President Obama enacted sweeping immigration reform on November 20th when he issued a number of executive memos to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). One of these memos directly addressed the United States failure to keep its best foreign entrepreneurs - and their businesses, innovations and jobs - here in the United States.
Two programs already in place and supported by long-existing statutes are likely to be expanded. The first is the national interest waiver ("NIW") program. Normally, employment-based green card applicants need to be sponsored by a U.S. company and then go through a long process to prove that there are no available U.S. applicants for the position. However, the NIW allows people who are extraordinary in important fields of work or research to self-petition for a green card. The reasoning is that these persons would be of such benefit to the U.S. that they should be admitted without having to overcome these other hurdles. The President has asked USCIS to expand this program to cover certain foreign inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises.
In addition, the President has asked USCIS to authorize "parole in place" for eligible inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises who may not yet qualify for a national interest waiver, but who have been awarded substantial U.S. investor financing or otherwise hold the promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting-edge research.
To read the President's Memo, go to:
To find out more about how these programs can benefit you and your new company, contact us at TheTeam@huwelaw.com.