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Archived from our former blog, The Beacon.

Meet the USCIS Entrepreneurs in Residence Tactical Team

Release Date:

USCIS has partnered with business experts to improve the way we approach the employment-based and high-skilled visa categories used by immigrant entrepreneurs. Director Alejandro Mayorkas kicked-off this innovative program, called the Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) initiative, with an Information Summit in Silicon Valley in February. Now, USCIS has entered a new phase of the initiative by bringing together the EIR Tactical Team. For 90 days this collaborative team, comprised of both USCIS employees and entrepreneurs from the private sector, will identify opportunities where USCIS can streamline pathways for foreign entrepreneurs. Team members began their work at USCIS in late March. Last week, they traveled to the California Service Center and met with USCIS officers to discuss the visa categories most often used by immigrant entrepreneurs: H-1B, L-1 E-1, E-2, and O-1.

EIR team members come from diverse backgrounds and offer vast business and immigration expertise. The USCIS employees are seasoned professionals with experience in employment-based immigration. The entrepreneurs bring a wide-range of real-world startup experience, including product development, investment and finance, and technology innovation. Together, they have worked with private companies, non-profits, students, and domestic and international startups at all stages of the startup lifecycle. You can read complete team member bios on our website.

Team members include (listed alphabetically):
  • Luis Arbulu, Founder and Managing Partner, Hattery
  • Sunny Choi, Associate Counsel , USCIS Office of Chief Counsel
  • Robert H. Cox, Associate Counsel, USCIS Office of Chief Counsel
  • Liz Elkiss, Counselor to the Director, USCIS
  • Paul Ford, Vice President, Community Development, SoftLayer Technologies
  • Ted Gonder, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Moneythink
  • Mark E. Harvey, Supervisory Immigration Services Officer, USCIS California Service Center
  • Efren Hernandez, Senior Advisor, USCIS Office of Policy and Strategy
  • Tanya Howrigan, Supervisory Immigration Services Officer, USCIS Vermont Service Center
  • Julia C. Kennedy, Adjudications Officer, USCIS Service Center Operations
  • Emery Moore, Supervisory Immigration Officer, USCIS Vermont Service Center
  • Blake Patton, Entrepreneur in Residence, Advanced Technology Development Center
  • Paul Singh, Partner, 500 Startups
  • Catherina Sun, Assistant Center Director, USCIS California Service Center
  • Natalie Tynan, USCIS Office of Policy and Strategy
We are excited for the opportunity to bring together a dynamic team of industry experts and talented USCIS employees to explore ways to better serve our customers and promote American prosperity and job creation. To read more about this program or employment-based immigration visit http://www.uscis.gov/