Last month, the Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) team at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched a new web portal designed to help guide potential entrepreneur immigrants through the visa process and to a new life as a startup business owner in the United States. But what exactly is the Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) team and what do they do?
The EIR was launched in October 2011 by the USCIS in hopes of further encouraging employment-based visas, highly skilled foreign workers, and entrepreneurial immigration within the limits of existing immigration laws. The team is composed of USCIS employees, industry experts, and those from the private sector.
The initiative came after both the Department of Homeland Security and the White House realized that entrepreneur immigrants could help grow the United States economy and significantly boost job creation, especially in the science and technology sectors.
What are some of the projects that the EIR is currently working on?
- Training workshops. Developed training workshops for USCIS employment-based immigration officers regarding startup companies, foreign entrepreneurs, and business development.
- Educational website. The team launched the Entrepreneur Pathways web portal, which is designed to help potential immigrants navigate their non-immigration visa choices and the process of starting a new business in America as a foreigner.
- Officer training. The team trained a number of specialized immigration officers who will focus on visa cases involving entrepreneurs.
- Meetings with the community. Starting next month in Austin, the EIR will hold quarterly meetings across the country with those in the entrepreneur immigrant community. During the meetings, they will engage with the startup community, get feedback, and share their upcoming projects.
The team will continue to work on projects into the spring of 2013.