Hello, I have few question regarding using e2 visa to startup a hi-tech business in US:
Are intellectual properties (e.g. a developed technology) considered as part investment?
How future funding series and adding funding members will affect the validity of status? For example if after 2 years I end up with less than 50% of the company share which valued at more than few million dollars.
As most tech startups companies runs with only few technical funding members in their first few years and are not profitable in that time period, can company recent valuation or other technically measurable factors be considered instead of revenue and number of employees?
Wishful thinking. You must invest a substantial amount of money, not just intellectual properities, in the company. We recommend at least $100,000. You must provide employment for U.S. workers. We recommend at least 3-4 full time jobs to start. And you must continue to own at least 50% of the company in order to maintain your E-2 status.
I have used the value of intellectual property towards the investment requirement in the past without a problem, so long as we can substantiate the value of the intellectual property. The regulations specifically allow for the use of tangible property to be used, so long as it is owned by the investor. For instance, if you have an investor who invests in the company, and the only asset the business has is the intellectual property and you are the owner of that IP, then you can argue that the IP is worth at least as much as the value of the percentage ownership of company given in exchange for the cash investment. Start up businesses are very common in the Silicon Valley, and so it is not uncommon for this. We represent numerous start up companies with foreign investors, and so we have seen these issues come up fairly regularly.
as far as maintaining 50% ownership, my strategy would be to later place you in H-1B status, if you are eligible once you lose majority ownership 2 years later.
Feel free to contact my office for an appointment to speak with me.
Gabriel D. Jack
Attorney at Law
Attorney Shusterman has provided you with an excellent comment. It is advisable you consult ith an experienced immigration attorney and bring all information you have concerning your immigration, employment, education, and fiancial investment history to the attorney who can provide you with a legal opinion as to what immigration benefits you may qualify for under existing laws. Good luck.
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