Asking Entrepreneurs for Help Improving the U.S. Visa Process

Posted by: Nick Leiber on October 11, 2011

Business schools and venture capital firms have long organized entrepreneur-in-residence programs, tapping seasoned founders for a year or two to mentor students or evaluate potential investments.

Now U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is launching what it calls its own “Entrepreneurs in Residence” initiative to bring business leaders and academics into the agency to meet regularly with officials to improve the visa process. The goal is “capturing the full power of the laws that currently exist to attract talent to spur entrepreneurial growth, to maximize innovation — all for the benefit of our economy and the American worker,” says agency director Alejandro Mayorkas.

The program is the latest in a handful of streamlining efforts led by USCIS this year, including changes to the 21-year-old EB-5 immigrant investor program that offers foreigners permanent U.S. residency if they invest in companies that create jobs.

Specifics on the push Mayorkas announced today are still being hammered out. Names of the participants and mechanics on how the in-person meetings will work haven’t been announced yet, though he expects to in the next week or so.

Mayorkas notes that processes involved in procuring every visa type—from the O-1 visas used by artists to the H2-As used by agricultural workers—could be reviewed by the dozen or so participating business folks and academics during the sessions with agency staffers.

Vivek Wadhwa weighed in on the initiative earlier today, noting he hears stories regularly from foreign entrepreneurs whose visa applications are rejected by USCIS.

Reader Comments

Michael Deangelo

October 11, 2011 7:45 PM

Well there is strong evidence that these U.S. Terror Cells are in the TEA PARTY....Yeah, today just another peace loving Muslim, was the center of attention carrying a rebel flag, just back from Iraq, lived in the south and hates Obama...Therefore, It looks like HLS Director, Janet N. had it right all along...So the fix is, outlaw Americans, Right Newsweek? Maybe you guys should be called OBAMA daily....Saps!

G Pocock

October 12, 2011 6:49 AM

Why not have a simplified retirement visa where you have to prove 500,000 dollars in a 401k or equivalent and 500,000 dollars in reasonably liquid assets and excellent English at age X. Why not also insist that a waiver form is signed so that incoming reitirees cannot claim Social Security or Medicare benefits unless they "buy in" the average cost of these lifetime benefits via a one off payment. The job creation aspect of the current entreprenuers visa is way too cumbersome and artificial. In any case, if an individual spends say 75,000 dollars a year in the US, as opposed to another country, how many jobs are they indirectly creating in the US via the trickle down or multiplier effect?

SHAH PUNJ

October 12, 2011 8:34 AM

PLEASE MAKE THINGS VERY EASY BY INVITING ENTREPRENEURS WHO CAN INVEST MINIMUM 1 MILLION DOLLARS AND GUARANTEE FOR JOB OF MINIMUM 10 UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS ALSO A CONDITION TO OWN A HOUSE IN USA IS A MUST WILL IMMEDIATELY FLOOD FUNDS IN BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND BRING DOWN UNEMPLOYMENT ENHANCE INDUSTRIAL GROWTH AND ECONOMIC STABILITY WITHOUT AFFECTING OTHER PARAMETERS.

Alex

October 26, 2011 3:10 PM

Can we please stop all this immigration we have enough people here already. The issue is that we keep allowing "dependants" of immigrants in this country and allow them access to food stamps, medicare/medicaid and Social Security benefits. These people have not paid a dime into the system and therefore should not be drawing a dime from the system. If you immigrate here that should provide open access to parents of these immigrants who sign up for the benefits under VISA's live in US six months to claim the benefits and than take the checks to their home countries where they live essentially full-time.....the abuse needs to end

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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