Sophie Alcorn is the founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley and the 2019 Global Law Experts Awards “California Law Firm of the Year for Entrepreneur Immigration Services”. It connects people with activities and opportunities that extend their lives.Other publications by this contributor
- Dear Sophie: What visa options are there for a graduate who co-founded a startup?
- Dear Sophie, I arrived on a B-1 visa, then COVID-19 happened. How can I stay?
Here’s another edit from “Dear Sophie,” the advice column of a practicing attorney who answers questions about immigration on the job at tech companies.
“Your questions are critical to spreading knowledge that enables people around the world to push boundaries and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, an immigration attorney in Silicon Valley. “Whether you’re working in personnel operations, a founder, or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in my next post.”
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I am currently here in the United States on an E-2 visa.
My employer, a company based in Slovakia, moved me to the United States to help establish our operations in the United States. What are my options if I want to pursue other job opportunities here in the US with a different company? Is there a viable procedure to upgrade my E-2 visa to another type, like an L? Thank you!
– Restless in Redwood City
Thanks for your questions. Nonimmigrant (temporary) visas that allow you to work in the United States require an employer to sponsor you for the visa, and those visas remain tied to the employer’s sponsor and the position for which you were hired. We recently launched the Extraordinary Ability Bootcamp (promo code DEARSOPHIE for a 20% discount on registration) – this is a course that can help you reinforce your credentials if you end up looking for an O-1A visa, which I will talk about later.
There are a few visa options available if you find a US company willing to sponsor you, such as J-1, O-1A, and H-1B and various avenues for the green card. You had applied for an L visa, but this would only have been an option if you had worked for the new company abroad for at least one year in the last three years. Both the L-1A visa and the L-1B visa allow multinational corporations to transfer a manager, executive or employee with specialized knowledge from an office abroad to an office in the US, or to open an office in the United States. USA, from a foreign office. The L-1A visa for intra-company transferred executives or managers is similar to the E-2 visa in that both allow the visa holder to travel to the United States to establish a new office for the sponsoring company.