Immigration Attorney for Tech Founders in Houston, TX

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Rice Village, Ion District, and Innovation Corridor are hotbeds of innovation, attracting founders from around the globe to establish and grow their companies in these Houston neighborhoods. At Alcorn Immigration, our team is uniquely equipped to provide tech founders with innovative immigration solutions to ensure sustainability in all phases of growth. To discuss your next steps, consider connecting with an immigration attorney for tech founders from Alcorn at (855) 546-0015 today.

O-1A Extraordinary Ability Founder Visa

If you have achieved national or international acclaim for your accomplishments, the O-1A extraordinary ability founder visa may be the ideal option for you. To secure this visa, you must prove that you have risen to the very top of your field. Software developers, emerging startup founders, and other professionals with extraordinary skills may qualify for this visa if they can provide evidence that they meet the stringent requirements set forth by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

What Are the O-1A Visa Requirements?

The USCIS sets forth specific evidentiary requirements that must be met to prove extraordinary ability. To secure an O-1A visa, you must provide evidence of three of the following criteria:

  • You have received nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards.
  • Membership in an association that requires outstanding achievements by their members.
  • Published material in major media sources.
  • Participation in a panel as a judge of the work of others.
  • Authorship of original scholarly work.
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or commercial contributions.
  • Employment in an essential capacity for organizations that have a distinguished reputation. 
  • Command of a high salary or remuneration for services.

The O-1A visa requires an employer sponsor, but many founders apply with their own companies. Our team of immigration attorneys for tech founders is well-versed in establishing the employer-employee relationship to allow entrepreneurs to qualify for the O-1A visa. 

O-1A Visa Processes and Fees

The Form I-129,  filing fee, and supporting paperwork are required to apply for the O-1A visa. Premium Processing is also available, which guarantees a decision within 15 business days. 

H-1B Transfers and Lottery for Executives & Founders

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

What Are the H-1B Visa Requirements?

The H-1B visa requires you to prove that you have specialized knowledge and hold a bachelor’s or higher degree in your field. You may substitute equivalent training or experience if you have not attained a degree in your field. Employer sponsorship and a Labor Condition Application are required for this visa. You may have your own company sponsor your application, however, as long as you can establish the employee-employer relationship.

L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa

The L-1 intracompany transferee visa allows a foreign company to send managers, executives, and employees with specialized knowledge to work at an affiliated branch in the U.S. or to establish a new office in the U.S. This visa is a common choice for multinational companies to transfer key employees to the U.S., allowing them to oversee operations, manage projects, or proliferate knowledge to maintain the business’s global presence.

What Are the L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa Requirements?

To apply for this visa, you or your employee must be transferring from a company abroad to a U.S. business that is related by at least 50% common ownership or control. The transferee must have worked for the foreign company for at least one continuous year within the 3 years immediately preceding the application. Finally, the transferee must work in a managerial or executive capacity or know that is not commonly possessed by others in the industry. To learn more about the requirements for the L-1 intracompany transferee visa, consider speaking with our team of seasoned immigration attorneys for tech founders

Additional Founder Visas

If you are a citizen of a qualifying treaty country and wish to engage in trade or grow a company in which you have invested substantial capital, the E-1 treaty trader visa or E-2 treaty investor visa may be the right fit. These visas are usually valid for five years with unlimited renewals and offer two-year stays.

B-1 & B-2 Business and Visitor Visas

The B-1 business visa and B-2 visitor visa are popular options for founders who want to travel to the U.S. to lease office space, raise venture capital, hold meetings with key stakeholders, and/or attend conferences. It should be noted that these visas are only available to entrepreneurs who will spend a short period of time in the U.S. for a defined business or recreational activity and that work is not authorized in these statuses. 

Permanent Residence for Startup Founders

Securing a Green Card offers a more permanent solution to startup founders who are committed to scaling their companies in the United States. The EB-1A Green Card is a popular choice for current O-1A visa holders due to its similar eligibility requirements and expedited processing timeline, while the EB-1C Green Card is ideal for multinational executives and managers. If you meet the National Interest Waiver criteria, the EB-2 NIW Green Card may be the ideal path given its relatively high approval rate and streamlined application process. 

Legal Launch

From cultural barriers and political roadblocks to market differences and shifts in consumer behavior, immigrant founders face unique challenges when establishing and scaling their companies in the U.S. We empower immigrant entrepreneurs to transform these challenges into success through careful planning, strategic advice, and action-oriented legal solutions. As such, we created Legal Launch, a streamlined, four-week program designed to provide 100% clarity on your qualifications and the right strategy for you to reach your immigration goals.

How to Choose the Best Immigration Attorney for Tech Founders

Hiring an experienced immigration attorney for tech founders can greatly increase the chances of a successful application. The right attorney will understand the nuances of the process, know firsthand how to navigate the complex and ever-evolving legal landscape and guide founders through every step while avoiding potential pitfalls. When selecting an immigration attorney, several factors should be considered, including their:

  • Experience, qualifications, and record of success in assisting tech founders with their immigration needs.
  • Responsiveness and ability to answer your questions in a timely manner.
  • Approach to immigration matters and their ability to create solutions based on your goals.

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, she has dedicated her legal practice to empowering tech founders in their journey to transcend borders and tap into new markets in the U.S. As a reflection of her passion and expertise, Alcorn Immigration has been rated a top law firm for technology startups.

The Alcorn Method

Our success is rooted in the Alcorn Method, our unique approach to providing innovative immigration solutions to tech founders looking to expand their companies in Houston. When you work with our team, you can expect to begin with a comprehensive review of your company and growth trajectory to strategize the right solution for your goals. We will then meticulously prepare your application, file your case according to the rules and regulations of the USCIS and State Department, and keep you up to date on all case developments. Finally, we will be excited to celebrate your win with you and work with you to navigate the next steps. 

Immigration Resources for Founders

Identifying the right immigration resources for founders is no easy feat, and it can be difficult to differentiate between fact and misinformation. To provide the most up-to-date, reliable information, we created a range of immigration resources for founders: 

Accomplish, Together

Alcorn Immigration is internationally recognized for providing the most creative and effective immigration solutions for tech founders and startups. An experienced Alcorn immigration attorney for tech founders will align your immigration strategy with the needs of your company and your long-term business goals. To accomplish, together, consider contacting our team at (855) 546-0015 today.