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Immigration program could help foreign entrepreneurs

A new immigration initiative could help foreign entrepreneurs to start businesses in California. Under the proposed initiative, the Department of Homeland Security would be able to use its discretionary statutory parole authority to allow entrepreneurs to enter the United States and create startup companies. If the startups benefit the economy by generating revenue and new jobs, the founders might be granted longer stays in the country.

To qualify for the proposed immigration program, foreign entrepreneurs and the companies that they plan to start in the U.S. must be able to meet a number of criteria. The entrepreneur must have significant ownership in the startup and play an active role in the company's operations. Immigration authorities will also have to see evidence that the startup is likely to grow rapidly and create a lot of jobs in the U.S.

One person who may benefit from the new program if it is implemented is the owner of the Wai Wai instant noodles, a 60-year-old billionaire from Nepal. Because the U.S. and Nepal do not share an investment treaty, the owner cannot apply for a regular E-2 visa. The owner already runs a multinational company called the CG Group, and he hopes to expand to the U.S. market with his Wai Wai instant noodles as well as his fast food, hotel and electronics lines.

An entrepreneur who would like to enter the U.S. to launch a new startup may want to discuss their options with an immigration attorney. An attorney may be able to help the business founder determine which visas they may qualify for and gather all of the required documentation to apply for a business visa. If an entrepreneur has foreign employees that they would like to bring over to help get their new company started, an attorney may also help these workers apply for employment visas.

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