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Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Policy Momentum = Good News

Continued push from USCIS Director may benefit immigrant entrepreneurs

USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas continues to push for reform that would benefit immigrant entrepreneurs particularly through the immigrant investor visa (EB-5) program and the utilization of the National Interest Waiver (NIW) category for job creation. In a series of “conversations” with the public, Director Mayorkas has begun to address many confusing EB-5 issues, although it is becoming apparent that he does not enjoy anything like full support from within the USCIS organization. What is still missing, despite the roll-out of a new almost final draft memo, is the establishment of predictability and certainty in the adjudication process. Director Mayorkas did say “We’re moving as fast as possible to implement [15-day] premium processing” but we don’t think we will see premium processing until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, USCIS has clearly indicated that it would consider certain entrepreneurs to be eligible for the NIW category. In order to qualify, it is necessary to establish that the entrepreneur will serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than would an available U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications. Most importantly USCIS states further: “The creation of jobs domestically for U.S. workers may serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than the work of others in the same field.” This should be good news to many of the skilled and talented with advanced degrees or exceptional ability who have put their resources to work to create U.S. businesses.

 

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