How do you sort out immigration?
Hello, you have many options as a Canadian entrepreneur moving to the US. If you are the major investor in your own company and own at least 50% of the company, you are eligible for an E-2 visa. If you already own a Canadian company and are opening a branch or subsidiary in the US you are eligible for an L-1 visa. If you are currently in the US as a student you may consider an H-1B visa. Regardless, of what option you choose you cannot just move to the US and start working. That said, you can make short trips to the US to set up your company without a visa, such as setting up bank accounts, signing legal documents, and agreeing to a lease.
Each of these visa options has its own timeline and various strengths and weaknesses. I am an immigration attorney in the US. I would be happy to discuss your options further with you on a call.
I wish I knew :)
Maybe someone will answer this if it shows up on the Dashboard :)
You can find some generic advice online but you should ultimately get an immigration lawyer. Working with a larger company will make the visa situation easier as they have more resources- even Series A or later. It may be possible to sort it out as a founder, but that is likely more difficult (or at least expensive as I think the E-2 requires a significant investment). Some (eg, Skype, Zendesk) have founded the company in their home country and then moved to SF after they raised funding. If you have a special skill set (eg, PhD) there is also the O-1 visa.
Note: I am not a lawyer and this does not constitute legal advice.