Immigration Attorneys for Tech Founders at Austin, TX

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Startups require agile, innovative immigration solutions to ensure sustainability through all phases of growth. At Alcorn Immigration, our team is uniquely equipped to assist tech founders with their immigration needs in Silicon Hills, NW Austin, and Round Rock. To learn more about your options, consider connecting with our team of immigration attorneys for tech founders at (855) 546-0015 today.

O-1A Extraordinary Ability Founder Visa

The O-1A extraordinary ability founder visa is reserved for professionals who are nationally or internationally acclaimed in their field. To secure this visa, you must prove that you have garnered recognition for your accomplishments and meet the requirements set forth by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

What Are the Benefits of the O-1A Visa?

The O-1A visa is a common option for entrepreneurs working in the technology sector, and for good reason. Some of the key advantages of the O-1A visa include:

  • No annual quota
  • Faster processing times
  • Less likely to be subject to changes in visa rules
  • Indefinite renewals 

This founder-friendly visa is an excellent path to employment-based immigration through the EB-1A visa. Our team of seasoned immigration attorneys for tech founders will work with you to navigate this process, assemble all necessary evidentiary requirements to prove your extraordinary ability, and ultimately ensure success. 

What Are the O-1A Visa Requirements?

You must satisfy certain evidentiary requirements in order to secure an O-1A extraordinary ability founder visa. Specifically, you must provide evidence that you meet three or more 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.

While the O-1A visa requires an employer sponsor to file the application on your behalf, many tech founders use their own company as the petitioner. The O-1A visa requires that you own 49% equity in your company or have an odd number of directors on the Board to ensure that you can be fired. You may also be required to submit a business plan as part of your application.

O-1A Visa Processes and Fees

To apply for the O-1A visa, you must submit the I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, along with the filing fee and supporting paperwork. The USCIS will look to see documentation establishing the employer-employee relationship, proof of your extraordinary ability, and information about your previous visits to the United States. Premium Processing is available to ensure that adjudicative action will be taken 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 specialty occupations – meaning positions that require theoretical or technical expertise in a specialized field. Commonly, this includes positions in domains like IT, engineering, mathematics, and science. 65,000 of these work visas are granted every year, typically using the lottery system, but it is possible to bypass this randomized selection through careful and strategic planning. As immigration attorneys for tech founders, we strive to empower our clients with the confidence and preparation required to navigate this complex application process and increase their chances of success.

What Are the H-1B Visa Requirements?

In addition to having specialized knowledge in your field, you must also prove that you hold a bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation. If you do not have a degree, relevant training and/or experience that is equivalent to the attainment of a degree may be substituted. It should also be noted that a Labor Condition Application is required for the H-1B visa. 

L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa

The L-1 intracompany transferee visa provides the opportunity for founders, executives, or their key employees to establish a new office in the United States. This visa allows a business to transfer key employees among an international group of companies. 

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 related U.S. business. The companies must be related by at least 50% common ownership or control. Moreover, the transferee must serve in either an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity within the organization. To learn more about the requirements for this visa, consider speaking with our team of experienced immigration attorneys for tech founders

Additional Founder Visas

The E-1 treaty trader visa and E-2 treaty investor visa are available for citizens of qualifying treaty countries. These founder visas may be an ideal option if you want to travel to the U.S. to engage in trade or to grow a company in which you have invested substantial capital (e.g. cash, intellectual property, machinery, etc.). These visas are often valid for five years with two-year stays and unlimited extensions. 

B-1 & B-2 Business and Visitor Visas

Tech founders who wish to travel to the U.S. to secure office space, conduct business meetings with stakeholders, or negotiate angel or VC funding may find the B-1 business visa or B-2 visitor visa useful. These visas are designed for short-term travel and do not permit the holder to manage their business in the United States. 

Permanent Residence for Startup Founders

Founders who want to remain in the United States long-term and expand their company into new markets may seek permanent residence. The EB-1A Green Card is a common option for current O-1A visa holders, 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 right fit for you due to its comparatively high approval rate and streamlined application process. 

Legal Launch

Founders face unique challenges when it comes to establishing and scaling their companies in the U.S. To provide a sense of confidence and clarity to founders who are embarking on the immigration journey, we created Legal Launch – a four-week process designed to provide tailored attorney advice and concierge service to move forward rapidly with your visa application.  

How to Choose the Best Immigration Attorney for Founders

The quality of your team has a substantial impact on the success of your company, and choosing the right immigration attorney for tech founders is critical to your business’s sustainability, profitability, and scalability. When selecting an attorney, consider the breadth of their experience and their level of engagement. Can they relate to business and tech-minded entrepreneurs? Will they manage your case, so you do not have to? Are they response and solution-oriented? 

About Sophie Alcorn

Author, podcast host, TechCrunch contributor, and Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, Sophie Alcorn is the Founder and CEO of Alcorn Immigration. She has spent over a decade empowering entrepreneurs to transcend borders and reach new markets in the U.S. As a reflection of her passion and expertise, Alcorn Immigration has been rated as a top law firm in California for technology startups.

The Alcorn Method

Founded as a small business focused on innovation and opportunity, Alcorn Immigration has since grown into a nationally recognized, award-winning firm with offices across the country. This success is rooted in our unique approach to tech founder immigration:  

  • Strategize. General information will only get you so far. Our team will review your business objectives, personal goals, and long-term plans to tailor an immigration strategy to match. 
  • Prepare. We will meticulously prepare your case, ensuring that the required documentation is organized and presented appropriately. 
  • File. Our team will file your case according to the rules and regulations of the USCIS and State Department to avoid potential pitfalls in the process. 
  • Win, so you can establish and scale your company in the U.S.

Immigration Resources for Founders

We prioritize accessible knowledge and education for entrepreneurs, and offer a range of immigration resources for founders, including:  

Accomplish, Together

By guiding and supporting motivated entrepreneurs through the process of establishing and scaling their startup in the United States – and attracting the world’s top talent – we put our vision of “accomplish, together” into action. To develop your strategic legal approach and maximize your chances of success, consider contacting our team of immigration attorneys for tech founders at (855) 546-0015 today.