USCIS to Expand Entrepreneurs in Residence Initiative

WASHINGTON—In just over one year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) innovative Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) initiative has produced real benefits that will strengthen agency policies and practices relating to job-creating immigrant entrepreneurs who help advance American economic growth. USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas will discuss the EIR team’s accomplishments, including recent enhancements to Entrepreneur Pathways, USCIS’s online resource center for entrepreneurs, today at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He will also announce plans to use the EIR model to bolster agency expertise in a broader range of industries.

“Our EIR initiative has had one overarching goal – to ensure that we capture the full potential of current immigration laws to attract and retain startup enterprises that promote innovation and create jobs in America,” said Director Mayorkas. “In the 15 months since we started the initiative, we have seen positive results based on the combined talent of private sector experts and our own internal experts and we are eager to expand this concept to other industries we serve.”

Launched at a February 2012 summit in Silicon Valley, the EIR initiative brought together startup experts and USCIS immigration experts to work collaboratively to streamline pathways fora range of existing visa categories often used by entrepreneurs. Three aims were key to the overall initiative: producing clear public materials to help entrepreneurs understand relevant visa categories; equipping USCIS staff with the right tools to adjudicate cases in today’s complex business environment; and streamlining USCIS policies to better reflect the realities faced by foreign entrepreneurs and startup businesses.