Trump delays Obama-era 'startup visa' with plans to overturn the rule

Trump delays Obama-era 'startup visa' with plans to overturn the rule”

The Trump administration said it plans to rescind an Obama-era program that would allow foreign entrepreneurs who launch startup companies in the United States to live in the country, in the president's latest effort to constrict immigration flows.

The Trump administration has officially put on hold a rule that would allow some foreign entrepreneurs to remain in the US if their companies show promise, drawing harsh criticism from groups anxious about talent flight from the domestic technology sector.

The International Entrepreneur Rule was to take effect next week, and would have let entrepreneurs who aren't USA citizens stay in the country for two-and-a-half years to raise money and grow a business. Enforced on a case-by-case basis by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the rule was passed in the final months of former President Barack Obama's tenure.

The Trump administration's delay of a rule meant to make it easier for worldwide entrepreneurs to start up and build companies in the USA has Seattle tech leaders frustrated by national immigration policy once again.

On Monday, the administration announced it would delay the International Entrepreneur Rule until next March as the Department of Homeland Security launches an additional review of the so-called "startup visa".

"Today's announcement is extremely disappointing and represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the critical role immigrant entrepreneurs play in growing the next generation of American companies", said Bobby Franklin, the chief executive of the National Venture Capital Association, in a statement. "The notice reads, "This delay will provide DHS with an opportunity to obtain comments from the public regarding a proposal to rescind the rule" in light of President (Donald) Trump's executive order from earlier this year on immigration enforcement".

Most of the decisions that the administration has made on any number of fronts - from slashing research budgets, to leaving unstaffed key positions overseeing science and technology research and operations within the federal government - have incredibly damaging implications for the entrepreneurs - and the industry that funds them.

"At a time when countries around the world are doing all they can to attract and retain talented individuals to come to their shores to build and grow innovative companies", Franklin said, "the Trump administration is signaling its intent to do the exact opposite".

Studies show tat immigration is deeply connected to America's start-up culture.

The rule was proposed as a workaround for foreign entrepreneurs because there isn't now a good avenue for leaders from other countries to build companies in the U.S. Work visas, like the H-1B, only apply to skilled employees, not startup founders.

Immigrant founders make up a large part of the entrepreneur group that has helped to expand Seattle's technology industry, Schutzler said.

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