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Irish firms warned on US visas

A LEADING US immigration lawyer has warned Irish startups who are training their sights on the US market not to take unnecessary risks when trying to do business there.

US business visa expert Deirdre O'Brien said dozens of Irish entrepreneurs will likely be inspired to try and make it big in the US following Dublin's Web Summit. But she said many may encounter obstacles if they do not investigate how the system works. "In my experience, Irish startups tend to procrastinate on the issue, taking unnecessary risks and delaying or jeopardising opportunities for growth," she said.

There are two basic pieces of advice that startups need to keep in mind, according to Ms O'Brien. "The first is never lie to a US immigration official. US Immigration has zero tolerance for fraud or misrepresentation and telling a lie to gain entry may result in a lifetime ban. Secondly, don't wing it when it comes to work visas. You can screw up investor or business opportunities," she said.

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