USCIS Announcement to Encourage Entrepreneurs to the U.S.

In an unexpected and encouraging move, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an initiative on August 2, 2011, to encourage immigrant entrepreneurs and start-up companies to the United States. This USCIS initiative will be especially helpful to people from countries like India and Russia, with whom the U.S. does not have an E visa treaty to allow for the E-1 or E-2 visas. Now citizens of these countries, and all others, will be able to invest money in the U.S. and potentially qualify as entrepreneurs for both the H1B visa and permanent residence (or the “green card”), by properly structuring their investments.

The USCIS explains that a business owner can establish an “employer-employee relationship” by showing that the company has a separate board of directors with power over the owner-investor. Prior to the August 2011 announcement, the Murthy Law Firm adopted this type of strategy and argument to successfully obtain H1B approvals for owners of start-up businesses. After the H1B status, the USCIS explains, the entrepreneur can pursue the green card option. Under the August 2011 USCIS announcement, an entrepreneur may be able to qualify for the green card in the EB2 classification, under its new and more expansive definition, as a person with Exceptional Ability, or a person whose work will benefit the U.S. in the national interest as a National Interest Waiver (NIW) case.

We at the Murthy Law Firm applaud the USCIS for clarifying that entrepreneurs and investors can qualify for H1B approval or obtain NIW approval under the new expanded definitions. While the EB2 category does require a long wait for citizens of India and China to ultimately obtain the green card, the entrepreneur can gain and maintain H1B status without the onerous restrictions under the employment-based, fifth preference (EB5) investor category. With our extensive and successful H1B and NIW approval track record, we at the Murthy Law Firm would be honored to help many entrepreneurs and start-up company owners who may qualify to obtain the H1B and the green card. With the current state of our economy, attracting entrepreneurs to benefit all who reside within our shores and the U.S. national interest is a necessity.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.