As i mentioned in my previous post, i had a US visa application going, which didn’t go so well. It was an E-2 investors visa application, which is considered to be the closest type of visa you can get to the infamous “Startup Visa“. It allows citizens of specific countries to get a visa to buildup and grow their companies as long as they provide working positions to US citizens.
The investment amount required is relatively small, $200,000 and can be in the form of cash, merchandize or other type of assets including intellectual property. My application met all typical requirements and was carefully and methodically crafted with the help of an experienced lawyer, one that was referenced to me by a fellow entrepreneur from France who run exactly the same application with more or less the same specs as mine. In the pass of time i also got to know more entrepreneurs who used this type of visa with no problems at all.
Well that was not my case… The US consulate in Sweden, where i applied to since i am also a Swedish citizen, took its time to reply, and through a series of cascading delays a decision that was supposed to be issued on November 2011, finally landed in my hands on March 2012. Official reason was that the investment was marginal and not able to employ US citizens. A reason that as i have already stated was not a problem for my fellow entrepreneurs, and all of you startupers know, stands to no reason.
I had such a long waiting period, that all my energy and momentum was drained. A man with no face, trapped, with no freedom to move or express, waiting for a (seemingly at the time) life-scale type of decision to be made for him. Well i don’t have to bump my head in the wall any more with this issue, i can now move on.
In the few days that have passed since i received the letter i am feeling better every day, now i know where i stand and gathering, reflecting on my past voyage. For me there is only one place to be if you are venturing on the internet technology industry.
Now with, finally, peace of mind i am slowly planning and preparing for my next steps.
First photo on top courtesy of Just a minute – No Entry
Last photo courtesy of fotorosso – and lead falls from my bones
Sorry to hear about it Thanasis. I am sure you ‘ll succeed anyway.
If your idea is sound, and you have that sort of cash, I’m sure you can find success bootstrapping with your fellow Swedes as employees. Once you have success and of course success=money then you can live anywhere and do as you please. That’s the only roadblock to moving.
Go cry now.
I must apologize for the behavior of our government. We seem to have forgotten how to be hospitable. 😦
Well, not to downplay advantages of location. But dude, this is internet business. The term “location” doesn’t even define it properly anymore. Your average startup outside of the silicon valley/SF bay area walled garden usually consists of a swede sitting in singapore, a german sitting in the maledives, a swiss in zürich and a frenchman sitting in london. That is, at a given time, because like electrons, it’s somewhat hard to measure precisely.
As an experienced business immigration attorney it is very unfortunate to read about your situations. E-2 visas are not all that difficult and the Embassy in Sweden is well versed in E-2 requirements. The problem is that not all E-2 applications are alike. Your French friend’s case may be just different enough to put it over the top. The issue of marginality has to be, or should have been, addressed in the case. When I prepare E-2 applications on behalf of clients I make sure that they have a solid 5-year business plan to show the growth of the company over time. This goes a long way in satisfying the consul officer.
Good luck to you.
Have you tried applying for EB-2?