US to revive immigration program proposed by Obama administration

Posted on: 12 May 2021  |   Tags: ,

May 10, 2021: The present US administration is mulling reviving an immigration program that allows foreign entrepreneurs to work in the US after it annulled a proposal of the Trump administration that intended to abort it.

The Wall Street Journal is quoted as saying that the Biden-led administration in a bid to revive it is planning to promote the program.  Known as the International Entrepreneur Rule, it was proposed by the US administration under Obama three days before his tenure came to an end in 2017. Its intent was to let foreign entrepreneurs work in the US for up to five years as long as their startups were able to lure in US venture capital a minimum of $250,000 and hire 10 employees or meet other criteria.

The previous administration headed by Trump was against the program as it depends on an authority named parole, which permits the US to welcome foreign nationals without visas as long as it was for “significant public benefit."  The Trump administration published a notification stating it planned to end the program, which it never did in the end. The program was forgotten founders of startups and venture-capital companies took the notice as an indication that the previous administration wouldn’t accept applications.

After a few VC firms requested the present administration to revive the program so that thousands of founders of foreign startups could enter into the US or remain in it to pursue their businesses.

Tracy Renaud, Acting US Citizenship and Immigration Services Director, was quoted as saying that the American immigrants had a long history of entrepreneurship, hard work, and creativity and their contributions to their emigrated land were extremely valuable 

 At present, the US has no visa programs for startup founders. Overseas entrepreneurs have to therefore use other visa categories to enter the country. According to an official of the USCIS, the organization which runs the program, they had received only 30 applications for this program during 2017-201 9. Out of them, one was approved.

The USCIS is predicting that if the program is run well, it could lead to the qualification of around 3,000 foreign entrepreneurs per year, generating approximately 100,000 jobs over a decade.

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