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  • Article: Immigrant Entrepreneurs Must be Included in Immigration Executive Action By Tahmina Watson

    Immigrant Entrepreneurs Must be Included in Immigration Executive Action


    Not a day goes by in the US that an immigrant entrepreneur’s contributions are not making a deep  and lasting impact.  Watch the below video from the Partnership for a New American Economy to see how immigrant inventors’ inventions are used in your daily life.  At this unique juncture with imminent executive action announcements, where we have no hope of Congress passing immigration reform and thus a Startup Visa, we need entrepreneurs to be included in the executive action.  How can the President include them? Here are 4 ideas:

    1. Eliminate the employer-employee Neufeld Memo on 2010 that requires self-employed H1b applicants to show someone else controls their work.

    2. Ease the interpretation of E-2 visas regarding ‘substantial investment’.  Startup founders do not have a lot of money but have rich minds and valuable intellectual property.

    3. While TN visas are generally not allowed to have self-employment, the written law does not actually prevent it. Yet, any ownership interest will get a sure denial within seconds of presenting at the border. There needs to be guidance on this. Many Canadians could actually come to the US and start their companies if ownership interests are not treated as a death knell to the application.

    4. Extend OPT periods so that students working on their startups have more time to develop their products, start and establish their businesses.  Self-employment is allowed in OPT and can be a great way for the President to keep the talent we are losing to the rest of the world.

    This post originally appeared on Immigration Law Blog. Reprinted with permission

    About The Author

    Tahmina Watson Tahmina Watson is an immigration attorney and founder of Watson Immigration Law in Seattle Washington. She was a practicing barrister in London, UK, before immigrating to the United States herself. While her practice includes family-based and employment-based immigration, she has a strong focus on immigrant entrepreneurs and start-up companies. She can be contacted at tahmina@watsonimmigrationlaw.com. You can visit www.watsonimmigrationlaw.com to learn about Tahmina and her practice.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
      ImmigrationLawBlogs -
      Tahmina Watson's proposals deserve the strongest support. Since they deal with legal immigration, the bogus argument that the president would be failing in his duty to enforce the law with regard to illegal immigration, which is now being put forth by Bush "Torture Memo" writer John Yoo in a recent Texas Law Review article, does not apply.

      There can be no question about executive authority to make the changes suggested in Tahmina's article. I would also add, as I have previously suggested, that OPT should be extended from one to three years in order to deal with the shortage of H-1B visas.

      Roger Algase
      Attorney at Law
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