On Thursday, Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama promised to simplify and speed the process for foreign entrepreneurs aiming to work in the United States. He did not however, go into detail about how this course would be executed.
The department of Homeland Security provided additional details on the matter in a memorandum. The memo reveals particulars of noteworthy and innovative opportunity that has been created for foreign industrialists: status is parole. In most cases, parole status is generally awarded for medical relief or philanthropic purposes as a form of entrance to the country without a visa. In fact, it was recommended by the DHS that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services propose a database that would allow researchers, innovators, and startup founders to legally enter U.S. territory for an unstipulated period of time.
“This is a temporary fix for the fact that we never got a startup visa,” reports immigration lawyer at Mintz Levin, Susan Cohen. “This is the solution the president has come up with, which is very creative.”
As a result of the H-1B – the most commonly used visa among high-skilled workers requiring foreign industrialists to provide documentation of eligibility for work and payment – many of these entrepreneurs are opting to build their companies in other places. One of which being Madhuri Eunni, an innovator who launched his own tech business in Toronto, Canada. The H-1B gives an immense amount of power to the company of interest, offering it sole control of the manufacturers as well as the ability to make it impeccably hard for them to launch their own company. The visa also gives the company the authority to permanently relieve manufacturers from work.
Canada, contrarily, is just one country that is embarking changes in essence to cater to the needs of foreign entrepreneurs. The country launched a startup visa in April of 2013. The recent proposal has afforded a simpler pathway for entrepreneurs hoping for a place in the U.S. market. Eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Demonstration of innovative and job creation
- Proof of allowance or “substantial” funding from U.S. investors
The venture will be determined on a case-by-case basis and could possibly be tacked on to the existing parole regulation. Still, there’s no way telling how many industrialists would actually be accepted. As of now, the USCIS is only accepting a fourth of parole requests. There are 1,200 total requests a year.
While this is by no means a visa, experts strongly believe that this could be a big step in the right direction. In the end, the ultimate goal would be to shape the groundwork of the industry so that entrepreneurs would be granted admissibility for a permanent visa.
As of now there is no clear answer of the allowed time frame for foreign industrialists looking to say in the U.S. The type of visa they would be eligible also remains in question. The DHS memorandum was nothing more than a suggestion. USCIS has yet to add any enactment to it. Under the conditions and stipulations, this is the best the president can do.