Visa Options for Entrepreneurs and Recent Grads: H-1B Visa through Global Entrepreneur in Residence and J-1 Visa for International Student Entrepreneurs through University Exchange Programs

In the absence of an official “startup visa”, and in lieu of the International Entrepreneur Parole Rule, which has now been postponed until March 2018, organizations and programs exist that help entrepreneurs from around the world establish their businesses in the U.S.  These programs are generally geared towards assisting international students who have developed a technology or innovation with launching a start-up in the U.S. that creates high-paying jobs.

H-1B Visa through the Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program

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Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence (Global EIR) is an organization that helps international entrepreneurs gain access to visas to come to the U.S. to build their businesses and create local jobs by partnering with universities.  A university will sponsor a foreign-born entrepreneur for a H-1B visa (which is not subject to the H-1B visa lottery and quota) to work on campus to provide mentoring to students, review business proposals, or teach classes.  This is a tremendous benefit, as an H-1B applicant had a one in four chance of making it through the lottery in 2017 before the application could be reviewed by USCIS on its merits. While working for the university, the entrepreneur continues to build his or her business in the U.S.  After 6-18 months, this option could lead to an O-1 visa and Green Card.

The Global EIR currently has a presence in 13 colleges and universities across four states, including the following schools: University of Alaska, Anchorage; Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage; Babson College, Boston; University of Massachusetts, Boston; University of Colorado, Boulder; University of Missouri, St. Louis; and San Jose State University.

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The Grady Firm Attorneys Speak to Students at UCI Blackstone Launch Pad on business and visa options for graduate entrepreneurs

Group photo.jpgRecently, Jennifer Grady Esq. and Anthony Mance, Esq. of The Grady Firm, P.C. hosted an informative “Fireside Chat” about the various immigration options that are available to foreign students upon graduation from U.S. undergraduate or graduate programs. The event took place at the Blackstone Launchpad of University of California, Irvine. The program was recorded and is available for viewing by members of the international Blackstone Launchpad community. 

uci blackstoneThe esteemed UCI Blackstone Launchpad was founded in 2007 with the goal of inspiring global entrepreneurship, and is accessible to over 500,000 university students globally.  This university-based entrepreneurship program is designed to mentor students, staff, and alumni of all disciplines and experience levels. The Blackstone Launchpad is an initiative of The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, and offers one-on-one mentoring, online tools, and a international community that supports ideas from the idea stage to execution and investment. Continue reading

Immigrant Entrepreneurs May Be Able to Remain in the U.S. on Parole Under New Rule Proposed by DHS

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On August 31, 2016 , the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed an amendment to its regulations in an effort to increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States. The proposed rule would allow for the use of “parole” on a case-by-case basis for certain Startup entrepreneurs whose entry into the United States would provide a significant public benefit through “the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation.”  Once the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 45 days from the date of publication to comment. To submit comments in support of this rule, follow the instructions in the notice.

The new “International Entrepreneur Rule” would expand the opportunity for international entrepreneurs, inventors, and startup founders to receive “parole”, which is temporary permission to be present in the United States.  “Parole” is not considered an admission to the United States, and does not confer any immigration status.  In addition, once a person is granted parole, the parolee’s stay in the U.S. is at DHS’s discretion and may be terminated at any time consistent with existing regulations.  DHS has broad discretion to grant parole and may do so on a case-by-case basis. Continue reading

Santa Monica, CA Minimum Wage Increase to Take Effect on July 1, 2016

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On April 28, 2016, the Santa Monica City Council adopted a mandatory minimum wage increase to $10.50 per hour, which will take effect on July 1, 2016.

Santa Monica’s new ordinance mirrors the minimum wage laws adopted by Los Angeles earlier this year. Continue reading

California Employers: Prepare for New Overtime Rules Effective December 1, 2016

numbers-time-watch-white.pexelsOn May 18, 2016, President Obama  and Secretary  Perez announced the Department of Labor’s final rule updating overtime regulations, to the disappointment of many employers.  The new rule, which will automatically provide overtime pay protections to over four million  workers within its first year of implementation, goes into effect on December 1, 2016.

The Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on July 6, 2015 (80 FR 38515) and invited interested parties to submit written comments on the proposed rule at www.regulations.gov by September 4, 2015. The Department received over 270,000 comments in response to the NPRM from a variety of interested stakeholders. The feedback the Department received helped shape the Final Rule. Continue reading

Jennifer Grady Esq. to Host Fireside Chat at UCI Blackstone LaunchPad

irvineOn May 23, 2016, Jennifer Grady Esq. will host an informative “Fireside Chat” about the various immigration options that are available to foreign students upon graduation from U.S. undergraduate or graduate programs. The event will take place at the Blackstone Launchpad of University of California, Irvine. The program will be recorded and available for later viewing by members of the international Blackstone Launchpad community. 

 

uci blackstoneThe esteemed UCI Blackstone Launchpad was founded in 2007 with the goal of inspiring global entrepreneurship, and is accessible to over 500,000 university students globally.  This university-based entrepreneurship program is designed to mentor students, staff and alumni of all disciplines and experience levels. The Blackstone Launchpad is an initiative of The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, and offers one-on-one mentoring, online tools, and a international community that supports ideas from the idea stage to execution and investment.

View More: http://elyanaphotography.pass.us/jennifer

Founding Attorney, Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

Jennifer Grady is an experienced speaker and accomplished mentor in the areas of business, employment, and immigration law.  She has lectured extensively throughout the US, Canada, Argentina, and Chile about business and immigration topics for entrepreneurs.   If you are interested in engaging Jennifer as a speaker or trainer at your company or organization, or to learn more about the event, please contact us.

The Grady Firm Attends BC Tech Summit in Vancouver, Canada; Hosts Legal Seminar for Canadian Cross-Border Entrepreneurs

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BC Tech Summit 2016 at Canada Place in Vancouver, Canada

In January, The Grady Firm attorneys connected with Vancouver area technology businesses and entrepreneurs at the #BCTECH Summit. With more than 8,500 of British Columbia’s top universities, companies, and entrepreneurs, in attendance, BC Tech Summit is the largest business technology conference in British Columbia on the west coast of Canada.

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Jennifer Grady, Esq. at the #BCTECH Summit 2016 in Vancouver

The #BCTECH Summit is a two-day event that showcased BC’s vibrant technology industry, built cross-sector opportunities for businesses, and explored the latest ideas that will drive a competitive advantage for BC. The Grady Firm’s founder, Jennifer Grady,  attended the conference on January 18 and 19, 2016, and met with some of Canada’s most enterprising business owners. Continue reading

The Grady Firm to Host Seminar on Expanding to the US in Vancouver January 20, 2016

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After a successful and productive engagement with Vancouver Start Up Week in September, California-based business and immigration attorney, Jennifer Grady Esq., is returning to Vancouver in January 2016. During her visit, Jennifer will be attending the BC Tech Summit, and will will also be meeting with entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and people interested in expanding their business into the United States.

On Wednesday, January 20, Jennifer will be hosting a “meet and greet” happy hour and informative seminar on the legal and business issues that Canadian entrepreneurs must consider when doing business in the United States. On January 20th and 21st, she will be offering one-on-one meetings with individuals and companies that would like to learn more about the issues that face their particular industries and backgrounds when expanding abroad.

Please join Jennifer and fellow entrepreneurs on January 20 for a an evening of wine, socializing, and information!

Presentation: “How to Expand Your Business to the Largest Consumer Economy in the World”
Wine and Appetizers Provided

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
West Georgia Street
Vancouver, British Columbia

Limited seating available; RSVP here (email afogerty@gradyfirm.com) by January 15.

View More: http://elyanaphotography.pass.us/jenniferOne-on-One Meetings and Consultations
Wednesday, January 20, 2016, and
Thursday, January 21, 2016.

To reserve an appointment, call (323) 450-9010, or fill out a Contact Request Form. Read more about Jennifer and the firm on our website.

