In August 2016, the USCIS proposed a rule that would allow certain international entrepreneurs to temporarily remain in the United States so that they would have a chance to start or scale their businesses. This International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) is commonly known as the Startup Visa. Under the rule, qualified entrepreneurs would be allowed an initial stay to grow their startup entity in the United States, and an additional 3 years so long as the startup is able to provide significant public benefit as evidenced by: increases in capital investment, revenue, or job creation.
The rule was supposed to go into effect on July 17, 2017, but the Trump administration has delayed it to March 2018 giving reason to believe they may be planning to eliminate the IER altogether. For an administration that focuses so heavily on job creation, revenue growth and making America great, this decision comes as a head-scratcher – mainly because, the rule was made in order to increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job opportunities in the United States.
By making it such an obstacle to immigrate to, or reside in the United States, we are setting ourselves up to fall behind in the global race for elite talent. The smartest minds will inevitably start going to places like China and Europe to launch and grow their businesses. What the Trump administration is doing here is shutting the door on a great deal of potential. Many incredible companies were founded by immigrants, or the children of immigrants: Google, Apple, AT&T, Budweiser, EBay, General Electric, and McDonald’s, just to name a few. But that’s not all! According to the National Foundation for American Policy, Immigrants have started more than half of America’s startup companies valued at $1 billion dollars or more.
Citizens fall into an innumerable amount of different categories; some are upstanding and some are detriments to society. It is no different with immigrants; sure, some are up to no good and may be criminals, but some are geniuses and on the brink of starting companies that are destined to change the world. Delaying the IER is a problem because it is only targeting the world’s most elite talent. Remember, there was already a strict set of guidelines proposed for an immigrant to take advantage of the Startup Visa in the first place.
If a company is being offered big investments, creating quality jobs, and stimulating the economy in the process, I, for one, can’t see what good it does to make it hard for them to stay in the United States. If we are serious about being a prosperous country, we need to encourage the world’s elite talent to make the United States their destination, not discourage them from coming here. The decision to delay the startup visa doesn’t do any favors for the United States, OR immigrants, especially if the ultimate intentions are to eliminate it altogether. These immigrants aren’t coming here to work low-level jobs or commit crimes; on the contrary, they are coming here to create jobs and possibly change the world.