Tag Archives: business visa

US Immigration Reform: The Start-Up Act & How Foreigners Are Saving America

In the midst of all the doom and gloom for foreigners in the US regarding real Immigration reform and just general fairness from the US Immigration System, Congress and the media, a small hope has emerged. Democrat Senators Mark Warner and Chris Coons along with Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Jerry Moran have come together to put forward Startup Act 2.0.

The general purpose of this legislation is to make it fairer and easier for foreigners to start companies and create jobs mainly for US citizens, get green cards and permanency in the US and ultimately keep the US at the forefront of global innovation and technology.

Why Is This Important?

–  40% of Fortune 500 Companies were founded by either immigrants or their children. This covers millions of American Jobs, many billions in US wealth and 1.7 trillion dollars in revenue with huge amount of tax dollars flowing to Federal/State/Local governments for the benefit of all. These include many of the most well known global brands including; IBM, Intel, Google, Paypal, Apple, Yahoo, eBay, Budweiser, GE, McDonalds, Colgate, etc. It is so large that the wealth created by these foreign born entrepreneurs in the US is greater than the GDP of all other countries in the world bar China and Japan.

– Almost half of the Top 50 Venture Backed private companies in the US have at least one immigrant co-founder. On top of that 74% had immigrants in top executive positions and these companies on average created 150 jobs which of course was mostly filld by Americans

So What Is The Problem

Quite simply it is Politics. And it is from all sides. We have highlighted in the past how Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Illinois Demoractic Senator Dick Durbin tried to create a bill to further curb foreign work visas in a blatent attempt to deflect blame for a flaying US economy and job market onto an easy (and non voting) segment of the community. Beyond that the Republican attempts to heighten tensions of their base via the illegal immigrant invasion (even though numbers have been falling, deportations rising and net losses of these types of immigrants in recent years) combined with Democratic attempts to placate unions and old ways of doing things in an increasing globalized world has meant ultimately the American populace is suffering most.

Imagine if all or some of the above brands were not headquartered in the US but in India, China, South Korea, Brazil, etc. how many jobs directly and indirectly would be lost in the US, how far down tax revenues would be, the increase to the US Trade deficit, lowering of US GDP, technology leadership and ultimately global power. Most people reading this now either use regularly one or more of the services above and/or work, have worked or know someone who does work at one or more of those brands.

Startup Act 2.0

The Startup Act 2.0 proposes;

– A new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Visa so foreign graduate of US universities with a masters or PhD level degree in these fields can receive a green card to stay in the country
– An Entrepreneurs Visa for legal immigrants so they can start business that must employ American citizens
– An elimination of the per country caps for Immigrant visas allowing faster processing for certain high volume countries like China & India (Although as we have discussed before with current overall caps this still does not address huge overall backlogs and probably will cause increases in wait times for other countries unless the overall cap is increased)

The Act also addresses areas that encourage investment into these companies, tax credits for R&D and offsetting early year obligations as well as lowering of overall tax rates.

Ultimately this Act will help address some areas of US Immigration that badly reform and speaks to something that has a bipartisan chance of passing US congress as it directly relates to jobs and avoids areas such as Illegal Immigration, The Dream Act, H-1B Visa Reform & Current Visa Quotas which tend to be more highly politicized but ultimately a huge problem for the US.


The Importance of a Well-Drafted Business Plan in L1, E2 and EB5 Visa Matters

The United States government expects to see a well-drafted business plan as support for applications in both the E Treaty Visa category and the EB5 Immigrant Entrepreneur category. Additionally, USCIS often kicks back a request for a feasibility study in L1 “New Office” petitions, which is something that is normally included in a well-drafted business plan. Hence, it stands to reason that inclusion of a well-drafted business plan is essential as supporting documentation in an L1 “New Office” Petition.

As evidence of the critical importance of a well-drafted plan is the fact that the United States government frequently denies L1 visa, E2 visa and EB5 visa petitions and applications due to their lack of a plan that is both comprehensive and credible.

Business plans that are not comprehensive and are more in the nature of a summary or overview of the business are generally not acceptable for L1 visa, E2 visa, and EB5 visa purposes. Instead, in any one given case the United States government expects to receive and review a quality product that, at minimum:

a.) Fully describes the enterprise, its products and services;

b.) Analyzes the market in detail, including potential customers and competition;

c.) Outlines a marketing strategy;

d.) Projects sales, costs, and income over a period of 5 years, showing the basis for these projections; and

e.) Presents complete details regarding the enterprises organizational structure, including complete job descriptions and a staffing timetable.

In short, the United States government expects to see a business plan that is as comprehensive as one that would be presented to a bank for purposes of seeking funding. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that one seek the services of a professional who is familiar with the relevant immigration regulations to draft ones plan if one hopes to stand a strong chance at success in an L1 visa, E2 visa or EB5 visa petition or application.

When selecting the right firm to draft a visa-specific business plan, a company or investor should seek out a firm that possesses both experience in the writing of bespoke business plans as well as the appropriate legal expertise to tailor the plan to the specific requirements of the L1 visa, E2 visa or EB5 visa categories.

To ensure that all the required elements of a well-drafted business plan will be covered to the satisfaction of the United States government, the company or investor should satisfy themselves that all of the following services will be covered by the fee that they will be paying for the business plan writing service:

a.) Setup of business plan according to target visa category;

b.) Gathering of information and documentation regarding company ownership, objectives and mission;

c.) Working with business owner to determine concise statement regarding company’s success formula;

d.) Work out with owner the visa-appropriate management and staffing plan (i.e., executive/management mix for L1 visa; marginality avoidance for E2 visa; creation of 10 full-time positions over a 2-year period for EB5 visa;

e.) Draft an easy to read service summary;

f.) Collaborate with client to create feasibility study, which covers target market, customer/client potentiality in geographical area (with growth projections), and competition analysis;

g.) Gather financial information to draft financial plan and Tables, including Start-up Summary (as applicable), Sales Forecast, Operating Expenses, and 5-year Projections.

Once the business plan has been developed into its penultimate draft, it should undergo a final review by the responsible immigration attorney to secure an opinion as to the viability of the plan, from a financial perspective. (Obviously, if the responsible immigration attorney is drafting the business plan, his or her opinion will be rendered simultaneously with the creation of the penultimate draft.) Once the responsible immigration attorney has rendered his opinion that the plan is fiscally viable, the plan can be finalized and signed off for inclusion in the visa application package.


Guest Post Author

Copyright 2011, Ortega-Medina & Associates Limited. All Rights Reserved.