 

The Grady Firm Joins the Roster for LA Innovation Week as Presenter on Startup Legal Issues & Solutions #LAIW2015

Los Angeles Innovation Week 2015 Launches With More Than 100 Events, Exhibiting LA’s Global Leadership in Innovation

LAIW#The Grady Firm, PC has been selected as a presenter at Los Angeles Innovation Week, a countywide celebration of the breadth of innovation and creativity within Los Angeles sponsored by LA Metro, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), and the Los Angeles Times. From clean tech, to gaming, to aerospace, digital media, and beyond, Los Angeles is a leading global center for innovation and entrepreneurship rooted in boundless creativity and diversity.  Other hosts of Innovation Week events include Cross Campus, Microsoft, WeWork, Apple, ExpertDojo, and YouTube Space LA.

On Tuesday, October 20, Jennifer Grady will be addressing entrepreneurs with ways to protect their innovative small businesses thorough The Top 10 Tools Business Owners Need to Know From a Business and Employment Law Attorney.”  The presentation will take place from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at The Grady Firm headquarters in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles. Continue reading

Can’t Afford a Green Card Just Yet? How to Obtain Permanent Residency by Transitioning From the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa to EB-5

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Anthony Mance, Esq.

American Visa (XL)The E-2 treaty investor visa can be a great way for a foreign entrepreneur to open a business and live and work in the United States legally. What’s more, it is relatively affordable in that it only requires a “substantial” capital investment in a bona fide U.S. enterprise (usually in the amount of $100,000 to $250,000). The investor must be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.

The E-2 visa allows the status holder from a treaty country, and his or her family, to come to the United States to open and operate a personal business; the spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are able to attend school and work as dependents of the visa. Unfortunately, however, the E-2 treaty investor status does not offer a direct path to Permanent Residence. This means that unless the status holder, or the status holder’s immediate family, has a separate path to Permanent Residence, the visa holder and family will not be able to obtain Permanent Residence status, regardless of how long they maintain their E-2 status. This is further complicated by the fact that the E-2 status is temporary and must be regularly renewed with no guarantee of success.

Furthermore, because the E-2 visa is only available to member of treaty countries, it is not available to everyone. For example, citizens of mainland China, India, Russia, and Brazil are ineligible for the E-2 visa. Continue reading

Santiago, Chile Named to Top 5 Emerging Startup Hubs by Inc. Magazine

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

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Santiago, Chile

The March 2015 issue of Inc. Magazine named Santiago de Chile one of the top five emerging Startup hubs for opportunities to launch or expand internationally.  According to Inc. Magazine, one of the top draws to Santiago, a city of  6.3 million inhabitants, is Start-up Chile, the government-sponsored incubator program that attracts top international talent with a one-year visa, free workspace, and $33,000 in seed money that does not have to be repaid. Over 16,000 applicants applied to the program, and 1,000 companies from 75 countries have been selected to date.  According to its website, Start-up Chile’s goal is “to hasten the occurrence of customer-validated and scalable companies that will leave a lasting impact on the Latin American ecosystem”. Continue reading

The Grady Firm Will be Attending Be Great Fest in Los Angeles on November 14, 2014

be great festThe Grady Firm will be hosting a booth at the largest entrepreneur festival in Los Angeles on Friday, November 14 at the 2nd annual Be Great Fest. We will be joining more than 5,000 entrepreneurs for a day of panel presentations, networking, and inspiration.  Stop by to meet us at Booth #13 for some tasty snacks, to set up a consultation, or to enter to win raffle prizes!

Speakers include the CEOs of ShoeDazzle, LegalZoom, Playboy, The Honest Company, and the Founder of Nordstrom.com.

“Be Great Fest is a well-attended (read: packed) event that draws a unique blend of serious entrepreneurs, investors and press – all whirled together in a fun, social atmosphere.”
-Tony Mariotti, Friendbuy

What Types of Lending Options are Available to help Entrepreneurs Start and Grow Their Businesses?

