The so-called “Startup Visa” has been proposed and debated for years, and finally in January 2017, the closest version to the Startup Visa, the International Entrepreneur Rule was made into the law. It was supposed to take effect on July 17, 2017, but now the government decided to postpone the effective date until March 14, 2018, and is calling for “comments from the public regarding a proposal to rescind the rule.” We only have 30 days to submit our comments on this rule, which ends on August 10, 2017, so let’s submit our voices soon! Continue reading
On January 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security published International Entrepreneur Rule which is the closest to the “Startup Visa” that was proposed years ago. This new rule will allow entrepreneurs at a start-up company to stay and work in the U.S. for up to 5 years. This new rule takes effect on July 17, 2017. Continue reading
On November 18, 2016, the USCIS announced its Final Rule for the proposed rule announced almost a year ago, affecting certain employment-based immigrants and high skilled non-immigrant workers. This Final Rule will become effective on January 17, 2017. For most parts, the new rules are beneficial for those affected. The followings are some of the highlights of the new rules. Continue reading
On 03/11/2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a new rule for OPT extension for STEM students. The biggest benefit for F1 students is the increased length of OPT extension from 17 months to 24 months. Now the STEM students can be employed for 3 years after graduation. However, the new rule also adds new requirements and creates burdens on F1 students and employers by, for example, requiring a formal training plans. The following is the summary of extension application requirements under the new rule. Continue reading
[Update]: The Final Rule of this proposed rule was announced on November 18, 2016. For details, please see “New Rule for High Skilled Worker“.
On the last day of 2015, the USCIS announced a “Proposed Rule Affecting Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs” and asked for public comments. These rules, if become law, will greatly benefit the high skilled non-immigrant workers as well as those applying for green card. The followings are some of the highlights of the proposed rules. Continue reading
The Visa Bulletin updated every month by the Department of State is an indication of how much longer a Green Card applicant must wait until he can get his green card. Starting from the October 2015 Visa Bulletin, the structure of the Visa Bulletin has changed in a few ways. These changes are great news for those who have a long waiting period, since they can now file I-485 much earlier, which potentially means that they can get their Employment Authorization Document (work permit) and Advance Parole (travel document) much earlier. The new changes will also enable some applicants to continue to stay and work in the U.S., who would have otherwise had to leave the U.S. and wait in their home countries. Continue reading
On 06/25/2015, the USCIS held a public engagement teleconference regarding its new program creating a parole status for inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises. This program is proposed as part of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration announced on November 20, 2014. The rules of the program are not set yet, and the purpose of the teleconference was for the USCIS to receive comments from stakeholders so that they can create the detailed rules for this parole program. Continue reading
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced his planned executive actions on immigration. The big focus was on the relief for undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens. If they meet certain requirements, they can get employment authorization under the DACA program. The less discussed is the business side of immigration, especially the executive actions that will affect the startup community.
In President Obama’s Thursday announcement, he said, “Second, I will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.” However, this was all he said about this 2nd action in his whole speech. The memorandum released by the Department of Homeland Security gives a little more detail. The memorandum with the subject of “Policies Supporting U.S. High-Skilled Businesses and Workers” lists 5 policy changes, 3 of which have important effect on entrepreneurs who want to start a company. Continue reading