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FAQ

How can I start an eCommerce business on an H-1B visa?
You can start an eCommerce business regardless of your immigration status. But if you want to actually work in the business while physically in the United States, you need to obtain proper sponsorship. The H-1B is specific to the petitioning employer (if sponsored by company X, you cannot work for company Y on the side), and requires a valid employer/employee relationship. USCIS has defined the employer/employee relationship to hinge on an employer’s right to control the means and manner in which the work is performed. You can see how this is difficult to show if you are the founder of the business that you intend to sponsor you. A variety of factors are considered when evaluating the petitioner’s right to control the beneficiary, including the manner and extent to which the petitioner actually supervises the beneficiary; the petitioner’s right to control the beneficiary’s daily work and work product; and the petitioner’s right to hire, pay and fire the beneficiary. Because the H-1B visa is not intended as a ‘self-sponsorship’ visa, it may not be the best option for your own startup. You might, depending on your nationality, consider the E-2 visa.The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. See U.S. Department of State's Treaty Countries for a current list of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.To qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigationHave invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United StatesBe 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.An investment is the treaty investor’s placing of capital, including funds and/or other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit. The capital must be subject to partial or total loss if the investment fails. The treaty investor must show that the funds have not been obtained, directly or indirectly, from criminal activity. See 8 CFR 214.2(e)(12) for more information.A substantial amount of capital is:Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new oneSufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterpriseOf a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.A bona fide enterprise refers to a real, active and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. It must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction.The investment enterprise may not be marginal. A marginal enterprise is one that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family. Depending on the facts, a new enterprise might not be considered marginal even if it lacks the current capacity to generate such income. In such cases, however, the enterprise should have the capacity to generate such income within five years from the date that the treaty investor’s E-2 classification begins.Alternatively, you might consider the International Entrepreneur Rule.In the final days of the Obama administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) promulgated the “International Entrepreneur Rule” (IER), a regulation which allows for the “parole” into the country of entrepreneurs. Parole is a mechanism by which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can, on a case-by-case basis, temporarily allow someone to be physically present in the United States if there is a “significant public benefit.” The purpose of the parole process in the case of entrepreneurs is to give promising start-up companies the chance to conduct research and development and expand job-creating operations in the United States.Under the IER entrepreneurs who have received investments of capital totaling at least $250,000 or at least $100,000 in government grants, and own at least 10 percent of the start-up, can be granted parole for up to two years. Entrepreneurs can be re-paroled for no more than 30 months if they meet certain revenue, investment, and/or job creation thresholds. USCIS can revoke parole at any time, and persons with parole cannot adjust to permanent residency. The entrepreneur’s spouse and minor children also can receive a grant of parole.In July 2017, DHS delayed the effective date of this rule until March 2018, and in September 2017, the American Immigration Council filed suit. Entrepreneurs, start-up companies and a trade association joined together to oppose the postponement of the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER). On December 1, 2017, a federal judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rescind its delay of this rule.In the lawsuit, the National Venture Capital Association argued that the Trump administration bypassed proper procedures when it delayed the International Entrepreneur Rule, which had been due to go into effect in July 2017. Judge Boasberg, in his ruling agreed with the lawsuit’s claim that the government’s actions violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires advance notice of new rules. This is great news!We are now waiting to see what the procedures will be to take advantage of the IER.At any rate, it would be best for you to consult with an immigration attorney if as a foreign national you want to found an eCommerce business in the U.S.Good luck!Rebecca FreemanPrincipal AttorneySan Francisco Law Group1 Embarcadero Center, Suite 500 San Francisco, CA 94111Telephone: (415) 813-2259Email: rfreeman@sanfranciscolawgroup.comhttp://sanfranciscolawgroup.com
Can I open a startup if I am working under H1B visa?
