Opportunities for International Entrepreneurs in Jeopardy in US

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

All of us know about — or personally know — talented foreign-born entrepreneurs who have created successful businesses in the US.  Think Intel, eBay and Tesla. Immigrant entrepreneurs are behind more than half of America’s startup companies valued at $1 billion or more.

That’s why the Angel Capital Association is joining the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and many other leading entrepreneurial organizations to support the International Entrepreneur Rule.

This rule, approved by the Department of Homeland Security in January 2017, is focused on potential business owners with promising ideas and solid financial support. These entrepreneurs may reside in the US for two and a half years while they build their business, while attracting venture and angel capital, and may be granted an extension with demonstrated success. 

Some have coined this rule the “the startup visa” for immigrant entrepreneurs. It’s a winning opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors and the U.S. economy.

The fate of the International Entrepreneur Rule is in jeopardy. It was scheduled to go into effect in July 2017. The Department of Homeland Security has delayed the effective date to March 2018. Now, there are strong indications that the agency will rescind this rule.   

The International Entrepreneur Rule is an effective tool to create jobs and economic prosperity across the country. If the U.S. closes this door, promising entrepreneurs will go elsewhere. Canada, France, Singapore and the United Kingdom have created work visas to welcome international entrepreneurs. 

Support International Entrepreneur Rule

ACA is among signers of a letter from the National Venture Capital Association to the Department of Homeland Security supporting the International Entrepreneur Rule.  To see the draft letter and add your name or organization to the signatures, please email me by Wednesday August 3, the date NVCA will submit the coalition letter.

Taxing Work Ahead

ACA has been busy on a number of public policy fronts.  In advance of Congressional action on tax reform, ACA leadership provided tax reform ideas to Senate Banking Committee Chair Orrin Hatch. See that July 17, 2017, letter here.