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Dear Sophie: How can early-stage startups improve their chances of getting H-1Bs?


Sophie Alcorn

Sophie Alcorn is the founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley and 2019 Global Law Experts Awards’ “Law Firm of the Year in California for Entrepreneur Immigration Services.” She connects people with the businesses and opportunities that expand their lives.

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Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.
“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”
TechCrunch+ members receive access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Dear Sophie,
We have a stealth early-stage biotech startup. Do we qualify to petition a co-founder on STEM OPT for an H-1B in the lottery? Is it worth it or are there better alternatives?
— Budding Biotech
Dear Budding,
It’s absolutely possible for an early-stage biotech (or tech) startup in stealth mode to successfully petition a founder or founding engineer for an H-1B in the lottery or even an H-1B transfer. Here’s how, starting with some background on how th …

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