Here’s one more edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that solutions immigration-linked queries about functioning at engineering organizations.
“Your thoughts are vital to the spread of understanding that lets individuals all above the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” claims Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration lawyer. “Whether you’re in individuals ops, a founder or in search of a career in Silicon Valley, I would enjoy to respond to your questions in my up coming column.”
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A friend and I started a tech startup final calendar year. Like a whole lot of other startups, we’re on the lookout for funding. Must we arrive to Silicon Valley to fulfill with venture capitalists?
How should we begin that approach? What form of visa need to we get and how quick is it to get?
—Logical in Lagos
Thanks for achieving out to me from the entrepreneurial hotspot of Lagos!
In a the latest episode of my podcast, I spoke with Esther Tricoche, director of investments at Kapor Money, who presented up quite a few words of wisdom to founders. She also talked about that in many rising entrepreneurial markets, such as Lagos, accelerator funding and Collection A funding are somewhat easy to discover, but pre-seed and seed funding are not.
Finding yourselves and your startup in entrance of Silicon Valley investors that target on pre-seed and seed funding will be significant to quickly scale. Esther talked about that even in U.S. towns, such as Atlanta, that are entrepreneurial hotspots, expenditure dollars are not as plentiful as they are in Silicon Valley. What’s more, buyers outdoors of Silicon Valley have a tendency to be much more possibility-averse.
So, yes, you really should satisfy with Silicon Valley investors, but be knowledgeable that most U.S. embassies and consulates remain closed to regime visa and environmentally friendly card processing due to the ongoing pandemic. Supplied that, you can commence requesting virtual meetings now and you will have to wait until eventually the U.S. consulate in Lagos comes back to comprehensive potential to implement for a visa to appear to the U.S. I like checking for visa availability by means of the Waypoint Embassy and Consulate Directory (entire disclosure: I am an advisor to Waypoint).
As normally, I endorse that you consult an professional immigration lawyer when you are completely ready to just take the action of basically applying for a visa.
At the time U.S. consular workplaces reopen, if you aren’t eligible for ESTA, you can apply for a B-1 visitor visa for business enterprise. With a B-1 visa, you can ask for an first stay of up to six months. This is a wonderful position for company conferences such as to discuss to prospective investors, negotiate contracts and integrate a new small business. Having said that, you just cannot work in the U.S. You should be conscious that no hands-on get the job done for fork out (or even the opportunity of long run remuneration) by a U.S. entity is authorized.