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What kind of a visa would be required to be a CEO and partner in a new startup company?

Los Angeles, CA |
Filed under: Immigration

An entrepreneur in the US wants to startup a new IT consulting company and wants me to be the CEO and partner in the company. The entrepreneur already has a separate established IT business in the US. As a foreign national residing outside of the US, what would be the best visa option for me, to go to the US and be the CEO of the startup company. The options for H1, L1A, EB1C, EB2 can only apply to his existing IT business and I have not worked for his business outside of the US in the past 3 years. I used to work for his existing IT business in the US 7 years ago.

Attorney Answers 4


Startups are challenging - unless there's a lot of financial backing.

You really need to do this right. If you screw up you can make it very difficult for yourself to get a visa in the future.

There are many factors to consider.

Many, I'm sure you would not want to post on a public site.

Spend the bucks and get a qualified immigration lawyer instead of asking for fee advice on a public website!

Probably I'll get in trouble for saying that. (I don't mind giving fee advice to people who probably don't have the money to hire a lawyer, but when you use the word "entrepreneur" I assume you mean someone who is in the business world and knows the value of a good lawyer (especially in the IT business world).

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Consider an E-2 Treaty Investor visa.

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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The immigration issues are fact-specific: you'll need to discuss your situation in detail to get a reliable answer. Your options may be limited; you'll need to line up your facts with the existing immigration rules.

Total Mobility Law is an international law firm that lets companies do global business with the knowledge and confidence they need to comply in any country. Our answers on this site do not constitute legal advice, nor do they establish an attorney-client relationship. The only thing that can do that is a signed Engagement Letter and Fee Agreement, which you can get by contacting us through

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It is important to acquire more information on this start up company. You correctly restricted the choice, but to narrow down the choice more facts are needed. For this you need to talk to an immigration and business attorney. Good luck.

This reply is offered for educational purpose only. You should seek the advice of an attorney. The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than an educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the undisclosed individual asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York Law unless stated otherwise. Pursuant to Internal Revenue Service guidance, be advised that any federal tax advice contained in this written or electronic communication is not intended or written to be used and it cannot be used by any person or entity for the purpose of (i) avoiding any tax penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service or any other U.S. Federal taxing authority or agency or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

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