Stanford, CA asked in Immigration Law for California

Q: What is the status of the startup VISA?

I hear conflicting information on the so-called startup VISA. Some claim you can already apply for it, some say otherwise. suggests the latter. Anyone know the answer?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mr Brian D. Lerner
Mr Brian D. Lerner
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Hello:

There is no 'startup visa'. Perhaps you are referring to an initial L-1.

L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa Petition

An L-1 Visa is one of the nicest working visas as it allows you to run your own business or a business owned by the foreign company. If you have your own business outside the U.S. and have been working there for at least one year, you can come to the U.S. on the L-1 Visa. Additionally, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old can come as beneficiaries to your approved L-2. Your children will be able to go to school in the U.S. without having to get a separate student visa (as long as they are not in college.). A great deal of the success of the L-1 Petition is how it is prepared. Unlike other investment related visas, the investment in the U.S. business could be as low as $10,000U.S. 

My firm can prepare the entire petition. This petition is usually 2-4 inches thick. It consists of the petition itself, the complex business plan with numerous charts and figures, and if needed, the incorporation papers. Once submitted, it could take as little as a couple of months to get approved if premium processing is used. Otherwise, it could take over one year. It cost $1,500 more in fees to do the Premium Processing. My firm can also do the incorporation of the business in the U.S. It is more than simply preparing the Articles of Incorporation as immigration requires many other documents such as the Stock Transfer Ledger, Stock Certificates, Bylaws, Notice of Meetings among other items. 

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