Originally based in Miami, Jason now works out of Austin, Texas, but has clients throughout the US and world. His goal is to help the best and brightest come to the United States and build their businesses.
Jason was born in the US, but his father immigrated from Cuba to Canada and eventually to the US. Jason holds dual Canadian and US citizenships.
Anyone can apply for any immigration benefit by themselves; an attorney isn’t required. But Jason highly recommends using an immigration attorney to make sure you do the job right. If you are ever denied a visa, you’ll have a harder time securing one in the future. So it’s important to have a qualified attorney, or at least consult with one, to make sure you go about steps in the right way.
In September a new rule was proposed by the White House in September to help entrepreneurs to temporarily work in the US. While waiting for Congress to create a new type of visa for entrepreneurs, a status of parole was established which would allow immigrant entrepreneurs a two-year status. At the end of this, a three year is extension is possible. Jason talks about the requirements for this and the hope that and actual visa category will be created.
Jason talks about several visa categories that may be useful for entrepreneurs seeking to set up shop in the US:
- L1-A visa – for those who have worked in executive or managerial capacity in a foreign country, and the foreign entity is transferring the person to the US for a similar position in a US entity that is related to the company. It can be extended up to 7 years. It’s also a dual intent visa – meaning you don’t have to show an intent to return to your home country
- E-2 visa is for those who are going to make a substantial investment in a US entity that they are going to run; it only applies to citizens of certain countries with treaties with the US. It’s not dual intent, so you’d have to apply for a green card in your own country
- EB-5 is for investors who want to invest a million dollars into a business they want to run, and which will create jobs for at least 10 US workers, or $500,000 in a targeted employment area. It can lead to a conditional, then a regular permanent residency.
- O visas are for those with extraordinary abilities, and requires an employer. It’s broader than the original examples given of Nobel winners and gold medalists, and be used for those with special abilities which can be proven, such as publication in a peer-reviewed journal. It’s a temporary visa, requires a US employer, but is dual intent.
- EB-1 is also for individuals with extraordinary abilities in their field; it has a goal of permanent residency so it’s more rigorous than an O visa.
- The EB-2 is similar, for those with exceptional ability; it requires a labor market test by the employer and normally requires a Master’s or PhD
Again, Jason reminds everyone that it’s important to reach out to an immigration lawyer, rather than depend on the internet for information which may not always be accurate.
From Jason’s blog: New Immigration Options Coming for Entrepreneurs & Startups