Lawyer · Visas

Visas for Co-founders?

Eugene Gekhter CEO, Memorable. Founder, SharePay.

September 12th, 2014

After showing my beta app to a friend who's raised a Series B in SV, he seriously suggested that I apply for Y Combinator as he thinks we have a really strong chance. The other key developer on the project who I would want to come along as co-founder, lives in Poland. The W15 3 month program for Y Combinator starts in January, with interviews in November.
Any advice on how to secure a Visa for my co-founder for both the visit in November and for 3 months at the beginning of 2015, as well as for his wife?

Cecilia Domenighini Marketing

September 12th, 2014

The visa requirement sucks a lot! Hopefully they're going to change it soon. As your co-founder is Polish, I think he can apply for the B1 visa (Visitor for Business) which can be up to 6 months. A sneaky way would be the ESTA, but it is too risky. YC didn't advise you? If not, get in touch with a lawyer. For the wife, I guess the ESTA (up to 3months) is the only solution.

Eugene Gekhter CEO, Memorable. Founder, SharePay.

September 12th, 2014

Thanks Cecilia. I ended up finding this conversation on Hacker News which has some good accounts about foreign founders participating. The ESTA is a good tip for his spouse, thanks again!

Trevor Wright Founding Partner at Dragon Garden Angel Investments

September 24th, 2014

Eugene,
I've never done this for my businesses.  However, when dealing with any regulated government bureaucracy it would be very beneficial to have the help of a pro that knows the system.  A recommendation for a pro is Mary Jane Weaver that specializes in business immigration law.  I have not used Mary Jane but she helped point me in the right direction on another immigration related issue. 

http://www.wsmimmigration.com/mary-jane-weaver/
http://www.wsmimmigration.com/our-firm/