Policy · Foreign Cofounder

Looking to bring over a Foreign Co-Founder. What is the best way?

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

March 21st, 2013

We have a co-founder who has been working with us from Australia and as we raise funds we want to bring him over. We are looking for advice on ways to do this. We've researched into multiple VISAS, each one seemly more difficult than the next. What is the best way to bring him over? 

Luca

March 21st, 2013

The ideal is the O1 Visa for extraordinary abilities, it is obviously not easy to get. 

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=b9930b89284a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=b9930b89284a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD

If the company is already set up and you can pay a competitive salary you can try with the H1B. Everything depends on the amount of funding you have. 
 

David Crooke Serial entrepreneur and CTO

March 21st, 2013

O1 or EB1 is very hard to do. Some are very easy, e.g. TN-1. Depends on individual circumstances.

I had myself hired by a rent-a-desi H1-B sweatshop and hired myself from them as a 1099 contractor. 100% legal.

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

March 24th, 2013

I have kids, so that isn't really an option. We have just started looking for Angel investors and will flying back and forth all the time hold up during fundraising? I really want my team here in one place. They also want to be here. 

Ian Downes

March 21st, 2013

Have you considered the E-3 visa?

Luca

March 21st, 2013

I was about to add that I once heard of an Australian visa the E3, thanks Ian. 

Tony So Co-founder of Magnitude.io

March 21st, 2013

Consider EB5 if your cofounder want to have a green card too.

This program is designed to fast trak a foreign investor into the US for work and for permanent residency. The program is to help the US economy.

Here is the kicker: 

Cash investment to a US company from him/her.
This company needs to hire a minimum of 10 local (US citizen) for 2 years

More details here: 
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=facb83453d4a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=facb83453d4a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD

Good Luck!

Vishal PMP Experienced, Proven, Agile Product Development Leader - seamlessly bringing People, Product and Process together.

March 21st, 2013

Just a thought but if he is able to bring upto $1M to invest in your US business, he can apply for an EB-5 category green card. It requires your company hiring upto 10 US citizens - not sure if all this will be possible but it is an option. Ciao! Vishal

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

March 21st, 2013

Thank you. We are a pre-funded hardware/product design company that has been bootstrapping for about 1 year and now have projects to fund our efforts and R&D. As we move forward some of these options may be possible, but right now investment is out of the question. 

We've also looked into having a sponsor. The truth be told if he was just here for 1 month, we could have the people we need to raise a seed round and get him over for good. Kind of a chicken and egg thing (always the case).

Are there companies that sponsor entrepreneurs here in the city he could work with? 
At this time we are considering a  J1 and the E3 looks interesting as well. 

David Crooke Serial entrepreneur and CTO

March 21st, 2013

Bring him in for up to 90 days on a waiver (vacation visa) to raise funds, apply for body shop H1-B in parallel. Pay him via a legal entity in Oz.

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

March 21st, 2013

Known him and been friends for 8 years, he's been advising and working with us for free for a year. It's time to make it real.