Entrepreneurs with a migrant background will soon be able to benefit from a more stable situation to develop their innovative business in the United States. On Friday 26 August, the Homeland Security Department announced the introduction of a new law, the International Entrepreneur Rule.
It provides for the creation of a new type of visa, the "Startup Visa", to facilitate the procedures of entrepreneurs who have immigrated to the USA, and will be officially introduced after a 45-day consultation period, during which possible adjustments can be made.
Although the granting of this visa is decided on a case-by-case basis, the candidate's profile must meet certain conditions to obtain the right to start a business in the USA the entrepreneur must own at least 15% of the company, which must itself have been founded in the United States within three years. The company must have received a minimum of $345,000 in financing from U. S. investors who have already invested in the territory, or at least $100,000 from the state, federal or local government.
In addition, it must also have a "central and active role" and justify the potential for rapid growth and job creation. The start-up visa is valid for two years, during which it can be withdrawn from the entrepreneur at any time. At the end of this period, an extension of three years will be possible, but will again be subject to conditions. The entrepreneur must have retained at least 10% of the company's capital, a company whose turnover must have reached $500,000, or have created ten full-time jobs.
Is the Startup visa, the dream of foreign entrepreneurs soon reality?
The announcement of this law is part of a particular political context, since the subject of immigration and territorial authorizations is one of the major areas of discord between the various candidates for the upcoming presidential election. Republican candidate Donald Trump has taken a stand in favour of tougher visa requirements, while his main opponent Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party wants to grant the Green Card (which gives permanent resident status) to all students who have obtained a high degree in a technical field at an American university.
The proposal for a similar bill had met with opposition from parliamentarians when President Obama introduced it in 2013, but this time, congressional approval will not be required. The administration has changed its strategy, and is implementing this measure within the framework of the Immigration Act, which provides for temporary entry into the country on "important public policy grounds".
If this new measure is not subject to any quota, it should concern about 3 000 people each year. New technologies are particularly targeted, which should make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to access the coveted Silicon Valley. The news is greeted by many successful entrepreneurs, such as the founders of PayPal (Ukrainian Max Levchin), Google (Russian Sergei Brin) or Yahoo (Taiwan's Jerry Yang), who see this as a welcome solution to the problem of the lack of stability of entrepreneurs, and the resulting financing difficulties.