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Looking to bring over a Foreign Co-Founder. What is the best way?

We have a co-founder who has been working with us from Australia and as we raise funds we want to bring him over. We are looking for advice on ways to do this. We've researched into multiple VISAS, each one seemly more difficult than the next. What is the best way to bring him over?

16 Replies

Luca Columbu
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Luca Columbu Entrepreneur
Director of Mobile Product and iOS at Lover.ly
The ideal is the O1 Visa for extraordinaryabilities, it is obviously not easy to get.

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=b9930b89284a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=b9930b89284a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD

If the company is already set up and you can pay a competitive salary you can try with the H1B. Everything depends on the amount of funding you have.
Ian Downes
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Ian Downes Entrepreneur
Have you considered the E-3 visa?
Luca Columbu
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Luca Columbu Entrepreneur
Director of Mobile Product and iOS at Lover.ly
I was about to add that I once heard of an Australian visa the E3, thanks Ian.
David Crooke
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David Crooke Entrepreneur
Serial entrepreneur and CTO
O1 or EB1 is very hard to do. Some are very easy, e.g. TN-1. Depends on individual circumstances.

I had myself hired by a rent-a-desi H1-B sweatshop and hired myself from them as a 1099 contractor. 100% legal.
Tony So
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Tony So Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co-founder of Magnitude.io
Consider EB5 if your cofounder want to have a green card too.

This program is designed to fast trak a foreign investor into the US for work and for permanent residency. The program is to help the USeconomy.

Here is the kicker:

Cash investment to a US company from him/her.
This company needs to hire a minimum of 10 local (US citizen) for 2 years

More details here:
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=facb83453d4a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=facb83453d4a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD

Good Luck!
Vishal Sheth, CSM, CSP, CSPO, PMP
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Experienced, Proven, Agile Product Development Leader - seamlessly bringing People, Product and Process together.
Just a thought but if he is able to bring upto $1M to invest in your US business, he can apply for an EB-5 category green card. It requires your company hiring upto 10 US citizens - not sure if all this will be possible but it is an option. Ciao! Vishal
Alison Lewis
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Alison Lewis Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO/Creative Director
Thank you. We are a pre-funded hardware/product design company that has been bootstrapping for about 1 year and now have projects to fund our efforts and R&D. As we move forward some of these options may be possible, but right now investment is out of the question.

We've also looked into having a sponsor. The truth be told if he was just here for 1 month, we could have the people we need to raise a seed round and get him over for good. Kind of a chicken and egg thing (always the case).

Are there companies that sponsorentrepreneurshere in the city he could work with?
At this time we are considering a J1 and the E3 looks interesting as well.

David Crooke
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David Crooke Entrepreneur
Serial entrepreneur and CTO
Bring him in for up to 90 days on a waiver (vacation visa) to raise funds, apply for body shop H1-B in parallel. Pay him via a legal entity in Oz.
Alison Lewis
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0
Alison Lewis Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO/Creative Director
Known him and been friends for 8 years, he's been advising and working with us for free for a year. It's time to make it real.
Peter Sankauskas
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Peter Sankauskas Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder & CEO at CloudNative
Hi Alison,

I was onmultipleE3 visas for 4 years, so I understand the pain. The good news is that an E3 visa is 10% the cost of an H1B, and can be done fairly easily and quickly assuming the guy you are bringing over meets the requirements, and you have a company established.

For an E3, you basically need:
- a person with a degree
- a job that requires that degree
- a company that has the job open, and is willing to employ that person under fair conditions (pay, safe environment, etc)

By the end of it, the total cost (spread across 2 countries) should be about $2500 (at least it was in 2008).

As David said, if you don't yet have a company, he can easily be here on a Visa Wavier for up to 3 months while things are set up.

I am happy to put you in contact with Amy, an Immigration Lawyer who helped me, my wife and a few other Aussies get over here. Just send me a message.

Best of luck,
Peter Sankauskas
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