August 8, 2017
Immigrant Entrepreneurs: America (Still) Wants You
The United States has always symbolized opportunity for immigrant entrepreneurs worldwide; a country where people, regardless of their background, origins and religious beliefs, could achieve their goals as long as they were willing to put in some dedication and hard work. As such, the US has attracted countless hopeful immigrant entrepreneurs from around the world
The United States has always symbolized opportunity for immigrant entrepreneurs worldwide; a country where people, regardless of their background, origins and religious beliefs, could achieve their goals as long as they were willing to put in some dedication and hard work. As such, the US has attracted countless hopeful immigrant entrepreneurs from around the world. The contribution of immigrants to the American economy has only strengthened the position of the US as a leader, giving the USA its unique reputation for making dreams come true. US companies such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon and Yahoo were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. It has always been America’s policy to open its doors to people from every part of the world who want to contribute to its economy.
The American immigration policy has shifted drastically with the election of Donald Trump. During the campaign, President Trump put forth an “America first” vision, arguing for the withdrawal of the US from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), railing against illegal immigration, and questioning the US commitment to the NATO defense policy. More recently, a new bill, Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, or “RAISE”, aims to cut legal immigration by half within 10 years. RAISE was introduced in the Senate with the full support of President Trump.
The Trump immigration policy has caused concerns among prospective foreign entrepreneurs worldwide who question whether the US is withdrawing its promise to be a welcoming land for immigrants.
Although well founded, we believe these concerns should not prevent prospective entrepreneurs worldwide from migrating to the US to start a business. Here are three important reasons why:
1. The Immigration Crackdown Focuses On Illegal Immigration
Prospective immigrant entrepreneurs may feel uneasy about President Trump’s immigration rhetoric both during the 2016 campaign and since his election. The future of US immigration system was heavily debated during the Campaign. It is well documented that candidate Trump advocated for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants and building a wall on the southern border to slow the flux of immigrants to the country. However, the topic of immigration was not new to the 2016 elections. Immigration reform has been debated on the American political landscape for decades. There is a general consensus that the US immigration system needs to be updated. However, politicians disagree on how to reform the system and how to deal with the population of undocumented immigrants currently in the US. As such, the 2016 elections only brought to light the deep division in the US political landscape about immigration.
Moreover, since becoming president, Trump has softened his hard stance on immigration somewhat. When asked early this year, the president insisted that legal immigrants would not be targeted by his administration’s immigration policies. Since then, immigration officials have mainly focused their efforts on cracking down on illegal immigration. In February, the government issued memos instructing agents to prioritize the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have a criminal past, or pose a risk to public safety or national security.
Immigrant entrepreneurs, who for the most part come to the US after obtaining a visa clearance from a US Consulate and therefore enter the country with legal status would be exempt from these immigration enforcement policies.
2. Pro Jobs / Job Creation Administration
A second area of concern for foreign entrepreneurs seeking entry into the US is the risk that the new administration will follow through with its “America first” vision, and implement regulations that would make it harder for them to conduct business in the US. The recent introduction of the Raise Act bill did not help.
Although within the frame of possibility, it is highly unlikely that the new administration will implement such regulations.
For one, the administration is very concerned with job creation and has made no secret of its desire to foster initiatives that would protect or create jobs for American citizens. Immigrant entrepreneurs are well aligned in this objective because they are job creators, not job takers (one of the conditions to obtain an entrepreneur visa is to thoroughly establish the likeliness of business success).
With regard to the Raise Act, here again foreign entrepreneurs need not be overly concerned, as the bill (whose chances of becoming law are slim by all accounts) establishes a merit-based system for legal immigration that would largely benefit foreign entrepreneurs. Even if passed into law, the new immigration system would favor applicants who can speak English, are highly educated, possess special skills, and have a record of achievement and entrepreneurial initiatives.
3. Competitive Advantage
Albert Einstein once said “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” This quote couldn’t be more relevant in the current climate for prospective immigrant entrepreneurs.
When deciding whether to move to the US, a major consideration is the potential competitive advantage the move could procure for your business. After all, entrepreneurship is about having an unwavering belief in your ability to achieve whatever goal you set for yourself and taking steps to further that goal. Often, the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones willing to take risk when most people would hesitate.
The Trump administration’s rhetoric on immigration may be dissuading many immigrant entrepreneurs who were contemplating a move to the US. However, this could be an opportunity for the ones willing to look beyond the sensational headlines and perceived return of the US toward a protectionist system and the scarcity of competition could be beneficial for their businesses as they would be able to take their time to build successful companies.
The US immigration system is very complicated. With all the requirements needed to obtain an entrepreneur visa, working with a business immigration attorney could significantly increase your chances of success. Our law firm specializes in crafting and executing a successful entrepreneur visa application, and can guide you through the steps of your unique visa application process. You can contact us via phone: +1 (646) 583-1206 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment via Skype or phone.