- The Bottleneck
- ⚙️ The Ops Playbook #5
⚙️ The Ops Playbook #5
Read Time: 5 Minutes
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Good Morning Operators. ⚙️
Elon Musk is diving into the U.S immigration debate this past week. Elon stopped by an area that has seen an increase in individuals crossing the Rio Grande.
Where did Elon visit this week? Scroll down below to see the answer.
Speaking about immigration, only one startup in the new YC batch is from South/Southeast Asia. This is a massive decrease from past batches. A YC spokesperson attributed the decrease to countless founders inability to getting a U.S visa.
The U.S. government has intensified visa scrutiny in recent years, particularly for countries with high visa overstays, due to national security and illegal immigration concerns.
As you scale, you’ll hire international talent who you will want to bring to the U.S. Let’s dive into what you can do to help get your employees a US visa.
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The Big Idea
How to Bring your Best Talent to the US
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The What: A TLDR of the idea
Navigating the labyrinthine world of U.S. immigration to get your stellar foreign hires on American soil is a monumental task for any COO.
The first, and perhaps most critical, step is to figure out which type of employment visa best suits your needs and those of your future employees.
Let's break it down:
H-1B visa is the go-to visa for specialized roles requiring a bachelor's degree, granting an initial stay of three years. Usually reserved for your coders, designers, and data experts
L-1 visa if you're looking to shift some managerial or executive talent
O-1 visa is for individuals who've gained recognition one-of-a-kind talents in the sciences, arts, or athletics
TN visa becomes an attractive option for remarkable talent from Canada or Mexico. It offers similar benefits to the H-1B but streamlines the approval process
In this game, knowing is half the battle. Once you pinpoint the visa category that aligns with your business needs, you'll be on firmer ground to steer through the legal intricacies, timeframes, and fees that follow.
Just remember, each visa is like a unique puzzle piece, and picking the right one is crucial to completing your organizational masterpiece.
The Why: 3 reasons why you should care
1. Global Talent Pool 🌎️ →
Talent is your startup's rocket fuel, and restricting yourself to a U.S.-only talent pool is like launching a SpaceX rocket with firecrackers.
Mastering the visa process lets you tap into a reservoir of global skills, different perspectives, and unique experiences that can elevate your startup to new heights.
2. Morale and Employer Branding 😃 →
When you offer visa sponsorship, you're making a loud and clear statement: "We're invested in you for the long haul." This act can solidify employee loyalty, lower turnover, and even make your startup more attractive to future talent.
It's not just about filling seats; it's about enriching your company culture and public image.
3. Legal and Ethical Responsibility 📕 →
Get a visa application wrong, and the ramifications extend beyond delayed paperwork. You risk legal repercussions, a hit to your reputation, and potentially displacing an employee and their family.
This isn't just administrative work; it's a high-stakes game affecting real human lives.
The How: 3 ways to handle this
1. Consult or Hire an Immigration Attorney 📖 →
An immigration attorney specialized in employment visas is your best bet here. They'll not only guide you through the maze but will also help you dodge costly errors that could delay the process.
Attorneys understand the minutiae of visa categories, how to expedite processes, and what backup plans to have in case of denials.
Consider it an investment, not an expense. If hiring one full-time seems like overkill, build a relationship with a consultancy that you can engage per case.
There are services like Legalpad that are trying to bring the lawyer-client dynamic into the 21st century by streamlining much of this process.
2. Software & Automation 🧑💻 →
Filing cabinets are so 1999. In a world where data is your new best friend, visa processing should be no exception. Platforms like Envoy Global aren't just flashy UI; they're designed to tackle this very problem head-on.
These platforms provide:
automation for data collection
alerts for filing deadlines
real-time updates on policy changes.
They even offer predictive analytics to gauge the success rate of an application based on historical data.
3. Communicate, Then Communicate Some More 💬 →
The visa process is stressful, full stop. Your international hires are in a vulnerable position, unsure whether they'll be able to work long-term for your company or be packing their bags.
This is where transparency takes center stage.
Implement a dedicated internal channel—Slack, Teams, whatever you use—specifically for visa process updates. Use this to give real-time updates on the progress of each case, breaking down jargon into understandable language.
If you're hitting snags, be upfront about them and explain how you're trying to fix the issue. Quarterly or even monthly one-on-ones focused solely on visa updates can go a long way in assuaging fears and fortifying trust.
What Next: 3 resources to learn more
For Fun: Trivia question on the latest news
Bonus: What I consumed this week
Tool of the Week
*Not sponsored. Just think this tool is awesome
Check Out: A new tool I found out this week
In researching how to get visas, I found that there is a ton of inefficient processes that could be streamlined.
I stumbled upon Boundless Immigration, a Seattle startup that helps immigrants receive visas and citizenships in the U.S. as an interesting option to help with the immigration process.
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