Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

Sophie Alcorn

Sophie Alcorn is the founding father of Alcorn Immigration Legislation in Silicon Valley and 2019 World Legislation Specialists Awards’ “Legislation Agency of the Yr in California for Entrepreneur Immigration Companies.” She connects individuals with the companies and alternatives that broaden their lives.

Extra posts by this contributor

Ask Sophie: My STEM OPT expires in 30 days, what are my choices?
Ask Sophie: Can I launch a startup if I’m within the US on a scholar visa?

Right here’s one other version of “Ask Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at know-how corporations.

“Your questions are very important to the unfold of information that permits individuals everywhere in the world to rise above borders and pursue their goals,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration lawyer. “Whether or not you’re in individuals ops, a founder or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d like to reply your questions in my subsequent column.”

TechCrunch+ members obtain entry to weekly “Ask Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Expensive Sophie,

I based a startup in Zimbabwe just a few years in the past. I deliberate to go to america for the primary time subsequent month to take a look at the market and utilized for a customer visa.

I’m planning to remain within the U.S. for a few months, however I simply realized that my passport expires in September. I perceive that I have to have at the least six months left on my passport as a way to journey to america.

Is that (nonetheless) true? Do I have to delay my journey?

— Hopeful in Harare

Expensive Hopeful,

Thanks for reaching out to me along with your questions! It’s so splendidly thrilling to listen to about your plans to go to america for the primary time. Let’s dive proper in.

Usually, sure, guests who’re touring to america are required to have passports which are legitimate for at the least six months after the date they arrive within the U.S. Many international locations have this six-month passport validity requirement.

Within the U.S., nonetheless, sure international locations are exempt from the six-month requirement and residents of these international locations solely have to have a passport that’s legitimate by means of the date of their keep within the U.S. Residents of Zimbabwe are exempt from the six-month rule, so so long as you permit the U.S. earlier than your passport expires, you’re coated! You don’t have to delay your journey!

Picture Credit: TechCrunch

Final month, U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP), which is answerable for border safety at U.S. airports and different ports of entry, issued an up to date record of nations exempt from the six-month passport validity rule. Practically 130 international locations, together with Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Taiwan, and Ukraine, are on that record. China will not be exempt.

This six-month passport validity exemption solely applies to guests: These on a B-1 enterprise customer, a B-2 vacationer customer visa, or these on ESTA (Digital System for Journey Authorization), the U.S. Visa Waiver program. Sadly, residents of Zimbabwe are ineligible for the ESTA program, which allows residents of 40 international locations to journey to the U.S. for enterprise for stays of 90 days or much less with out first acquiring a visa.

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