Yep, I would agree that the most probable issue that you’ll run into is the ability of the co-founder to work within the company. Starting it shouldn’t be a problem, but you definitely want to think about the role the co-founder will have in the company in order to establish the appropriate visa. A few options could include:
- H1-B Visa—This one may be tricky because the co-founder will have strict limitations on involvement and ownership in order to be able to work for the company.
- L1 Visa—This visa is appropriate if there is an affiliate foreign company that the individual has already worked at for a year. The person can come to the US for up to 5 years and must hold some sort of managerial role within the company.
- E2-Visa—This is more appropriate for investors, but allows the individual to come to the country for up to 2 years. It also allows for unlimited extensions for 2-year intervals.
- B1-Visa—This visa only allows the individual to come to the US for 6 months to participate in business-related activities such as meetings, research, etc. It does not cover anything considered as “productive work” within the business so there are quite a few limitations here that may not be ideal for a co-founder.
Of course, some of these options also allow for dual-intent which indicates that the person could also apply for a green card if that is their long-term goal. To best identify which option is right for your situation, you should consult an immigration attorney.
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