Igniters meetup: Immigration hacking solving immigration puzzle for foreign-born entrepreneurs

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Learn about Immigration issues for Startups from Sweta Khandelwal, one of the top immigration lawyer in the valley, awarded Top 40 Immigration Lawyers under 40 and Chair of the SCV Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association, the largest body of Immigration practitioners in the US. Put your Legal Hack on and learn what you need to get your billion dollar idea off the ground ! • Know how foreign born entrepreneurs and start-up business can stay in the United States, start and work for their company-without being deported! • How US business’ can hire and retain top notch foreign born talent. • Know about Entrepreneurial Visa Options: E-2, L-1, H-1B, and O-1 Visas and Investor Based Green Card Options: EB-5 Immigrant Visa Knowledge of US visa laws is critical to the success, continuance and growth of most Silicon Valley business’ and obtaining the correct visa is often the first hurdle faced by foreign founders. Until the archaic US immigration system is reformed, we have little choice except being creative in using old visas to suit new- age business. So let’s put our legal hack on!

Text of Igniters meetup: Immigration hacking solving immigration puzzle for foreign-born entrepreneurs

  • Igniters Meetup Immigration Hacking: Solving Immigration puzzle for foreign-born Entrepreneurs Sweta Khandelwal Sponsored by: Hosted by: www.vorkspace.com - Workspace of the Future
  • Welcome! Immigration Hacking: Solving Immigration Puzzle for Foreign-born Entrepreneurs Employment-based US Visas for founders, their start-ups and their employees February 21, 2014, Hacker Dojo, Mountain View 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
  • Introductions! Immigrant myself! Entrepreneur too! Owner/Principal Attorney- Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal Chair, Silicon Valley Chapter, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Advocacy & Media Co- Liaison, AILA-SCV Understanding of how US Immigration laws intersect with entrepreneurship Overview of various work visas that can be used by foreign entrepreneurs and their start-ups Appreciate how seemingly 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 in policy towards entrepreneurs Old Wine in a New Bottle-Old Laws, New Business Approach Potential Problem Creative & Customized no one size fits all options Be-proactive Stay Structure business accordingly Plan really ahead Lack of standardization in applying laws Laws Notes: Entrepreneurs in Residence Initiative have gray areas Best immigration decisions are usually not good for business (1) TBD (2) TBD Source: Source 1; Source 2; Source 3 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 all informed
  • 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
  • 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 Eees E-2 Notes: (1) TBD (2) TBD Source: Source 1; Source 2; Source 3 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
  • Non Immigrant/Temporary Visa Options Relatively easy, quick and economical! Type of visa 4 Inter-Co. Transfer L-1 Visa 5 6 Typical purpose/ applicability Existing foreign business can set up affiliated US business Eee employed by overseas business for at least 1 year out of the preceding 3 years Managers(L-1A) & Special. Knowledge workers (L-1B) Professional Worker H-1B Visa Used for Specialized Occupation workers Foreign National must have a Bachelors 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 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
  • Visitor Visas: B-1 & Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Who is eligible What it takes to succeed Temporary visitor for business Both B-1 & VWP to be used for limited purposes Negotiate contracts Attend meetings conferences Independent research VWP 37 participating countries Cannot change/ 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
  • 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's great? What sucks Great for start-upsincubator/accelerator No wage requirement Full time, part-time, multiple jobs Cap-Gap solved (H-1B) Nothing-Its 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
  • Visa for Investors & their Employees: E-2 Who is eligible What it takes to succeed Those from E-2 country listTreaty Nationals Treaty Nationals must own at least 50% of the business Treaty Nationals must control the enterprise FN can be Investor/ Exec./Manag./Special Know. IF FN is Investors - develop & direct the business Generally, all nationals must be from the same 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 Whats 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 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
  • 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 Spouse can work 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