First of all, there are zero restrictions to open a company in the US. Non-citizens, non-permanent-residents, and even non-residents can easily do it with no obstacles whatsoever.Now, I assume you want to not just open a startup, but work for it. Good news: the H1B visa has little to do with whether the company you work for is a startup or no. Once you're in the H1B quota, it's about transferring the existing visa, not getting the new one.Transferring the existing visa has to do with proving the company that is about to acquire your visa a) needs you, and b) is capable of paying you the wage above certain threshold.In plain English: once you have an H1B visa, if the company is willing to go through the burden of proving you would pay enough taxes by working for them, the authorities would err on the friendly side. The fact that your company is not of Google or Microsoft size does present some challenges, but they are all solvable. If you're a venture-backed company with a sound story and a solid founding team, being able to do the legal paperwork right is peanuts compared to actually running the company.Important footnote: If you're a [co-]founder / major shareholder of the company, moving forward from the H1B stage to the permanent resident stage can be tricky. And H1B itself has a hard time limit of six years total. Be advised.Full disclosure: I did it.In the hindsight, running a startup being on H1B proved to be hard enough to not recommend anyone. But it's still better than being in position of no power arguing with big companies what should they do green-card-wise, at least for someone as blunt and independent as I am.
How can I immigrate to the US?
1. Have a relative that is a US citizen and qualify for family re-unification immigrant status - Might have to wait for 10 years for the application to be completed.2. Marry a US citizen, with love, commitment and survive at least 2 years and pass the immigration test that it is not a marriage of convenience.3. Study at a US college, get an advanced degree (Masters) and find a job where the employer will apply for HI-B, continue for 4 years and then apply for permanent resident green card.4. Emigrate to Canada ( with a high-scoring skill), wait 4 years, become a Canadian citizen, get a Job as a specific professional category in the USA under treaty NAFTA, get TN-1 work visa and apply for a green card permanent resident status.5. Have $500,000 to a $ 1 Million as an Investor, with the view to set up a company in the USA, employ at least 10 US citizens for at least 2 years ( so you probably need to have at least $5million USD available to make that work. )Apply to be made a permanent resident before the end of the 2 years.6. Apply for and win a slot of the US Diversity Permanent Resident Green Card Lottery.5. Come as a person of international renown - like a famous actor, singer, musician, Sports person especially in an Olympic sport or for an American Professional Sport club (Basketball, Baseball, American Football), Nobel Prize winner or innovative inventor, as America likes 'winners' and famous people.6. Try for the small amount of Professional H1-B work visas if you have an employer that would sponsor that, wait 4 years and apply for Permanent Resident/Green Card.That is all depending on the current Government, congress, and President not barring you because of Country of Origin, Religion - and you have some specific ability or talent. Additionally, the Immigration Law is one of the things that may get overhauled completely as President Trump has it on his to-do list.There may be a re-instatement of all visa applications being denied, revoked or halted from many countries including primarily Muslim Countries and terrorist supporting regimes.Also, if you do get to the USA somehow, you must not use any public funds (grants, unemployment or social security welfare) or commit any crime or be arrested or convicted of any violation of sometimes archaic and biased laws, where ignorance of the law is not a defense. It could be a pattern that some biased and bigoted law enforcement agencies may as well as harass you find some way to arrest and charge you for being not from the USA. The Statue of Liberty and the 'Bring your poor and tired masses' welcoming immigration to the USA is long gone, and if the Statue of Liberty could move I am sure that she would stomp north of the border and settle down off of Newfoundland, Canada!Some example of Obscure laws still valid in some states include : Do not cut down a Cactus in Arizona, otherwise 25 years in jail is the maximum penalty;Do not sell your eyeballs in Texas.Do not go fishing without checking and obtaining a fishing permit, particularly in Federal,State, County or City owned land or sea shore. (A Chinese couple, a customer of my wife for real estate, were deported for not obeying this law and lost their 'green cards'.)Do not sell a toothbrush as well as toothpaste to the same customer on a Sunday in Rhode Island.So the American Dream may only be a mirage, my friend, unless you have great luck and skill and patience !
How can I apply for a Canada PR from India? What are the requirements?
