Administration Creates A Hack For A Entrepreneur's Immigration Visa

from the innovation-for-innovation dept

For many, many years we've talked about why the US should have an entrepreneur's visa to let in smart entrepreneurs who are able to build companies and create jobs in the US, rather than kicking out the very people who are helping to build out the US economy. However, because immigration is such a touchy issue, attempts to do so via Congress have gone nowhere. And while we've had some concerns about the actual implementation (in particular the focus on requiring the entrepreneurs to raise a fair amount of venture capital), the general concept is a good one.

Late on Friday, it appears that the White House effectively worked out a way to create a startup entrepreneur's visa on its own, without going through Congress. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a plan to expand the "parole" powers it already has to international entrepreneurs, allowing them to stay in the country while building a company:
The proposed rule would allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use its existing discretionary statutory parole authority for entrepreneurs of startup entities whose stay in the United States would provide a significant public benefit through the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation.
Homeland Security would review each request on a case-by-case basis, but would require the following rules:
  • Who have a significant ownership interest in the startup (at least 15 percent) and have  an active and central role to its operations;
  • Whose startup was formed in the United States within the past three years; and
  • Whose startup has substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation, as evidenced by:
    • Receiving significant investment of capital (at least $345,000) from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
    • Receiving significant awards or grants (at least $100,000) from certain federal, state or local government entities; or
    • Partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria in addition to other reliable and compelling evidence of the startup entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
This does seem better than some of the earlier proposals, which included requirements after receiving the visa to have to raise upwards of $1 million from investors. We were worried that this would basically force entrepreneurs to take money from VCs when they might not otherwise need to. This parole system still has raising money as a criteria, but the amount is significantly lower and DHS also has the flexibility to still grant the parole without the investment if there is "other reliable and compelling evidence of the startup entity's substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation."

It does still feel a bit arbitrary, but overall this is definitely a good step for entrepreneurship in the US.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 4:51pm

    Receiving significant investment of capital (at least $345,000) from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;


    This smacks of cronyism. "Yeah, you can stay, but only if you're sponsored by someone on this short list of people who all happen to be donors to my campaign. I'm sure you'll be able to work out a deal favorable to one of them."

    Whose startup was formed in the United States within the past three years;


    So they can stick around for 3 years building their business, and then we'll deport them? Is that really the plan?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 26 Aug 2016 @ 7:54pm

      Re:

      This smacks of cronyism. "Yeah, you can stay, but only if you're sponsored by someone on this short list of people who all happen to be donors to my campaign. I'm sure you'll be able to work out a deal favorable to one of them."

      Possibly, though I doubt it. If that's how it came down, there would be a massive uproar.

      So they can stick around for 3 years building their business, and then we'll deport them? Is that really the plan?


      The plan allows for much longer than that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous, 28 Aug 2016 @ 7:42pm

        Re: Re:

        The plan is to have them stay long enough to qualify as a "US Person" for taxation purposes, and then they can be taxed on their worldwide income for the rest of their lives (as can any children they have while in the US).

        Only in Eritrea and the US...bastions of democratic virtuousness.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Aug 2016 @ 4:56pm

    Congress in action

    " However, because immigration is such a touchy issue, attempts to do so via Congress have gone nowhere."
    I came accross the following quote the other day, and have been waiting for a good excuse.

    "...has failed to account for the fact that Congress, as currently constituted, couldn't provide a stool sample if it was locked in a cholera ward, but that'’s the system we have."
    The quote came from here, a FaultLines article by Noel Erinjeri

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2016 @ 3:35pm

      Re: Congress in action

      Our immigration system has been a mess for a long time. Yet, back in 2008, when Obama had a Democratically controlled Congress, he and Congress did exactly zero to "fix" the problem. Now that the GOP runs Congress, it seems like people blame Congress for the problem, exclusively.

      Obama had ample opportunity to address this issue for the first two years of his presidency, as did the Democratically controlled Congress. They choose to keep the system as it is. Why should anyone expect the GOP to change it now to suit the Democrats, especially since the Democrats squandered an opportunity to do so themselves?

      Or maybe both sides just want an issue to blame the other about? Because both are just as guilty of inaction.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2016 @ 8:39am

        Re: Re: Congress in action

        Not only that, the Dems could have soaked the rich with taxes and they did absolutely zero. But they did make taxes a re-election issue and have not mentioned it since. Seems the dems are as rich as the repubs and aren't actually wanting to soak the rich. But the average Joe Dem doesn't see that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Atkray (profile), 26 Aug 2016 @ 6:23pm

    What is the saying about sounds too good to be true?

    Plus anything that has homeland security attached to it is suspect from the get go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TimeToDevNullThem, 26 Aug 2016 @ 6:47pm

    It says DHS on it...it's like HFCS in it.

    This is a document, that on the day when I am tasked to restore the republic, will not be relevant, it will be nullified along with the ENTIRE ****ING DHS which is POISON for Freedom.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 8:26pm

    Interesting, but still a bad idea

    This may be well-intentioned, but I am of the opinion that we already have far too much discretionary authority vested in the executive branch. I would much rather see a change in the law to provide the needed improvements, rather than an executive action based solely on discretionary reinterpretation of existing statutes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 8:33pm

      Re: Interesting, but still a bad idea

      It is a bad idea. Unfortunately it is the least bad option available. Obama has gone whole-hog on executive orders because congress has essentially abdicated their job. All those people who like to say that our government had gridlock constitutionally designed in (I used to be one of them) are seeing the result of that theory put to the test.

      I don't see it getting any better for the forseeable future either.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2016 @ 9:09am

    Uhhh... Where to start with this...
    Now immigration has rules?? Who knew?! Is it not already law that immigrants demonstrate they have means of support, yet we have majorities of immigrants from certain countries on benefits. The pro-increasing immigration side just wants to argue about what the exact percentage of immigrants on welfare is. The law says zero.
    Shame a few thousand (handful?) of "immigrant entrepreneurs" (doesn't that actually describe attorneys that make a living shepherding all takers into the country?) have to obey some regs, but the more basic considerations, that are already established in law yet flaunted, are many times more influential on immigration policy, while at the same time being completely ignored.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 27 Aug 2016 @ 5:22pm

    Outrage

    I just can't wait for all the outrage. You know it's coming, now that Obama has opened the floodgates for ISIS terrorist mobster migrant rapist immigrants from Mexico.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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