US Bill Introduced to Create a Green Card Option for All Entrepreneurs

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on July 26, 2012 introduced the American Investment and Job Creation Act of 2012 (H.R. 6210), which would change immigration laws to permit entrepreneurs a path to permanent residence.

 Currently, the only green card program available to entrepreneurs and investors is based on his or investment at a minimum of $500,000 in a designated poverty area in the US or more likely, an investment of $1,000,000 regardless of the area. This is an extremely high bar for the majority of entrepreneurs who are able to create successful and thriving businesses on much less capital and who are key in this country’s drive for job creation.  The only ability for such investors to start a business is to enter on a temporary visa called an E-2 visa, which is only valid for 2 year increments and has no option to convert to a path toward residence, despite the longevity of the business or the income/job creation the business has generated.

 The American Investment and Job Creation Act of 2012 would allow E-1 and E-2 entrepreneurs and investors to essentially self-petition for permanent residence based on the success of the business, most importantly job creation. As currently written, the proposed law requires 4 years in business prior to filing and the creation of at least 5 full time employee jobs for US workers.

 Mr. Conyers states, “Our immigration system provides green cards to those who fill jobs in the American economy, but not to those who create jobs. This makes no sense. The lack of a path to permanent residency deters many entrepreneurs from helping revitalize our economy and lower unemployment.” “The bill would address the concern by making existing employment-based green cards available to those who establish a new business and create and sustain jobs for American workers.” He also comments that the bipartisan measure has won support among the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Venture Capital Association, the National Small Business Association and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

 While a breath of fresh air, the House of Representatives has passed very few bills in this congressional season so the odds are not high the bill would be passed. Nevertheless, it is a great place to start! For more information about the bill I recommend following it through this website  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6210/text

 For advocating on this topic or questions about this bill or other related questions, you can contact foreign investor immigration attorney Catherine Brown in Boulder Colorado at 303-322-2117.

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