Immigration Attorney for Tech Founders in Dallas, TX

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As hotbeds of innovation, founders from across the globe are drawn to Plano, Irving, and Oak Cliff as the home of their startups. At Alcorn Immigration, we work with tech founders to identify and respond to the unique immigration options and issues that startups face. To learn how we can put our skills, experience, and resources to work for you, consider connecting with an Alcorn immigration attorney for tech founders at (855) 546-0015 today.

O-1A Extraordinary Ability Founder Visa

The O-1A visa option was created for individuals with extraordinary ability in their field. Founders with an elite level of proficiency in their industry may find the O-1A option a valuable opportunity to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis. Software developers, emerging startup founders, and other professionals may qualify for this visa if they have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement and acclaim. 

What Are the O-1A Visa Requirements?

There are stringent evidentiary requirements that must be met in order to prove extraordinary ability and secure an O-1A visa. To obtain an O-1a visa, you must demonstrate national or international acclaim, which can be proven through the receipt of a major internationally recognized prize – like the Nobel Prize – or by providing evidence that you meet three of the eight O-1A evidentiary criteria.

While the O-1A visa requires an employer sponsor, many founders opt to apply to work at their own company. Our team of seasoned immigration attorneys for tech founders is well-versed in navigating this process. 

O-1A Visa Processes and Fees

To apply for the O-1A visa, the Form I-129, filing fee, and supporting paperwork are required. After the I-129 is filed, it will be processed at the appropriate Service Center. Processing times can be found on the USCIS website. O-1A visas have the option of Premium Processing, which will shorten the processing time to 15 business days. 

H-1B Transfers and Lottery for Executives & Founders

The H-1B visa is designed for executives and founders who work in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. This visa is a common choice for professionals in the IT, engineering, science, and mathematics sectors. Every year, 65,000 H-1B visas are granted using the lottery system, but with strategic planning, it is possible to bypass this system using cap-exempt employment. 

What Are the H-1B Visa Requirements?

The H-1B visa requires that the applicant has specialized knowledge and holds a bachelor’s degree or higher. Equivalent experience or training may also be accepted in place of a degree. Companies that employ H-1B workers must have a Labor Condition Application with true and accurate information. 

Many founders opt to have their own company act as the employer sponsor, but the USCIS will look to see the evidence of the employee-employer relationship. An immigration attorney for tech founders from Alcorn will understand how to navigate the complexities of this process and successfully apply for a self-sponsored entrepreneur H-1B visa. 

L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa

The L-1 intracompany transferee visa allows international companies to transfer executives, managers, and key employees with specialized knowledge to an affiliated branch in the U.S. or to establish a new branch in the U.S. if one does not exist. The L-1 visa is a popular option for companies that have been demonstrably operating in the United States and wish to send key employees to the U.S. to oversee operations, manage a project, or share knowledge intracompany. 

What Are the L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa Requirements?

The L-1 visa requires that both companies are linked by majority ownership, which can be demonstrated by proving that the foreign company owns at least 50% of the shares in the U.S. company, or vice versa. Alternatively, you may provide evidence that the U.S. company maintains a permanent establishment abroad, or vice versa. 

Only those who are working in a managerial or executive capacity – or know that is not commonly possessed by others in the industry – qualify to apply for the L-1 visa. Moreover, you must demonstrate that you have worked for your employer for a minimum of one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding the application. 

Additional Founder Visas

Citizens of qualifying treaty countries may apply for the E-1 treaty trader visa or E-2 treaty investor visa to carry on trade or develop a company in which they have invested substantial capital (e.g. cash, intellectual property, machinery, etc.). Unlike the L-1 visa, there is no requirement for the applicant to have worked for a foreign company for at least one year out of the past three, and there is no limit to the number of extensions an E visa holder can be granted.

B-1 & B-2 Business and Visitor Visas

Many founders opt for either the B-1 business visa or B-2 visitor visa, which are temporary visas allowing founders to pitch to investors, perform market research, attend conferences, and take part in startup accelerator programs. While these visas offer a high degree of flexibility, there are key restrictions prohibiting your ability to work and receive a salary from a U.S.-based company while on B-1 or B-2 status. 

Permanent Residence for Startup Founders

Permanent residence offers a longer-term solution to founders who are committed to growing and scaling their company in the United States. Due to its similar eligibility requirements and expedited processing timeline, EB-1A Green Card is a common option for current O-1A visa holders. The EB-1C Green Card, on the other hand, is a better fit for multinational executives and managers to transfer to a U.S. company on a permanent basis. If you meet the stringent requirements for procuring a National Interest Waiver, you can become a permanent resident through an EB-2 NIW Green Card

Legal Launch

The immigrant entrepreneurship journey is one riddled with economic potential and obstacles to success. Navigating the hurdles that founders face when forming their own companies is an uphill battle. We strive to ease the process by equipping you with the confidence and clarity you need to move forward with tact. We offer Legal Launch as a streamlined option to review your qualifications, establish your portfolio of accomplishments, and provide a recommended strategy for your next immigration steps.

How to Choose the Best Immigration Attorney for Tech Founders

The right immigration attorney for tech founders will empower you to make informed decisions that respect your entrepreneurial vision while accounting for the long-term goals you have for your company. It can be helpful to consider the following when choosing an immigration attorney to guide you through the visa application process: 

  • Are they compassionate and put your interests first?
  • Will they manage your case, so you do not have to?
  • Do they understand and relate to business- and tech-minded entrepreneurs? 
  • Are they knowledgeable, experienced, and able to help you navigate your way through tricky processes to win your right to freedom? 

About Sophie Alcorn

Sophie Alcorn is an author, podcast host, TechCrunch contributor, and Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. As the founder of Alcorn Immigration – the top-rated law firm in California for technology startups – she is dedicated to transcending borders, expanding opportunity, and connecting the world through the practice of visionary immigration law in service of the betterment of humanity.

The Alcorn Method

The Alcorn Method is our proven approach to securing consistent approvals for clients across a range of immigration matters. By reviewing your unique business objectives, your company’s growth trajectory, and potential obstacles to success, we will strategize a solution that aligns with your needs. Our team will work with you to prepare your case by gathering, organizing, and presenting all necessary documentation. We will then file your application according to the standards set forth by the USCIS and State Department. Once your case is approved, we will celebrate the win and guide you through the next steps.

Immigration Resources for Founders

We offer insight and expertise in a wide array of immigration matters. Check out our immigration resources for founders to gain clarity on the visa application process and ensure that you can move forward with confidence:

Accomplish, Together

At Alcorn Immigration, we develop innovative solutions to complex problems, going above and beyond to ensure our clients’ immigration needs are successfully met. When you work with an experienced Alcorn immigration attorney for tech founders, you can expect an immigration strategy that aligns with the goals of your business and prepares your company for longevity in U.S. markets. To accomplish, together, consider contacting our team at (855) 546-0015 today.