The year 2017 is the best time to apply for Canada PR from India. This year approximately 55,000 people have received invitation for Canada PR from IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada)- the federal immigration department of Canada. So, if you are thinking of applying Canadian Permanent Residency as an Indian, it’s the best time to go for the same. Now, coming back to your question, i.e.How can I apply for a Canada PR from India?Well, there are multiple pathways you can use to obtain permanent residency in Canada. However, if you are a skilled worker in India, federal Express Entry System is the best and fastest way to get the PR in Canada. Though, you can apply through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) or Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), etc. as well.Express entry was launched in January 2015 by the IRCC as a key economic immigration program of Canada. Express Entry aims to select the skilled, qualified and experienced immigrant workers from overseas to meet the skill shortage of skilled workers across different provinces and territories. Every year, tens of thousands of people register on Express Entry system to apply for PR in Canada.How it worksExpress Entry has three key categories, i.e.Federal Skilled Worker ProgramFederal Skilled Trades ProgramCanadian Experience ClassIf you are a skilled worker, you need to choose FSWP (Federal skilled worker Program) to apply. Create a profile, submit EOI and obtain minimum 67 points under the FSWP stream, based on your age, education, work experience, language ability, etc. factors.You meet the criteria you will enter the Express Entry pool of candidate. In the EE pool, you will have to compete with the fellow express entry applicants, to obtain the invitation from IRCC to apply for Canada PR. When you enter in Express entry pool, your profile gets a definite point score, called CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) score for key profile factors, i.e. education, language skills, experience, etc.You may check your CRS score on CRS Points CalculatorThe candidates with top ranking profiles get the ITA (Invitation to Apply) for Canada PR from IRCC. The IRCC launch an express entry draw every 15 days and announce the cut off marks to select the candidates. The applicants achieving the cut off score get selected for ITA for Canada PR.What are the requirements?If you are a skilled worker in India, you must have all your documents intact with regards to qualification and experience. As far as creating a profile on express entry system is concerned, you need following two things, i.e.· Language proficiency test result (for English or French language) with minimum CLB 7 score (i.e. IELTS Test for English proficiency)· ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) from WES or any other relevant assessing authorityHow long does it take to get the PR?The IRCC claims to process the applications received via express entry within 6 months. However, time taken for receiving ITA (Invitation to Apply), etc. is not included in this.Good luck!
Will the Canadian passport become cheapened and Canadians will face more scrutiny in developed countries now that it imports mass immigration from Third World countries through Express Entry?
The Express entry is only one of the ways to immigrate in Canada.- The cost of the passport will not go down.I expect the Latinos to start a important trend of immigration in Quebec. as Quebec requires french or Latin speaking immigrants.The current highest immigrants are The Philipines. China, India.Like the USA It is possible some profiling may be done on a select group of immigrants in order to develop business rather than white collar workers. Canada is suffering a big shortage of manual construction workers urgently required.The Canadian population is not involved in immigration unless some failure happens like the Syrian group that did not adapt to the North American or South American immigration wave as many returned to other countries or became at the charge of the state welfare system:Canada Limits New Private Sponsorships Of Syrian RefugeesOctober 25, 2017By Hugo O'Doherty And Eman Katem4.7kSharesThe share of Canada’s growing population made up by immigrants has risen to 21.9 percent, up from 20.6 percent in 2011, and the majority of recent immigrants arrived through an economic immigration program.These are just a couple of the many insights published by StatsCan, based on data gathered in last year’s census. The immigrant population is defined as persons who are, or who have been, permanent residents in Canada. Immigrants who then went on to obtain Canadian citizenship by naturalization are included in this group.You have to go back to 1921 to find the last time the share of Canada’s population made up by immigrants was this high. Back then, just under two million immigrants represented 22.3 percent of the overall population.Today, 7.5 million immigrants are spread across the country — and despite the fact that Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal still attract more than half, more immigrants are choosing to settle in the Prairie provinces and Atlantic Canada. Government projections show that Canada’s immigrant population may reach as high as 30 percent by 2036. Canada Population Pyramid 2018On the other side are critics who consistently argue for more restrictive policies on immigration, citizenship and related matters. Some argue that immigration hurts the economy more than it helps. They generally focus on the assertion that current levels are overly high in relation to labour force needs; on the need for a higher proportion of economic-class immigrants, given their quicker workforce integration and hence greater economic benefits; on the impact