It may become easier for foreign entrepreneurs to obtain green cards.
The feds want to make green cards easier to get for foreigners who have dreams of starting businesses in America, officials said Tuesday.
Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, announced a policy shift Tuesday that will help more immigrant entrepreneurs qualify for permanent residency.
“What we hope is that we will receive more applications and petitions,” Mayorkas said.
No laws are being changed. Instead, Mayorkas’ agency is highlighting possible loopholes and waivers that will ease bids for green cards for foreign entrepreneurs – especially those who want to set up shop in high-tech industries.
Calling the initiative “an important step forward,” Mayorkas said the agency is “dedicated to ensuring that the potential of our immigration laws is fully realized.”
Agency staff who examine applications for permanent residency are being trained to know how visa rules apply differently to owners of startup businesses.
Business-minded applicants who show that their work is in America’s best interest will have their visa applications fast-tracked.
Previous requirements – such as a job offer from an existing company and a certification from the Department of Labor – will no longer be necessary.
The rules can also now be stretched so that techies who are the sole owner and only employee of their companies can essentially petition for a visa by themselves.
In those cases, applicants must have the backing of the startup’s shareholders or corporate board in order to qualify for a temporary work visa, known as H-1B.
The new policies, however, don’t change quotas that only allot a certain number of work visas every year to highly skilled immigrants from a particular foreign country.
Those quotas are widely seen as creating long wait times for skilled workers, especially those from China and India.
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Policy shift will help more immigrant entrepreneurs get green cards
Posted on August 11, 2011