Which visa is greatest for bootstrapping a startup? – TechCrunch


Right here’s one other version of “Expensive Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at expertise firms.

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

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


Expensive Sophie,

I’m a founder from Germany. Our product is already producing round $200,000/yr proper off the bat. Our prospects are primarily U.S.-based, and we don’t plan to lift any capital from traders.

I’ve been trying into the brand new startup visa possibility and the E-2 and L-1B visas, and I’ve been fairly heads-down centered on constructing the product, so I’m not well-known.

What’s my best choice for bootstrapping my startup within the U.S.?

— Sport-Altering in Germany

Expensive Sport-Altering,

Congrats in your early traction and U.S. market growth! You don’t must qualify for an O-1A to make it to the U.S., and it’s good to keep in mind that there are a number of labor visas on the market. Let me dive into every of the choices you’ve talked about in your particular set of circumstances and supply a couple of others.

IEP and the proposed startup visa

Congress has not but authorized the laws that will create a startup visa. Nonetheless, the Worldwide Entrepreneur Parole (IEP), the choice closest to a startup visa, is obtainable proper now.


On Thursday, June 16 at midday PT/3 p.m ET, Sophie Alcorn will be part of a Twitter Area with Senior Editor Walter Thompson to reply your questions on dwelling and dealing legally within the U.S.

To get a reminder before the chat starts, please follow @techcrunch on Twitter.


To qualify, each IEP and the proposed startup visa require a founder to lift funds from certified U.S. traders or safe a authorities grant or award, along with different standards. Since you haven’t and don’t plan to lift funds in your startup, neither IEP nor the proposed startup visa can be best for you.

E-2 visa requires a giant funding

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 brand new window)

The E-2 visa for treaty traders or important staff is right for startup founders and staff members whose dwelling nation has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S., as Germany does. (The residents of 81 treaty nations are eligible for the E-2 visa.)

Along with being a citizen of a treaty nation, you will need to personal not less than 50% of the corporate, have direct management of the corporate, or not less than 50% of the house owners of the corporate should be residents of the identical treaty nation.

To qualify for an E-2, you would need to exhibit that you’ve invested or are within the means of investing a “substantial quantity of capital” within the U.S. to determine and develop your startup or that the corporate has made this funding and now you’ll want to work there.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.