PERSONAL LOANS, BANK LOANS, AND SBA LOANS

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Tristan Younghaus, Esq.

Starting a business can be an exciting, yet costly endeavor. Entrepreneurs need startup capital to cover the cost of living expenses, salaries, overhead, legal fees, filing fees, marketing/advertising, shipping costs, and even production costs. There are numerous funding options available, from interest free loans to venture capital. In this two part series, we will explore the various options that are available for small business owners and entrepreneurs. In this blog, we will discuss loans/gifts from family and friends, bank loans, and Small Business Administration loans. The next posting will explore government grants, venture capital, and crowdfunding.

1. Loans/Gifts From Family and Friends

ImageOne of the most common places entrepreneurs begin when searching for funding is by soliciting loans from family and friends. These personal loans are not considered to be a “loan” by the Internal Revenue Service unless the terms of the agreement are stated in writing, (i.e. by stating the loan amount and the interest rate to be paid). Otherwise, after January 1, 2013, the IRS considers the money given to be a gift, and subject to the Federal Gift Tax, if the loan amount is over $14,000.

For borrowers, it may be most advantageous to have the terms of the loan written loosely, and to set proper expectations for all parties involved. For example, in order to preserve the integrity of the personal relationship, the borrower should make it clear that the loan should actually be considered a “gift” in the lender’s mind, and that the lender maintain the expectation that it may never be paid back. This is due to the high likelihood that the money will not be recouped. The borrower may want to avoid memorializing a specific date of repayment, with terms such as, “borrower to pay back loan when monthly income is greater than $10,000.00,” or whenever a reasonable amount is reached. Continue reading

How Do You Save Your Marriage from Your Startup? Who Gets the Company in the Divorce?

Excerpt From Inc. Magazine

Image“Maintaining a marriage is hard enough as it is. The national divorce rate is at an all-time high, and it has doubled for Americans over age 35 in the past two decades, according to an April report by researchers at the University of Minnesota. Nearly half of all people who have been married undergo a divorce or separation by their late 50s. Though there has been scant research on the topic of entrepreneurs and divorce, many founders say that the overwhelming pressures and demands of launching a company have wreaked havoc on their marriages. What’s worse, a failed marriage can all too easily destroy even a thriving entrepreneurial business.

Even some of the most successful entrepreneurs have experienced marital failure. Last year, Google co-founder Sergey Brin separated from his wife, Anne Wojcicki, the co-founder of DNA-testing company 23andMe. In 2010, Wynn Resorts founders Steve and Elaine Wynn got divorced–for the second time. And Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has been divorced twice since 2010.

Nine states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin) have community property laws that dictate all assets accumulated by the couple during the marriage be split down the middle. That includes company stock. In some cases, companies have been sold to raise cash to pay off spouses. In others, brawling exes have been forced to become business partners.

Even if you try to shield your spouse from the daily travails of running a company–the nearly missed payrolls and the personnel problems–those pressures have a way of following you home.”

Read the full article here.

The Grady Firm, P.C. is a full-service law firm catering to business owners and their families. As the “pre-nup attorney for businesses,” founder Jennifer Grady, Esq. and her team of attorneys in the Business Advising Department draft Bylaws, Operating Agreements, Buy/Sell Agreements, and Shareholder Agreements to protect their entrepreneur clients from their partnerships going awry.  The Grady Firm’s Estate Planning Department protects business owners’ assets through trusts and asset protection methods.

To find out how to protect your family and your business, schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation today, or call (323) 450-9010.

Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. to speak on Women & Entrepreneurship Panel at the 8th Annual West Hollywood Women’ s Leadership Conference on April 5, 2014

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Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. Founder of The Grady Firm and the Women Entrepreneurs Club (WEC), will be a panelist on Women and Entrepreneurship at the Eighth Annual West Hollywood Women’s Leadership Conference on April 5, 2014. She will be providing practical, detailed advice for women entrepreneurs based on her experience as a Startup attorney, law firm owner, and WEC President. Continue reading