Pricey Sophie: Is it doable to broaden our startup within the US?

Written by Jeff Lampkin

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

“Your questions are important to the unfold of data that enables individuals everywhere in the world to rise above borders and pursue their desires,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration legal professional. “Whether or not you’re in individuals ops, a founder or searching for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d like to answer your questions in my subsequent column.”

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

Pricey Sophie,

My co-founders and I launched a software program startup in Iran just a few years in the past, and I’m joyful to say it’s now thriving. We’d prefer to broaden our firm in California.

Now that President Joe Biden has eradicated the Muslim ban, is it doable to try this? Is the pandemic nonetheless standing in the way in which? Do you’ve got any strategies?

— Proficient in Tehran

Pricey Proficient,

Sure, it’s doable! Sadly, sure, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be making the immigration course of a bit difficult, however keep in mind, the place there’s a will, there’s most frequently, in immigration regulation, a manner.

On his first day in workplace in January, Biden rescinded the ban on visas for a lot of majority-Muslim nations, together with Iran. The ban had been in place since 2017 and almost 42,000 visa functions had been denied, based on the U.S. Department of State.

Biden additionally allowed the bans on the issuance of H-1B, L-1, and J-1 visas and inexperienced playing cards at U.S. embassies and consulates that the earlier administration put in place final yr to lapse.

Meaning worldwide startup founders such as you and different worldwide expertise dwelling exterior the US can begin serious about acquiring these visas and inexperienced playing cards with out essentially requiring exceptions to take action. In a current podcast episode, I talked about these and different immigration-related modifications, in addition to these promised by the Biden administration. Take a pay attention to search out out extra!

As you in all probability know, most vacationers from Iran are at the moment not allowed entry into the U.S. due to the COVID-19 journey ban, and most U.S. embassies and consulates aren’t open for routine visa and inexperienced card software processing. As a result of the US has not had an embassy or consulate in Iran for the reason that Iran hostage disaster of 1979, you and your co-founders ought to discover out which U.S. embassies or consulates are at the moment processing routine visa and inexperienced card functions — and are in nations that aren’t on the suspended entry record — and apply there. We’re nonetheless ready for detailed info from the State Division on the equal of reparations for people who had been affected by the Muslim ban.

As well as, I like to recommend that you simply seek the advice of with an skilled immigration legal professional who might help you devise an immigration technique for your self, your co-founders and your households primarily based in your private {and professional} targets. Now, listed here are just a few choices so that you can think about.

L-1A visa to open a U.S. workplace on your startup

About the author

Jeff Lampkin

Jeff Lampkin was the first writer to have joined He has since then inculcated very effective writing and reviewing culture at GamePolar which rivals have found impossible to imitate. His approach has been to work on the basics while the whole world was focusing on the superstructures.