Sophie Alcorn

Dear Sophie: How do I successfully expand my company to the US?

I’m an entrepreneur in Guatemala and would like to come to the United States to expand my tech company. What is the best way to do that?

Dear Sophie: Do we need a visa to explore the US market?

While sightseeing in the U.S., we’d like to explore the feasibility of expanding our business in there. Do we need to get a special visa to do that?

Dear Sophie: With the H-1B lottery looming, how should we approach overseas hiring?

We’re an early-stage startup struggling to recruit. We received some applications from international talent. This is all new territory for us. What’s your advice for hiring internationally?

Dear Sophie: Will the H-1B lottery be based on the highest wages?

I’m currently working on OPT for an early-stage biotech startup. I heard that the next lottery will not select H-1B candidates based on the highest salaries paid. What else should I know?

Dear Sophie: What’s allowed between a K-1 visa and a green card?

My fiancée is in the U.S. on a K visa. We’re thinking about eloping to Vegas so we can get started on her green card application before a big wedding in her hometown in the spring. Is that allowed?

Dear Sophie: How to maneuver the latest travel bans, H-1B alternatives

Here's another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

Dear Sophie: 2 questions about resuming consular appointments

I sponsored my fiancé for a K-1 visa right before the pandemic, but he hasn’t been able to get a visa. Now that travel restrictions to the U.S. have been lifted, what’s the status of visa intervi

Dear Sophie: What are the latest rules for H-1B visas?

I have been applying for positions in the U.S., and one company says that if they hire me and get me an H-1B visa, the filing fees and cost will be taken out of my paycheck. Is that allowed?

Dear Sophie: How long does International Entrepreneur Parole take?

My co-founders and I think we might qualify for International Entrepreneur Parole. How long does it take to get IEP approved? How does that compare to other options available to founders?

Dear Sophie: Any advice on visa issues for new hires?

I run operations at an early-stage startup, and I’ve been tasked with hiring and HR. I’m feeling out of my depth and trying to figure out visa issues for prospective hires. Do you have any advice?

Dear Sophie: Can our employee travel on DACA?

My company wants to send an employee to India to open an office there. He came to the U.S. from India as a child and now has DACA status. Can he take on this project and still return to the U.S.?

Dear Sophie: Options for founder moving on from E-2 visa

A founder of a startup on an E-2 visa, I am raising funds, which will reduce my ownership and prevent me from meeting E-2 requirements. What can I consider next that would also allow my spouse to cont

Dear Sophie: Any advice for living my dreams in Silicon Valley?

After trying to find an H-1B job to immigrate to the U.S. for several years, I took a position with a company in Canada. My dream is to immigrate to Silicon Valley to start my own venture. Any advice?

Dear Sophie: Any suggestions for recruiting international tech talent?

My early-stage startup is having a really tough time recruiting engineering talent, but we’re open to hiring internationally. Any suggestions on strategies and how to help our company stand out?

Dear Sophie: Marriage-based green card versus EB-1C green card?

My company is sponsoring me for an EB-1C green card, but the process has been slow. I’m thinking about a green card through my spouse when we’re married. Is there anything I should keep in mind?

Dear Sophie: Startup recruiting strategies for international students and recent grads?

I'm a recruiter at a startup, and I’m looking for an edge to onboard top engineers who are about to graduate from a U.S. university and who mention CPT, OPT and STEM OPT. How do we recruit them?

Dear Sophie: Any advice for getting media coverage for my startup?

I’m an entrepreneur working on building up my qualifications for the EB-1A green card (or maybe an O-1A). Toward that goal, I’ve been trying to get media coverage about my startup. Any advice?

Dear Sophie: What’s the difference between IEP and the latest proposed startup visa?

What’s the difference between International Entrepreneur Parole and the latest proposed startup visa? Do you think the startup visa will become a reality? If so, when?

Extra Crunch roundup: Adtech investing, Intuit buys Mailchimp, ideal customer profiles

In school, it's highly unethical to copy someone else's work and pass it off as your own. In business, however, it is expected.

Dear Sophie: Should I apply for citizenship if I have a conviction?

A few years ago, I was charged with a misdemeanor for smoking marijuana in public and driving under the influence. I have a green card and want to apply for U.S. citizenship next year. Can I?
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