April 13, 2024

Right here’s one other version of “Ask Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at know-how corporations.

“Your questions are very important to the unfold of information that permits individuals everywhere in the world to rise above borders and pursue their desires,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration lawyer. “Whether or not you’re in individuals ops, a founder or in search of a job in Silicon Valley, I might like to answer your questions in my subsequent column.”

TechCrunch+ members obtain entry to weekly “Ask Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Pricey Sophie,

My co-founder and I launched a B2B SaaS startup in Poland just a few years in the past and are actually seeking to increase in the US for market entry since we’ve product market slot in just a few nations in Europe.

We actually must be on the bottom to interview our best customers within the U.S. What visas will permit us to do this?

— Aiming for America

Pricey Aiming,

Congrats on taking this subsequent large step ahead to develop your startup! I respect you reaching out for immigration steering. Organising your organization in the US is a invaluable basis to efficiently sponsor you, your co-founder, and different potential staff for visas or inexperienced playing cards, and it additionally makes buyers really feel extra snug investing in your organization. I like to recommend you seek the advice of each a startup company lawyer within the state the place you plan to find your organization and an immigration lawyer to help you in your efforts.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Picture Credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

Matteo Daste, a company lawyer, accomplice, and head of the Northern California Rising Firms and Enterprise Capital follow at world legislation agency Mayer Brown, recommends that worldwide founders spend a while on the bottom within the U.S. to get a way of the setting and alternatives earlier than shifting right here. I just lately chatted with Daste in regards to the challenges worldwide founders face within the U.S. He says he has seen an uptick within the variety of worldwide founders visiting the U.S. post-COVID-19 to kick the tires and launch their long-awaited enlargement and immigration plans.

Come for a go to!

If you wish to take Daste’s recommendation, you and your co-founder can get both a B-1 enterprise customer visa, which can allow you to remain for a minimum of six months, or an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) visa waiver, which allows residents from 40 nations (together with Poland) to remain for 90 days or much less with out first acquiring a visa. You should inform the U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP) officer while you arrive within the U.S. that you may be conducting enterprise throughout your keep right here. It is best to particularly request both a B-1 enterprise customer visa standing or if on ESTA, WB (waiver-business) standing. That may be actually essential!