Entrepreneur in Residence Program offers glimmer of hope to foreign national entrepreneurs seeking permanent residence
We have received several inquiries and previously blogged about the USCIS Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) program and what impact it might have on foreign national entrepreneurs seeking a green card through investment. The EIR initiative was first announced on October 11, 2011 by USICS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. The goal of the program is to mobilize private sector expertise to increase job creation in employment-based, high-skilled visa categories.
The accomplishments of the EIR are summarized here and include the launch of the Entrepreneur Pathways web portal. This portal was developed by a “tactical team” made up of USCIS officials and representatives from private industry and is sponsored by the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It provides easily understandable access to the various options for foreign nationals wanting to start businesses in the US.
USCIS is also hosting a series of information summits, the first of which was held at the NASA Research Park in Moffett Field, California/Silicon Valley. Over 150 entrepreneurs from the private sector, academia and government attended this conference.
The EIR initiative holds some promise of improving the prospects for immigrant entrepreneurs to obtain non-immigrant visas as well as permanent residence. Unfortunately, at this point it does not appear that the actual number of visas available to entrepreneurs will increase, and existing obstacles for green card applicants remain very much in tact.
We will continue to monitor the EIR program and post blogs periodically with updates.