USCIS launches Entrepreneur Pathways, an online resource center of the Entrepreneurs in Residence (“EIR”) initiative

News Release from Jewell & Associates, PC

Last week marked the launch of Entrepreneur Pathways, an online resource center that gives immigrant entrepreneurs a means to investigate opportunities to start and grow a business in the United States. Called a “new front door for immigrant entrepreneurs” by the White House, this new resource is part of the Entrepreneurs in Residence initiative, and was announced during a visit to MIT’s entrepreneurship center by Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Entrepreneur Pathways is the first public-facing deliverable produced by the USCIS Entrepreneurs in Residence (“EIR”) team and was created specifically as a resource for foreign nationals interested in starting or working for a new business in the U.S. It is designed to enhance communications with the entrepreneurial community and provide foreign entrepreneurs with the tools and information to determine which nonimmigrant visa category is most appropriate for their particular circumstance.

It should be noted that while USCIS has made a public effort, with the EIR initiative and the Entrepreneur Pathways, to better understand and engage with new U.S. businesses, these programs have not actually changed current law with respect to immigrant entrepreneurs.

As of November 2012, the EIR team has:

  • Developed and launched the Entrepreneur Pathways web portal, which aims to close the information gap between USCIS and the entrepreneurial community;
  • Developed and deployed a training workshop for USCIS employment-based immigration officers that focuses on entrepreneurs and the environment for startup companies and early-stage innovations;
  • Trained a team of specialized immigration officers to handle entrepreneur and startup nonimmigrant visa cases;
  • Modified Request for Evidence (RFE) templates for certain nonimmigrant visa categories to incorporate new sources of evidence related to entrepreneurs and startup companies into the adjudicative process; and
  • Developed a plan for quarterly engagements with the entrepreneurial community across the country.

USCIS has extended the EIR initiative through April 2013. The USCIS EIR team will continue its work in the nonimmigrant arena and expand its focus to include existing immigrant visa pathways that may enable foreign entrepreneurs to create a business and pursue a path to permanent residency in the United States.

© Jewell & Associates, PC 2012