A new immigration rule have been proposed by the Obama government particularly for foreign entrepreneurs who have raised money from the American investors to migrate to the US for 2 to five years, and they will have the option to stay for longer period.
The President Obama wanted to initiate a ‘start up-visa’ particularly for immigrant entrepreneurs who are willing to start their businesses in the US. This will be called International Entrepreneurial Rule, which will be coming in to effect after 45 day comment period. The new immigration rule was not coming in to effect due to congressional holdup because of which various attempts to pass the start-up visa could not succeed to the President’s desk.
The present US government believe that the entrepreneurs are generating jobs in the country,contribute to GDP of the US and offers services for the public benefit. The present Immigration and Nationality Act, is beneficial for the new International Entrepreneurial rule which allows the US government to grant temporary entry in the country to the immigrants on the basis of case by case for “urgent humanitarian reasons”.
In a press conference, the director of US Citizenship and Immigration, Leon Rodriguez stated that, “the rule advances a significant public benefit in that it promotes those enterprises that demonstrate a potential for rapid business growth, job creation, and innovation”.
As of now there is no restriction on the number of immigrants to be allowed in the country under this rule, but there would be other significant restrictions. The immigrant entrepreneurs will have the choice to apply for two tiers of admission. The first tier permits the entrepreneurs to enter the country for two years but the government has the right to reverse the decision at any point of time. The qualification rule for ‘start-up visa’ is that the owners of the business should own at least 50% of their firm, and they should have raised a minimum of $345,000 from the US investors or else from the federal, state, or local governmental enterprises.
In the second tier, the founders have an option to extend their stay for an additional 3 years. To qualify in the second tier, the entrepreneurs are expected to continue running their business in the US and should retain at least 10% of their ownership in the firm, or raise a minimum of $500,000 from the US investors, or could generate an annual incomes of $500,000 with a growth of 20% every year or they have to prove that they have generated a minimum of 10 full time jobs in a span of 5 years. Then only the immigrant entrepreneurs in the US could apply for other visas like EB-2 to further stay in the US.
The technology industry was supporting to introduce a broad immigration reform visa for last many years, and start-up visa is amongst their top priority. There were certain tech backed groups such as FWD.us was working with the US government to make this legislature possible.
The Co-founder of PayPal and a backer of FWD.us, Max Levchin, who is also an immigrant from Soviet Union mentioned that immigrants are natural entrepreneurs, they are ambitious and don’t have much things to loose. It has been observed that most of fortune 500 companies were originated by the immigrants or their followers. Levchin also mentioned that an individual requires stability to set up a business. He intends to meet the immigrant entrepreneurs in the country who are the products of the best schools in the world, and leave their home country to start their own business.
He stated that, “to remain a global economic powerhouse, we better find out a way to fix this problem”.
The US government is planning to bring the new visa rule in the tenure of President Obama, as the next President contender Donald Trump is not in favour of immigration policies and is even against of H1B visas for high skilled professionals as he believes that it depress salaries and is a threat for poor and working class Americans. But on the other hand Hillary Clinton is in favour of this new rule and would like to take it even further. She supports the start-up visa as the entrepreneurs could generate jobs and raise funds in America. Her technology agenda is to provide “green cards to diplomas of anyone who is graduating with masters of PhD in STEM fields”.
As such, it is not very clear that how Clinton would be able to pass this legislature when Congress has remained alienated on immigration policies as it was in 2013, when the last immigration bill was introduced.
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