ENRICH Soft Landing Program FAQ
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
What kind of services are provided by the program?
The program provides the following:
Training & Mentoring
Visa hosting and/or sponsoring (depending on the visa category)
ENRICH Community (access to events and activities) & Networks (investors and mentors)
Please visit our section “Program Components & Commitments” on the Soft Landing Program page.
What are the program requirements?
In addition to the commitments listed in our section “Program Components & Commitments” on the Soft Landing Program page.
The main requirements to join our program are the following:
- The application form should be completed. This will enable the ENRICH Team to schedule a 90-min discussion with you.
- When in the USA, at least 50% of the work time has to be spent at the chosen location/city and the visa holder’s housing should be in a 50-mile radius of the office.
- The visa holder has to follow the university incubator’s rules and regulations i.e. respect the signed lease agreement.
What are the program terms?
On average, the Soft Landing Program is a 24-month program. We confirm the program length together, based on your objectives and the visa category chosen. The program can be ended each quarter with a 2-month notice, i.e. by the end of the first month of each quarter.
What are the program fees?
The monthly fees depend on the location and size of the needed desk/private office, from USD 1,400 to USD 2,500 per month; quarterly paid to Temple University SBDC, the ENRICH lead coordinator in the United States.
The administrative fees associated with a US Visa are not included. For a J-1 Visa, they range from EUR 1,000 to EUR 4,000 depending on the duration and category of the visa.
What is included in a dedicated desk at a university-based incubator?
Every location has its unique office space and service, in general, it includes:
Open workstation, or a private office (on request - extra cost)
1 telephone line with a virtual receptionist (on request - extra cost). Calls sent back to mobile (communication and phone line charges not included).
Mail processing (forward mailing on request - extra cost)
Access to common facilities: photocopiers, kitchen, etc.
Access to conference rooms - by reservation
Reception of visitors
Access to incubator’s events
Administrative support to help to prepare for arrival and return of the hosted person(s)
What is the program procedure for additional services requests?
For any additional needs/requests such as pre-sales efforts, contacting customers, support to establish technological, commercial or financial partnerships, scheduling business appointments, helping with negotiations, helping with recruitment, banking, accounting, legal matters, investigate open innovation initiatives from large US corporations, etc., we will put you in contact with the appropriate ENRICH in the USA Partners and Ambassadors.
Under which US visa is it possible to join the ENRICH Soft Landing Program?
Different categories of the J-1 visa are well adapted to the ENRICH in the USA program.
J-1 visas advantages:
- A US entity is not required
- An investment in the USA is not required (instead, a proof of funds to cover the living expenses for the duration of the program, is needed)
- Open to all nationalities
- The spouse can get a work authorization
Some of the other visa categories that are applicable:
- The E-2 visa
- The H-1B visa
- The L-1 visa
- The B-1 visa
- The O-1 visa
For more information, please visit the US Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs webpage and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services webpage.
Can I create a US entity under a US temporary Visa?
Yes, there is no visa requirement to set up a U.S. entity, it can even been done from overseas. If the innovator is in the U.S., depending on their visa category, they may have limitations in operating the business. With immigration lawyers, taking into account the individual case, we will guide the innovator to choose the best visa for their needs and the venture’s needs.
How can a start-up or an entrepreneur apply and benefit from ENRICH in the USA programs?
Applications can be made through the F6S platform. Application calls for Immersion programs or Funding Summits are available periodically, depending on the conferences. News should be checked through:
- And also, through the Events & News section of the website:https://www.enrichintheusa.com/newsroom
Please apply here for Soft Landing and Virtual Landing Programs.
What prerequisites does one need to be eligible to participate in an ENRICH in the USA program?
- The applicant must be an individual tax payer in an EU Member State (MS) or /Associated Country (AC) and/or a MS/AC passport holder OR an incorporated organization that pays taxes in an EU MS/AC and/or whose majority of stakeholders who are MS/AC passport holders
- The applicant must be fluent in English
- The participant must be vetted/qualified by an ENRICH Ambassador or a government/corporate partner.
For EU MS and AC see: https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/hi/3cpart/h2020-hi-list-ac_en.pdf.
As of 2017, the following countries are associated to Horizon 2020: Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Israel, Moldova, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Ukraine, Tunisia, Georgia, Armenia.
Can you apply any time or are there specific dates?
Funding Summit and Immersion Programs at conferences: Upcoming events are announced at https://www.enrichintheusa.com/funding-summits and https://www.enrichintheusa.com/enrich-immersion-conferences and also on the Events & News section of the website: https://www.enrichintheusa.com/newsroom
Virtual landing and soft landing programs: Anytime.
How much does it cost to participate in an ENRICH in the USA service?
Immersion at conferences: virtual education services are free of charge for selected entrepreneurs. Some programs around international conferences may have low fees (under $500).
