April 16, 2024
Ask Sophie: What are the visa options for a startup founder with family?  | TechCrunch


Sophie Alcorn, attorney, author and founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley, California, is an award-winning Certified Specialist Attorney in Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Sophie is passionate about transcending borders, expanding opportunity, and connecting the world by practicing compassionate, visionary, and expert immigration law. Connect with Sophie on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Dear Sophie,

Our HR and operational consulting firm works primarily with tech startups. Would you provide an update on what we should look out for in the new year when it comes to the PERM process? Thanks!

— Hopeful HR

Dear Hopeful,

Happy New Year! I’m excited about what 2024 will bring in immigration policy changes designed to attract and retain international talent in STEM fields, particularly those spurred by President Biden’s executive order on AI.

If you haven’t already, talk with an immigration attorney about the complex PERM process, timing, risks and alternative options based on a company’s hiring situation and an employee’s immigration situation.

Now, let me provide a bit of context about where things currently stand with the PERM process before diving into the changes you should look out for that will — or will not 🙂 — impact PERM.

The current state of PERM

As you know, getting PERM labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is the first step required for companies sponsoring current or prospective employees for an EB-2 advanced degree or exceptional ability green card or an EB-3 green card for professional workers. The PERM process aims to protect wages for Americans and establish that any qualified and available U.S. workers receive access to the job prior to offering a green card to the candidate.

If you’d like additional detail about the nuts and bolts of the PERM process, take a look at this previous Ask Sophie column.

In general, PERM requires employers to:





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