In this episode of Immigration Law for Tech Startups, I discuss the top seven most startup-friendly visas and green cards and what startup founders can and cannot do on each of them.
Unlike Canada, Australia, the U.K., and New Zealand, the United States does not have a startup visa. Congress attempted to create a startup visa through legislation in 2010, 2011, and 2013, but each effort failed. Shortly before leaving office, the Obama administration created the International Entrepreneur Rule through an executive order. After delaying the rule’s implementation, the Trump administration eliminated it, prompting a lawsuit from the National Venture Capital Association. In 2017, a federal district court ordered U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to implement the rule. The Trump administration filed a new proposal to end the rule in 2018, but never finalized the proposal. While not officially ended, the International Entrepreneur Rule has not been implemented.
In a report issued this year on startup visas, the National Foundation for American Policy estimated that if the U.S. had created a startup visa in 2016, it would have led to the creation of as many as 3.2 million jobs in the U.S. by 2026.
Even without a startup visa, startup founders have many ways to live and work in the U.S. The top seven options are:
- B-1 visa
- L-1A visa
- E-2 visa
- H-1B visa
- O-1A visa
- EB-1A green card
- EB-2 NIW green card
Please share this episode with any startup founders or entrepreneurs who can benefit from it. Reach out to us if we can help you determine your immigration options whether you’re in the U.S. or abroad.
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
- Which visas and green cards made it to the startup-friendly list and why
- The benefits and drawbacks of each visa and green card in the list
- Two unique H-1B hacks
- The best options for startup founders born in India or China
Don’t miss my conversations with top Silicon Valley venture capitalists, startup founders and experts, professors, futurists, and thought leaders on Immigration Law for Tech Startups. Subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever your favorite platform is. We appreciate your ratings and reviews.
Enroll in Alcorn’s Extraordinary Ability Bootcamp to learn the best practices for securing the O-1A visa, EB-1A green card, or the EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) green card—the top options for startup founders. Use promo code ILTS for 20% off the enrollment fee.
Get Alcorn’s Immigration Law for Tech Startups eBook
- Episode 3: The Different Types of Nonimmigrant Visas
- Episode 11: Your Startup’s First H-1B
- Episode 14: Visas & Green Cards Based on Past Accomplishments
- Episode 16: E-2 Visa for Founders and Employees
- Episode 28: All About Priority Dates
- Episode 30: H-1B Nitty Gritty #1: Transfers, Extensions, Amendments in Tech
- Episode 31: H-1B Nitty Gritty #2: H-1B Transfer for Startup Founders
- Episode 37: What is U.S. Startup Founder Immigration?
Alcorn Immigration Law’s Menu of Services page:
- B-1 Visa for Visitors for Business
- E-2 Visa for Treaty Investors
- H-1B Visa for Specialty Occupations
- L-1A Visa for Intracompany Transferee Managers and Executives
- O-1A Visa for Extraordinary Ability
- EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Green Card
- EB-2 NIW (Exceptional Ability with National Interest Waiver)
National Foundation for American Policy’s policy brief, “The International Experience of Startup Visas for Immigrant Entrepreneurs”