Donald Trump administration plans to scrap ‘Startup Visas’

After H-1B visa, the Trump administration is once again going to rattle the technology industry – and this time, startup industry will receive the blow.

The US government is planning to cancel a program that would allow foreign entrepreneurs who launch startup companies in the U.S. to live in the country.

The program International Entrepreneur Rule would allow non-U.S. citizens who launched companies that won $100,000 in government grants or received $250,000 in venture capital investment to stay in the U.S. for a renewable 30-month term.

Finalized in the last days of the Obama administration, it was set to take effect July this year.

Now, the current government doesn’t seem to be interested in this Obama-era program and will delay it until next March as the Department of Homeland Security launches an additional review of the so-called “startup visa.” A notice the department issued indicates that in the interim the administration will propose rescinding the program.

Meanwhile, the business group has shown surprised and objections over the new decision.

“Big mistake. Immigrant entrepreneurs are job makers, not job takers,” said Steve Case, Founder of America Online and now chief executive officer of the Revolution LLC investment fund, in a Twitter statement.

The National Venture Capital Association, an industry trade group, also criticized the step in a statement.

“At a time when countries around the world are doing all they can to attract and retain talented individuals to come to their shores to build and grow innovative companies, the Trump Administration is signaling its intent to do the exact opposite,” Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of the trade group said.

Last time, when the president announced the travel ban from six Muslim majority countries, it drew criticism from a wide range of companies, with more than 160 technology firms, including Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc., and Google corporate parent Alphabet Inc. Technology firms have also criticized the administration’s efforts to restrict access to H-1B visas for high-skilled workers.

Image Credit: Flickr

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