Scale your business to the US with Barack Obama’s “startup visa”


The United States (US) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published the White House’s International Entrepreneur Rule, which will grant temporary “startup visas” to foreign entrepreneurs in certain cases.

The programme is aimed at making it easier for overseas entrepreneurs to launch businesses in the US if they meet certain requirements, such as funding from US investors and serious growth potential.

Entrepreneurs that fit the requirements can stay in the US for up to two years, with the option for an additional three years if the startup continues to grow and demonstrate tangible benefit to the US.

“America’s economy has long benefitted from the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs, from Main Street to Silicon Valley,” said US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director León Rodríguez.

“This proposed rule, when finalised, will help our economy grow by expanding immigration options for foreign entrepreneurs who meet certain criteria for creating jobs, attracting investment and generating revenue in the US.”

In a Medium post, White House deputy director of tech and innovation Tom Kalil and Office of Science and Tech Policy assistant director for entrepreneurship Doug Rand, said the new rule marked an “important step” in attracting the world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs to the US.

“Immigrant entrepreneurs have always made exceptional contributions to America’s economy, in communities all across the country. Immigrants have helped start as many as one of every four small businesses and high-tech startups across America, and the majority of high-tech startups in Silicon Valley,” they wrote.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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