Not a day goes by in the US that an immigrant entrepreneur’s contributions are not making a deep and lasting impact. Watch the below video from the Partnership for a New American Economy to see how immigrant inventors’ inventions are used in your daily life. At this unique juncture with imminent executive action announcements, where we have no hope of Congress passing immigration reform and thus a Startup Visa, we need entrepreneurs to be included in the executive action. How can the President include them? Here are 4 ideas:
1. Eliminate the employer-employee Neufeld Memo on 2010 that requires self-employed H1b applicants to show someone else controls their work.
2. Ease the interpretation of E-2 visas regarding ‘substantial investment’. Startup founders do not have a lot of money but have rich minds and valuable intellectual property.
3. While TN visas are generally not allowed to have self-employment, the written law does not actually prevent it. Yet, any ownership interest will get a sure denial within seconds of presenting at the border. There needs to be guidance on this. Many Canadians could actually come to the US and start their companies if ownership interests are not treated as a death knell to the application.
4. Extend OPT periods so that students working on their startups have more time to develop their products, start and establish their businesses. Self-employment is allowed in OPT and can be a great way for the President to keep the talent we are losing to the rest of the world.