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Will changes make it easier for entrepreneurs to enter U.S.?

Individuals from other countries with expertise in fields considered high-tech who are interested in working in the United States may want to take note. Earlier this week the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Director indicated that changes are underway regarding the way business visa applications such as H-1B visas as well as temporary employment visas for occupations considered to be "specialty" are processed.

One change is in the way the applications are evaluated. Adjudicators who review the applications will receive new training to make sure those foreign-born entrepreneurs who have something to contribute but whose businesses are not typically what has been allowed, receive visas.

Another change is the creation of a website designed for those seeking business visas. Arising out of what is being called the "Entrepreneur Pathways" initiative the new site was designed in part with the feedback of five entrepreneurs who reviewed the previous system and provided their thoughts. The new website should make it easier for those interested to determine what options they have and how best to proceed.

This is not only good news for foreign-born entrepreneurs, but residents of the U.S. as well. According to one statistic, between 2006 and 2012 businesses founded by these individuals led to $63 billion in sales. In addition, they are also one of the many driving forces behind continued innovation in the country.

These changes are expected to be followed by others. Current immigration laws and policies are expected to be reviewed soon. The ultimate goal is to work with what is currently there to make sure all that is allowed under them is being done.

Source: Washington Post, "Immigration chief: agency adapting to changing landscape to keep entrepreneur jobs in the US," Associated Press, Nov. 28, 2012

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