DHS to Promote Startup Businesses and Job Creation
This month, the Secretary of Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Janet Napolitano, announced various initiatives to spur investment and talent into the U.S. economy.
Although the administration has not passed a significantly new immigration law this year, the initiative focuses on utilizing the existing employment-based and entrepreneurial classifications to grow the economy.
"Current immigration laws support foreign talent who will invest their capital, create new jobs for American workers, and dedicate their exceptional talent to the growth of our nation's economy," said Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "USCIS is dedicated to ensuring that the potential of our immigration laws is fully realized, and the initiatives we announce today are an important step forward."
As a result, the USCIS will lax some of its requirements. For example, previously USCIS restricted a sole owner of a company from becoming the employee-beneficiary of an H-1B visa. However, under the recent initiative, the USCIS has stated that the beneficiary who is the sole owner of the petitioning company may actually establish a valid employer-employee relationship for the H-1B nonimmigrant visa. (The H-1B is used by a U.S. business to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, i.e. fields requiring a minimum of a bachelor's degree or equivalent. )
Moreover, the EB-5 immigrant investor program, a type of employment-creation permanent residency visa, is being further enhanced to streamline the process. These include, continuing to make premium processing for certain EB-5 petitions and even allowing applicants an interview with a USCIS panel of experts to resolve any issues in an application.
Thus, the immigration lawyers community welcomes the recent initiatives by USCIS to loosen the restrictions for businesses.