Virtual landing: USD 950 per month.
Soft landing: from USD 1,400 to USD 2,500 per month depending on the location and the size of the desk/office.
How can a start-up/entrepreneur get funding support to participate in ENRICH in the USA services?
Most of our Immersion programs are free of charge or at a low cost financed by our sponsors.
When possible, we leverage national and regional governments in Europe and North America to cover Virtual and Soft landings program costs.
Countries with special programs:
ABOUT THE J-1 VISA
J-1 Visa: what is it? What are the conditions?
J-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States (I think there is something missing like the agency). It is designed for people who want to partake in research, work or study-based exchange, or in visitor programs in the United States. Individuals applying will have to meet English language requirements and funds requirements (to prove the living expenses can be covered for the duration of the program) and have their exchange program “sponsored” following a specific procedure.
ENRICH in the USA has been working with its close Ambassador Green and Spiegel (link), on expanding the eligibility for extended J-1 visas for foreign graduates, alumni and innovators who want to become entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs in the U.S.
Below please find listed the main J- visa categories ENRICH in the USA is leveraging for its selected innovators:
J-1 Intern (12 months maximum stay duration)
J-1 Trainee (at least one year of relevant experience is required - 18 months maximum stay duration)
J-1 Specialist (12 months maximum stay)
J-1 Research scholar (1 to 2 years renewable up to 5 years)
The J-1 visa allows the European innovators to gain experience and incubate/test ideas in a university-centric ecosystem before deciding to launch a U.S. venture.
One advantage of the J-1 visas is that there is no cap on the number of J-1 visas issued each year by the US administration, compared to the H1B visa limitations.
For more details about the different J-1 visa categories and requirements, please visit this link: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/exchange.html.
How long can the J-1 visa be held?
Depending on the category, a J-1 visa can be held for 3 months up to a maximum of 5 years.
Can my spouse and children join me?
Yes. Spouses and children that are under 21 years old are eligible for an initial J-2 visa status. Upon arrival, spouses can fill out an application that will qualify them for a work authorization.
Can I travel while on a J-1 visa?
Yes, it is possible to travel. In order to return after a temporary leave - maximum of 5 months - the DS-2019 Form has to be endorsed by the J-1 Responsible Officer (the sponsoring agency or the university depending on the visa category). Please be aware that the J-1 Responsible Officer requires written evidence from your supervisor before they can sign the form. If you want to travel outside of North America, then a valid visa label is required for re-entry in the US territory.
What are the limits/restrictions of a J-1 visa?
During the J-1 visa procedure, you should complete the DS-2019 Form, that allows you to apply for an interview at a US Embassy or Consulate, a crucial step to obtain the visa. This form requests information about the person, the reasons why he/she wants to go to the US, the program he/she is intending to partake in, the start and end dates, and the person’s sponsor. The program intends that the holders of the J-1 visa have to return to their home country after the visa ends. It should be noted that J-1 visa holders may be asked to comply with a two-year home residency program - after the visa ends. In some cases, this can be waived. We work closely with immigration lawyers to help you evaluate this restriction and your next steps available after the J-1 program.
Will I have to pay income taxes in the US?
Yes - most foreign nationals in the U.S. with J-1 status are responsible for paying income taxes in the United States. However, the amount is dependent on nationality, and it is highly recommended that you speak with an international tax expert.
Am I allowed to work as an Exchange Visitor Visa holder?
The only activity an Exchange Visitor Visa holder is allowed to perform is the one listed on his/her Form DS-2019 and as stated in the regulations for that category of exchange.
What are your visa options after the J-1 visa?
At numerous junctures throughout the development of your venture enterprise, we will meet with you to discuss your progress and how your enterprise can best transition to a full-fledged operation. We will help not only create a strategy for your business, but also for your enterprise’s expansion growth; whether you look to transfer additional employees from an overseas entity, or tap into the wide-range of talented US workers.
The J-1 visa has a clear path to other types of visas in case the innovator (entrepreneur or employee/intrapreneur) wants to stay longer in the USA to launch and operate the US venture (E-1 and E-2 visa for treaty country (non-immigrant visa) or O visa for extraordinary abilities). He/she/They will be introduced to Immigration lawyers as/if needed. The law firm Green and Spiegel based in Philadelphia has been a great supporter and sponsor of the programme, and the management team is always available for a free consultation.
Finally, returning back home is also a possible next after a J-1 visa program.
How many foreign national employees can be sent to the US under a J-1 status through the ENRICH Soft Landing program?
In general, a couple of team members could join the program. Reminder: It is designed for researcher-entrepreneurs, tech entrepreneurs, tech startup founders/partners, “intrapreneurs” (i.e General Manager or Business Development executive role in the US), and engineers.
It is a case-by-case discussion, but it is not meant to send entire teams.