7 USA startup visa options for international founders

7 USA startup visa options for international founders

Blogpost on TheNextWeb

Mikita Mikado is a software engineer and entrepreneur from Belarus, now based in San Francisco. He is the co-­founder and CEO of Quote Roller and PandaDoc.

There is no other place like Silicon Valley, the tech Mecca of access to great talent, capital and countless prospective clients. For some founders, moving to the Valley is the only option to succeed. However, as we all know, immigrating to the US can be really tough.

I’ve been through the excruciating, year-long process of getting an American visa. Along the way, I’ve learned about the different visa options available if you’re moving to the US in hopes of establishing a company.

I’m a former software engineer turned entrepreneur, and the following advice is based on my personal experience. Please note that nothing in this article should be considered legal advice.

B1/B2, F1/F2, waiver and J

To start, moving to the US is expensive. In my opinion, when your company is in its early stages, it makes more sense to go with temporary visa options: business visas B1 and tourist B2, student/student’s spouse visas F1/F2 or exchange visa J1.

If you’re lucky enough to be from one of the visa waiver countries, the open-door, 90-day policy might suit your needs just fine.

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