on congestion and housing prices in urban areas; on the prevalence of immigration fraud; and on the risks to social cohesion posed by ethnic enclaves. Some critics tend to favour European-origin immigrants, given the perceived incompatibility of immigrants from other areas with Canada’s values and traditions.The continued success of Canada’s immigration, settlement, citizenship and multiculturalism programs is central to our future. Getting the substance right requires informed policy debates and discussion, carried out in a respectful manner. For this to happen, both sides need to be more aware of their assumptions and more cautious in their assertions, and they must find better ways to present their arguments.Here are some do’s and don’ts for engaging in an intelligent debate about immigration (tables 1 and 2).Alternative arguments for immigration boostersThose who support increased immigration to Canada could make a number of alternative, more nuanced arguments, while avoiding the pitfalls outlined above:Canada faces a rapidly aging population and, as a consequence, a potential labour market shortage. Addressing this possibility requires weighing a significant increase in immigration levels against an ongoing analysis of the impact of technology on labour market needs.Immigration should be a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship between Canada and immigrants. Immigration policies should be designed to promote not only overall economic growth but, more important, per capita GDP growth. Selection criteria should prioritize integration, requiring minimal additional investment in settlement services.Immigrants are often entrepreneurs who start small businesses, but Canada needs to find ways that these skills can result in more medium-sized and larger enterprises.Canada has managed previous increases in immigration without a major public backlash, but ongoing attention is needed to maintain public confidence in the management and integrity of the immigration program. Any further increase in immigration needs to address public concerns about the pace of change and its impacts on Canadian society.Most immigrants will continue to settle in our urban centres, so infrastructure and related investments should be designed to ensure that our cities remain livable and preferred destinations. Policies should be developed to reduce speculative and other pressures on affordable housing.Closer attention needs to be given to problems of retention, both of immigrants who leave Canada and of those who move to another province after their arrival.Alternative arguments for immigration criticsFor critics, an alternative set of arguments to avoid some of the pitfalls outlined above would include:Canada is and always will be a country of immigrants. However, we need to reflect carefully on the number we admit each year, given the mixed economic outcomes for individuals, the number who later choose to leave Canada and the expected impact of technology on labour market needs.Public concerns regarding the pace of change need to be recognized, most often expressed through concerns over immigrant “values,” whether legitimate (for example, about unreasonable accommodation requests) or xenophobic. Lower levels of immigration that reflect a rigorous and independent review of these and other factors are the best policy option.Irrespective of levels, there should be an increase of economic-class immigrants, with ranking criteria that reinforce factors key to successful integration.While increased immigration increases the overall size of the economy, it does not necessarily lead to higher individual incomes. Given that most immigrants settle in our urban centres, the infrastructure and related costs need to be factored into the determination of immigration levels. Moreover, attention needs to be given to integration, since many immigrants settle in neighbourhoods with members of their own ethnic or religious group.While Canada has been largely successful in integrating newcomers, there are some worrying signs: increased hate crimes, discriminatory hiring practices, and poorer economic outcomes for non-university-educated young second-generation immigrants.Debate and discussion regarding immigration, settlement, citizenship and multiculturalism is normal and healthy, provided that it is conducted in a respectful and thoughtful manner. Overly simplified argumentation, too much reliance on anecdote, denial or disregard of evidence, underestimation of public concern and the use of denigrating language or tones do not help these discussions.Canada has benefitted from the relative success of its immigration, settlement, citizenship and multiculturalism policies to date. Their continued success remains important to Canada’s future. All participants need to be mindful of the impact of their arguments and words and need to formulate their arguments in a manner that fosters informed debate and contributes toward better public discourse and policy development.Photo: People take the citizenship oath at Pier 21 immigration centre in Halifax on Saturday, July 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adina BresgeDo you have something to say about the article you just read? Be part of the Policy Options discussion, and send in your own submission. Here is a link on how to do it. | Souhaitez-vous réagir à cet article ? Joignez-vous aux débats d’Options politiques et soumettez-nous votre texte en suivant ces directives.Andrew GriffithSeptember 1, 2017ChinaIndiaUnited KingdomPhilippinesUnited StatesItalyHong KongGermanyVietnamPakistanCanada Population by AgeThere are 29,571,647 adults in Canada.How to debate immigration issues in Canada - Policy OptionsImmigrants Make Up 21.9% of Canada's Population: StatsCan | Canada Immigration News