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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 |

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.

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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).


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.


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


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.

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