at the “top of their fields” Must meet at least 3 criterion prescribed in law Notes: (1) TBD (2) TBD Source: Source 1; Source 2; Source 3 7 Typical purpose/ applicability Existing foreign business can set up “affiliated” US business E’ee employed by overseas business for at least 1 year out of the preceding 3 years Managers(L-1A) & Special. Knowledge workers (L-1B) • 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 9. Visitor Visas: B-1 & Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Who is eligible Temporary visitor for business What it takes to succeed Both B-1 & VWP to be used for limited purposes • Negotiate contracts • Attend meetings conferences • Independent research VWP • 37 participating countries • Cannot change or adjust status • 90 Day Limit • Can still apply for B-1    Must demonstrate non-immigrant intent Cannot be employed in the US No remuneration to be received What sucks What's great?  Convenient, economical  Quick process  Great during early/planning stages  Law unclear as to what activities are permitted and what are not  No appeal against denial-must reapply 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 8 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 10. Student Visa: F-1 & OPT Who is eligible What it takes to succeed  Those who are studying full time (Grad. Undergrad. Ph.D. in accredited schools  Generally, no employment while student is in school  Up to 12 months of training/work permit after completion of program  17 additional months for STEM graduates  STEM only for E-Verified Companies  Completion of your academic program!  Importance of accredited/reputed schools  Cannot be out of job for more than 90 days during OPT period  STEM extension must be timely applied What sucks What's great?  Great for start-upsincubator/accelerator  No wage requirement  Full time, part-time, multiple jobs  Cap-Gap solved  Nothing-It’s a great option!  Limited duration-29 months max; must then move to another visa  Timing issues 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 9 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 11. Visa for Investors & their Employees: E-2 Who is eligible What it takes to succeed  Those from E-2 country listTreaty Nationals  Investors who develop & direct the US Company  Executive/Manager/Critical Employees/Special. Know  Treaty Nationals must own at least 50% of the business  Generally, all nationals must be from the same Treaty country  If 2 nationalities involved, both must have equal ownership & control       Investment that is “at risk”-irrevocably committed Business is substantial; more than marginal return Great business plan required Source of funds must be legitimate-gifts, salary, o.k Money could have been earned in US or abroad Loans-only those secured by personal assets What’s Great? What sucks  No high threshold investment$  Can use intangible assets if properly valued  Spouse of E-2 can work  Problem with VC fundingcontrol/ownership  No set min. $ investmentunclear  No immigrant intent-no path towards GC G 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 10 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 12. Inter-Company Transfer: L-1 Visa Who is eligible What it takes to succeed  Foreign business can set up an “affiliated” US business  Affiliate relationship defined in law  FN must be employed by the overseas company for at least 1 yr. in the preceding 3 years  Both owner/employee may be eligible  New Office vs. Established Office  Eligibility requirements critical  Both Foreign and US Company must be in business  Evidence of relationship between the two companies to be extensively documented What sucks What's great?     Great for overseas co. No min. salary reqd. No fixed no. of visas CEO can spend time in US and home country  GC for L-1A-EB-1  L-1A for owners & small business is tougher  New Office L-1 req.  Proving 1 year employment when no salary 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 11 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 13. Specialty Occupation Visa: H-1B TN Visa-Professionals Canadians & Mexicans-no self employment What it takes to succeed Who is eligible  Visa for Professionals  Position must be a specialty occupation  Foreign National must have a Bachelor’s Degree  Visa tied to the sponsor company  An organization structure that establishes an employer/employee relationship b/w US business & Foreign National (FN)  Proof that there is enough work/specialty occupation for the duration of the petition  A great story! What sucks What's great?   Once FN is on H-1B, can change between employers with relative ease Part-time and full time  Limited visas-Quota  For founders, e’er/e’ee relationship is hard  Specialty occupation for founders is a challenge  Minimum salary-high 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 12 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 14. Visa for Extra-Ordinary Ability: O-1 Visa Who is eligible  An individual who has extra-ordinary ability in the arts, sciences and business What it takes to succeed • • • • • •  Sustained national/international acclaim  Distinction in the field National/Internationally recognized award Membership in assoc. in the field based on ability Published material in trade journal or other media Judging the work of others Scholarly articles in the field; original contribution Prestigious org., critical capacity, high salary What’s great?  Visa focus on person, as opposed to company  Must show that FN meets at least 3 of the eligibility criterion      No Quota No restriction on salary Renewed indefinitely A path to GC-EB-1 Room for creative lawyering! What sucks   Burden of proof is high Not everyone can qualify 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 13 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 15. Agenda/ Roadmap • Importance of Immigration • Key Non-immigrant work visas • Key Immigrant Work Visas • Case Study: Apply elements to potential scenarios 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 14 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 16. Immigrant/Permanent Visa Options Challenging, time consuming, and expensive! Type of visa  1 EB-1 Eligibility requirements Three categories; two relevant here Extraordinary Ability Workers –O-1?  