As the Obama Administration begins to sketch out the details of the President’s executive order on immigration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has requested that interested stakeholders submit their recommendations on how best to implement the president’s proposed reforms.
With immigration reform having long been a top priority of NVCA, we wasted no time in engaging our member firms and their portfolio companies to develop and submit our own recommendations on behalf of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
To be sure, executive order is not our preferred method of securing long-sought reforms that will streamline the immigration system and make it easier for foreign-born entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. to build their companies. However, absent Congress passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation, we intend to work with the Obama Administration to implement his executive order in a way that is most advantageous to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
To that end, one of the recommendations we included in our comment letter is to allow venture capital firms to sponsor H-1B Visa candidates. Because only corporations can sponsor H-1B candidates, many foreign-born entrepreneurs are forced to go work at large incumbent companies rather than start their own. If they had the ability to raise venture capital and their investor was willing to sponsor their application, it would vastly improve the likelihood that these individuals would start and grow businesses in the U.S. faster than currently possible.
As Bobby Franklin, President & CEO of NVCA, wrote in our comment letter, “There is no question the U.S. is the chosen destination for immigrants to come and shape a better future for themselves. For those that have legitimate business ideas or the talents and skills to contribute in meaningful ways to the U.S. economy, we should do all we can to ensure they have the opportunity to come to the U.S.”
You can view our full comment letter here.