Last October, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“CIS”) announced the Entrepreneurs in Residence program with the goal of harnessing industry expertise from the public and private sectors and increasing the job creation potential of employment-based and high-skilled visa categories. On November 29, 2012, CIS launched a new web portal for entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneurs Pathways web portal.
The portal includes a guide to the various visa options an entrepreneur has to enter and work in the United States. While the portal provides an overview of the basic eligibility requirements for the statuses, it does not inform the reader of the limitations, traps and pitfalls of those visa options. The establishment of the Entrepreneurs in Residence Program at CIS is a clear statement that CIS is interested in facilitating entrepreneurs’ entry to the United States. However, it will do little to simplify how foreign born entrepreneurs can found and run a business in the U.S. with reliable expectation of visa issuance, extension and, if desired, a pathway to a Green Card. Bipartisan legislation like the StartUp Visa Act and Startup Act 2.0 that are currently pending in Congress, would provide pathways to a Green Card for entrepreneurs, and could easily be amended to include temporary visa statuses so that entrepreneurs could quickly enter the U.S.
Please feel free contact the Immigration Law Group with any questions on this topic.