Officials at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) recently announced a policy shift that would allow foreigners who dream of owning a business in the states an easier path to obtaining a green card, the New York Daily News reports.
“What we hope is that we will receive more applications and petitions,” explained Alejandro Mayorkas, director of CIS.
The laws for legal residency and citizenship will remain the same for now, but the initiative by CIS is designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs find waivers and possible loopholes to expedite their bids for green cards. Staff members at CIS will also be trained on how the visa rules apply to owners of start-up businesses. The agency is especially interested in foreigners who want to start businesses in the high-tech industry.
Applicants must show how their work will benefit America in order to have their information fast tracked. However, the normal rules still apply regarding quotas that allot a certain number of work visas to be given to highly skilled foreign workers from a particular country.
According to the University of Pennsylvania, one in four American technology and engineering companies founded between 1995 and 2005 had at least one founder that was foreign-born.