February 21, 2024


this is another version Ask Sophie’s advice column to answer immigration-related questions about working at a tech company.

“Your questions are critical to spreading knowledge, enabling people around the world to transcend borders and pursue their dreams,” said Sophie Alcorn, Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re looking for a job in HR, a founder, or in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your question In my next column. “

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Dear Sophie,

Our start-up employs around 30 people worldwide, using a combination of direct and co-employment depending on the country.

Over the past year and a half or so, we have helped several team members relocate from Ukraine and Russia to various non-Schengen countries including Georgia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

We realized that if we brought these employees to the US, it would cost more, but our startup would be more successful. How do we get them here?

— make money meaningfully

Dear Meaningful,

Many companies have helped make a meaningful difference in people’s lives, supporting talented team members and their families from countries like Ukraine and Russia to move to safety. Thank you for thinking about how to help some people immigrate to the United States now, may all mankind enjoy peace, prosperity and freedom.

Many employers are continuing to work with Ukrainian and Russian professionals who have left their homes since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Of the 8 million people who left Ukraine, more than 270,000 have been admitted to the United States, most of which are based on unite for ukraine program, which provides temporary residency and work permits in the United States.

At least 500,000 Up to 1 million people leave Russia More than 65,000 Russians Have sought to enter the United States between February 2022 and April 2023.According to the Russian government figureabout 100,000 IT specialists (approximately 10% of the technical workforce) left Russia, a figure that may be underestimated.

Before I delve into the options for bringing Ukrainian and Russian employees to the United States, I recommend that you work with an immigration attorney based on the education, skills, qualifications, location, and circumstances of each employee you seek to sponsor. Your company has several options for having your Ukrainian and Russian employees live and work in the United States.

unite for ukraine

this unite for ukraine The program, which began last year, offers Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family a way to come to the U.S. for two years on temporary parole status. Individuals participating in the program must have one or more U.S. sponsors (individuals, organizations, or businesses) agree to financially support their stay.

Supporters must complete the form I-134A (Online Application to Become a Supporter and Statement of Financial Support) and submit it to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The program includes an option for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work permit.

Currently, the period of parole under the “Unite Ukraine” program cannot be extended beyond two years, but this may change. Your company may consider sponsoring a parole employee to obtain a work visa or green card, which I explain in more detail below.