S2, Episode 12: Immigration Law Considerations for Entrepreneurs

Season Two: Episode Twelve — An overview of immigration law and how it affects entrepreneurs.  

Episode Description: Nicole Gunara (Fordham Law ‘19) and Ashley Meadows (Fordham Law ‘20) interview Neil A. Weinrib, Managing Director at Neil A. Weinrib & Associates, about immigration law considerations for entrepreneurs, including the ability of foreign nationals to develop a business in the U.S., factors in employing foreign individuals, and options for raising capital through foreign investment incentive programs.  

Episode Roadmap:

  • [:30] Nicole Gunara and Ashley Meadows introduce the topic of immigration law and welcome Neil A. Weinrib, who emphasizes the need for entrepreneurs to understand immigration law.
  • [3:10] Considerations for startups if a founding member is a foreign student, including the types of visas foreign students must maintain while in the U.S.
  • [7:15] Assessments foreign students need to make after graduation when forming a startup while on OPT status or an H-1 visa.
  • [13:10] Three standards that must be met to qualify for an O-1 visa and general application timelines.
  • [18:32] Standards of the EB-1 visa and the status you will obtain from it, and whether it can lead to a green card. 
  • [21:52] The steps a foreign entrepreneur should take to determine if they qualify for a visa and the best place to seek advice for sponsorship.
  • [27:11] Application expenses and legal fees that a foreign student can expect to spend on meeting visa requirements. 
  • [33:16] Foreign investors can utilize visa programs to fund projects in the U.S. with the use of EB-5 visas and targeted employment areas, if they meet hiring requirements. 
  • [42:12] Details of the E-2 investment visa program and where to find current and accurate information regarding the qualified countries list. 
  • [48:42] Main points for companies when considering hiring foreign nationals and information to request from potential employees.
  • [53:25] Neil shares the path that led him to practicing immigration law and advice for law students who are considering the field. 

Tweetables:

“Foreign students need to be very careful about who they partner with. If there is a falling out, someone could try to create a problem for them.” — Neil A. Weinrib

“For H-1B visas, the U.S. immigration service hasn’t been receptive to entrepreneurial endeavors.” — Neil A. Weinrib

“Most foreign students are aware that it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to get an O-1 visa.” — Neil A. Weinrib

“Foreign nationals completing their education often find themselves in a race because they are aware of what the immigration options are and are rushing to satisfy one of the existing categories.” — Neil A. Weinrib

“The biggest challenge for foreign nationals who want to use the EB-5 mechanism is the hiring requirement. They have to hire 10 U.S. workers within roughly 3 years.” — Neil A. Weinrib

“A lot of people look to Google for immigration answers, and what they don’t always realize is that much of the data on the internet is stale or it’s been overruled or amended or changed.” — Neil A. Weinrib

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Startup LAWnchpad  is the podcast that educates entrepreneurs about forming, growing, and protecting a startup. Startup LAWnchpad is produced by the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic at Fordham University School of Law in New York City.