2  Multinational Executive & Managers-L-1? EB-5 Notes: (1) TBD (2) TBD Source: Source 1; Source 2; Source 3 15 Not really useful for entrepreneurs Investor based GC  Investment must meet all established criterion  3   EB-2/EB-3 $500,000-$1,000,000 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 17. Employment Based Immigrant Visa: EB-1 Who is Eligible What it takes to succeed Available to three groups:  Extraordinary Ability (similar to O visa);  Multinational Exec./Man. (relevant for those on L-1A visas);  Extraordinary Ability-outstanding achievers  Multinational Executives& Managers-L-1A-must show that FN has managerial duties and supervises over professionals  No Labor Cert. required   Burden of Proof –highhigher than NIV For Extr. Ability no employer is required   Professors and Researchers What sucks What's great? Visa Bulletin is current-India & China 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 16 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 18. Employment Based Immigrant Visa: EB-52  AnyWho is Eligibleto investor willing  invest at least $1 million of their own funds; or $500,000 if investment is in a TEA  Investment must be in a New Commercial Enterprise  The business must employ at least 10 US workers full time  Investor must be involved in day to day management of the company  Conditional GC issued for 2 years What it takes to succeed      Demonstrate the source of funds-own and legit Two years to show that all conditions have been met A comprehensive business plan required Loans o.k so long as secured by personal assets Investment must be “at risk” What's great?  Model not suitable for Investor gets Green entrepreneurs Card for entire family  $500,000 Invest. can me  Requires investment of own money in business made in Regional Centers while investor works on his/her own business  3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 17 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. What sucks HP Confidential
  • 19. Agenda/ Roadmap • Importance of Immigration • Key Non-immigrant work visas • Key Immigrant Work Visas • Case Study: Apply elements to potential scenarios 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 18 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 20. Launching a cool mobile payments business in France Clemente – French Application Developer Par Excellence • Bachelors Engineering- wants to do an MBA in the US Moracio– Italian Brillianto Hacker • No formal degree in EngineeringWants to get one in the US Jean Paul– French Technologist with business mindset • Bachelors degree in Engineering; considering a Master’s Status of their start-up  Working on an IPhone/Android app. that they claim will revolutionize the way handheld devices are used to make payments  Bootstrap efforts /money to create a beta version  Incorporate a business entity in France 19 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 21. Successful Trip to the US Win hackathon  Clemente and Moracio enter the US on the Visa Waiver Program  Participate and win $100000 in the grand hackathon-Can they?  Incorporate a company in the US- Should they? Meet some people “Keen on the business- tell me more” Santiago Mexicano: Eng. graduate looking for a job Chong: Chinese PhD student 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 20 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential “Have contacts with VC : Can I help” Dr. Daring Chong’s advisor and USC
  • 22. Decisions to be made Best for Business vs. Best for Immigration     Structure: Who will be CEO Investment: How little/much can we invest ? Funding: Can we get VCs to show interest ? School: Can we go to Grad/ MBA school? Can we work in the business while at school?  Payouts: Salary ? Dividend? None?  Business continuity: someone in France to manage? Travel between US and France? 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 21 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 23. Scenario 1: Trio do not invest own $ in the business This is what they do Clemente – Application Developer ; goes for MBA Moracio–Italian Brillianto Hacker thinks school not worth it! Jean Paul–French Technologist with business mindset comes to the US to meet VCs and gets Dr. Daring-USC on BOD –VC What are available visa options? Clemente     No Change of Status from VWP to other NIV F-1; 12 months OPT; then Choice: O-1 vs. H-1B OPT then H-1B • Cap/Gap What about • Quota the E-2? Moracio  O-1-CEO? Jean Paul  B-1 or VWP for now  H-1B Santiago  May work on TN Problems with H-1B? Remember-H-1B must be paid a certain salary 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 22 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 24. Scenario 1: Trio do not invest own $ in What about the E-2-now that we have VC? the business But they do things differently Now, What are available visa options? Clemente – Application Developer drops plan for school Moracio–Italian Brillianto Hacker decides to opt for formal education Jean Paul–French Technologist with business mindset manage the business from France-gets French VC 1. Moracio  Can’t join co. unless finishes school (Eng.)  After school, 29 months OPT 2. Clemente  Can be an E-2 employee as long as 50% co. owned by French nationals  Moracio can work on OPT & have a minor stake in the company Problem with dual nationality if Moracio wants to come in on E-2; H-1B better? 3. Jean Paul  Can come on E-2  L-1 after at least a year so long as French entity is active and “affiliated” with US co. 4. Santiago  May work on TN 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 23 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 25. Scenario 2: Trio do invest own $ in the business This is what they do Clemente – Application Developer $ Moracio–Italian Brillianto Hacker $$ Jean Paul–French Technologist with business mindset $ What are available visa options? 1. E-2 for all So long as business in owned and controlled equally by nationals of both Treaty countries 2. H-1B for any Will benefit if at least 1 USC on BOD; and H-1B holder does not have majority stake 3. O-1 for Clemente & Moracio Possible. O-1 focused on individual more than company 4. Jean Paul L-1 after a year; may shuttle b/w US & France so long as majority work/time in US In all scenarios Santiago may work on TN 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 24 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential
  • 26. It’s not the end! There is a ton of useful stuff still available-here’s where & how • To win a 45 minutes free consultation (valid for the next 6 months), drop your business card and participate in a raffle! • Visit my website at www.khandelwalaw.com. It has relevant and practical insights, informational video’s, FAQ’s, and more. • For specific questions about your case, email me at sweta@khandelwalaw.com • Contact details are also available by scanning the QR code below: 3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130 Santa Clara CA 95054 P: 001 408 200 0972 C: 001 408 505 2065 Fax: 001 408 624 4527 Email: sweta@khandelwalaw.com Web: www.khandelwalaw.com 25 © Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP Confidential