Many entrepreneurs, start-ups and the NVCA (National Venture Capital Association) have filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, the US President, for holding up the International Entrepreneur Rule, the intention of which was to help overseas founders of enterprises live in the US while they develop them. It was supposed to go into effect on 17 July.
Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of NVCA, was quoted by News India Times as saying that a crucial role is being played by immigrant entrepreneurs in making the US economy stronger, as it creates new jobs for Americans and raises the bar for innovation. He said that the US should be welcoming them wholeheartedly instead of creating hurdles that prevent them from using their talent and creativity in their country.
A report of CNBC states that as per the congressional public record or the Federal Register, visa applicants have to demonstrate that granting them legal status in the US would significantly benefit the country because she/he, an entrepreneur of a new start-up entity in the US, has the ability to create jobs and benefit the country in other ways as well.
As per the rule, applicants would be required to show investments of minimum $250,000 from the proven investors of the US. On the other hand, a San Francisco Chronicle report stated that the rule was given the go-ahead by the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) in January 2017, just before the end of Barack Obama’s presidency and was to be effective a week prior to the end of his tenure, but the Trump administration is said to have delayed it with the intention of doing away with it.
According to the group, the decision of the administration to delay the rule was not legal under the Administrative Procedure Act, which the association says would have required a long-drawn-out notice and comment period from the public before any changes could be made by the administration and was looking to reestablish the rule, ultimately allowing foreigners who meet its requirements to begin applying for America’s temporary work status.
The NVCA said that the stay on the rule and the absence of a ‘startup visa’ have affected the ability of the investors to work with some overseas founders and that the rule would have led to the creation of about 3,000 new US job as per the DHS.
Most of those affected were said to be Indians, whose plight is being related by the San Francisco Chronicle report.
Vikram Tiwari and Nishant Srivastava, founders of Omni Labs, a San Francisco-based marketing intelligence software company, applied for the L-1 and H1-B work visas, but were not successful and therefore decided to move to Canada, where they obtained a work permit.
The lawsuit reads that the inability of Nishant and Vikram to get legal status or parole
has been a major impediment to operations and growth of Omni, thereby making it more difficult to obtain US investment in the future.
The idea behind the rule was to allow foreign entrepreneurs who are not eligible for existing visa programs an opportunity to stay in the US and develop their businesses. Meanwhile, the visas such as the H-1B and L-1 are appropriate for companies recruiting employees or transferring their existing staff from abroad, but these people are also being subjected to scrutiny by the Trump administration.
Similar was the story of two brothers, Atma and Anand Krishna, UK nationals and co-founders of Lotus Pay, a business-payment startup, were also affected by the delay.
The complaint states that it is not possible to emphasise in words the benefits provided to the American economy and the country overall by immigrant entrepreneurs and companies, and the attendant importance of making sure that these entrepreneurs can come to the US to continue to develop their businesses.
Melissa Crow, litigation director of the American Immigration Council, in a statement, said the economy of the US was flourishing overall as their country has been long considered to be the leading incubator of new, innovative companies of the world.
She added that the International Entrepreneur Rule was central to see to it that America remains at the helm of emerging enterprise. The intention of this lawsuit to make this vital initiative work, she said.
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