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Opportunities for Business Entrepreneurs within the U.S. Immigration System

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On August 2, 2011, Secretary Napolitano and Director Mayorkas announced a number of efforts to fuel the nation’s economy and stimulate investment by attracting foreign entrepreneurs with business plans that will stimulate job growth in areas of high unemployment. These initiatives include:

  • Clarifying that  entrepreneurs who meet the requirements for an employment-based second preference (EB-2) immigrant visa and who can demonstrate that their business endeavors will be in the interest of the United States may qualify for a National Interest Waiver (NIW).
  • Clarifying when a sole owner of a petitioning company can establish a valid employer-employee relationship for the purposes of an H-1B petition.
  • Implementing the first of several enhancements to the processing of EB-5 immigrant investor applications and petitions.
  • Expanding premium processing to immigrant petitions for certain multinational executives and managers.

Following this announcement, USCIS hosted a teleconference on August 11, 2011 to discuss issues of importance to immigrant entrepreneurs, startup companies and their representatives.  The engagement was an opportunity for USCIS to listen to the views of individual stakeholders and obtain feedback regarding how the agency can continue to realize the potential of U.S. immigration law to spur economic growth and job creation.

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