The Impossible Dream: U.S. Visas for Entrepreneurs

An animated video from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) highlighting the plight immigrant entrepreneurs face when trying to keep themselves and their businesses in the United States.  The video shows the contrast between the U.S. and other countries, who will provide incentives to immigrant entrepreneurs to move their companies to their country, such as start up funds, a permanent visa, and even five years of rent.  There are already visas for investment and employment creation through investment – the E-2 and EB-5 visas, respectively.  However, proposed changes for a new startup visa would make it possible for entrepreneurs in a wider range of fields to start businesses  and qualify for citizenship.  For example, “as opposed to an EB-5, sectors like technology typically run lean and “don’t employ 10 or more employees in the start-up phase.” The EB-5 also has stringent capital investment requirements.  As the video suggests, contact your congressperson to urge him or her to push for legislation for an entrepreneurial visa.  The iteration of the visa that we should push for, however, should increase the number of visas available for entrepreneurs – not take away visa numbers from other categories.  It should also streamline the process and not make extremely onerous requirements, and should follow the lead of countries such as China, Canada and Chile (as demonstrated in the video).

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