U.S. Congress introduced a new type of visa for entrepreneurs
4 minutes read
In July 2021, an immigrant authorization bill called LIKE was introduced in the U.S. Congress. The latter was unveiled by Zoe Lofgren, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. Under the law, a new category of visa is offered to entrepreneurs from abroad.
The purpose of the law is to attract business people from around the world, to keep the U.S. economy and innovative standards in the face of global competition. It enables a class W visa, which allows immigrant entrepreneurs to gain U.S. residence for 3 years.
Lofgren is pushing for Congress to pass LIKE. Such a move will allow the innovators from around the world to start their own businesses in America and give the U.S. a competitive advantage over Canada, which has recently been actively building up its technology industry. By approving the new law, Congress would lift restrictions on immigration policy, which pushes the country's economy to a higher level. The United States will once again become the number one destination for entrepreneurs from different states.
Conditions for obtaining a permanent residence permit for international businessmen
Initially, foreign businessmen will be able to use temporary visas. But when applicants confirm that their startup meets the requirements of the law, they will be given the opportunity to establish permanent residence in the United States. Once the 3-year visa expires, immigrants have the right to extend it for another 5 years. If the entrepreneurial activity remains successful during this time, the government will grant the main candidate (the company owner) permanent residence.
According to the law, there are three types of W visas:
- W-1 — For businessmen, who have an ownership interest in a startup;
- W-2 — for essential employees;
- W-3 — for spouses and children of W-1 and W-2 visa holders.
There are a number of requirements for applicants wishing to apply for a Type W visa. These include at least 10% ownership of the startup during the first 3 years. At the end of this period, the interest rate is halved.
Non-immigrant entrepreneurs are eligible, if the startup received an investment of $250,000 or at least $100,000 of governmental awards or grants during the last 18 months before the entrepreneur applied for the visa. Non-immigrant businessmen should prove that their project has received $500,000 or more in additional funding and has generated the same amount of annual income in order to receive a W-1 extension. The company owner is also required to create 5 jobs.
If an immigrant applies for a W-1 visa, they have slightly different requirements. The applicant should have additional financing in the amount of 1.25 million USD, and the annual income must be 1 million USD. In addition, the entrepreneur is required to create at least 10 jobs.
Source: Uglobal immigration
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