A new report from the National Foundation for American Policy urges Congress to establish an entrepreneur visa program to foster job creation. The entrepreneur visa would allocate 10,000 visas per year to foreign citizens allowing them conditional residency in the U.S. The intending immigrant would be required to present a business plan to be evaluated by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Conditional status would be removed and a green card awarded after two years if the individual satisfied the terms of the visa by creating three or more non-relative U.S. workers.
The proposed entrepreneur visa program is separate from the EB-5 investor visa. The current investor immigrant visa program requires a capital investment of $500,000 or more and is out of reach for most prospective immigrants. There is no minimum capital requirement specified in the entrepreneur visa program, which may be a weakness in the proposal. Also, there is no information on how the SBA would be furnished with the resources to evaluate proposed business plans. Overall, this is a step in the right direction for legal immigration reform, but more work needs to be done.