A tech startup devoted to helping immigrants file their immigration paperwork relocated its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Southern Nevada.
FileRight.com officially opened its doors Monday in Henderson with about 70 locally hired employees.
“Southern Nevada has a great business environment,” FileRight.com CEO Cesare Alessandrini said. “Another thing is that it really has a nice emerging tech startup culture here.”
Alessandrini said the idea was born “out of love” around 2001 when he helped his Argentinian wife fill out her immigration paperwork.
“We’re both college-educated, and ironically enough, we thought, ‘How hard could it be?’” he said, soon to discover that filing immigration paperwork was just as complex, difficult and “anxiety-laden” as it was when he was a 12-year old trying to help his Italian-immigrant parents fill out their paperwork.
In 2011, Alessandrini had the money and team in place to open FileRight.com. Since then, he said “tens of thousands” of applicants have used the service, with fees ranging between $100 and $200.
Each year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services receives and processes more than 6 million immigration applications, of which about 10 percent or more are rejected because of “simple mistakes,” Alessandrini said, such as incorrectly filling out an application.
“Then you have a backlog of people who are supposed to get legally approved, but it takes a long time because the government is spending half the time correcting applications and spending money to hire more people to complete and process more paperwork,” he said. “The ones who are suffering all along are the immigrants and their families.”
He said while he would like to see immigration reform, immigration policy has no bearing on his company. He is focused on getting immigrants through the system, whatever the system might be, he said.
“Whatever the laws are, following the laws will ensure that people’s applications will be done correctly.”
The Henderson headquarters consists of two 10,000-square-foot buildings, one of which has 5,000 square feet dedicated to nonprofits to use the space for educational purposes, whether that’s helping immigrants prepare for job interviews, helping them learn English or assisting them in filling out any number of government forms.
Contact Nicole Raz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4512. Follow @JournalistNikki on Twitter