New Visa Option for Foreign Entrepreneurs

An image that reads, "work visa approved."

Image credit: Shutterstock

A new ruling by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services may make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to start businesses in America.

Beginning July 17, 2017, foreigners will be able to apply for a visa to work in the United States. It’s called the International Entrepreneurs Rule and it gives foreigners the chance to stay in America and build their businesses.

While foreigners currently have visa optionssuch as the H1Bthis ruling will make it easier for them to set up shop and legally work in the country. The H1B currently asks that employees from other countries prove that they are the best person for the job, and that all hiring (and firing) decisions come from the employer already in the United States. Naturally, that makes it hard for anyone to come in and start their own company.

The International Entrepreneurs Rule could change that. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be red tape to cut through. Under the new ruling, foreign business owners have to prove their fledgling businesses (no older than five years) have the potential for job creation and rapid growth, mainly through private investments of $250,000 or more and/or government grants of at least $10,000.

Additionally, founders must own a minimum of 10% company stake when going through the application process and they must prove that they can operate legally in America. Unfortunately, this ruling excludes small businesses.

The visa costs $1,200 and will last for 2.5 years and can be renewed for another 2.5 thereafter. Once the five years are up, successful business owners are expected to apply for a different visa. The government has the right to revoke the visa at any time if it believes the company is no longer compliant or beneficial to the public.

The government expects close to 3,000 applications per year, and acceptance will be determined on a case-by-case basis.


About DevonJ140
I am currently an Accounting Director living in New York City. I love reading and learning more about business, finance, tech, and current events.

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