USCIS is taking steps to increase entrepreneurial immigration.  Current US immigration laws are specifically tailored to suit the traditional business model which is no longer realistic for many start-ups, given advancements in technology and the ability to work remotely.  On October 11, 2011, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas announced a new initiative to harness industry expertise from the public and private sectors that will increase the job creation potential of employment-based and high-skilled visa categories. Called ‘Entrepreneurs in Residence’, the initiative builds upon a series of policy, operational, and outreach efforts within the framework of existing immigration laws.  This initiative focuses on improving the policies and practices of nonimmigrant visa classifications including B, H-1B, E-1/E-2, L-1 and O-1. With the EIR initiative, USCIS recognizes that an educational process needs to take place on the government level in order for foreign entrepreneurs to utilize the current system. A major goal of the initiative is to take steps towards providing a more transparent and predictable decision-making process so foreign entrepreneurs can gauge the potential success rate of their visa applications.   On February 22, 2012, the first Information Summit of the EIR was held in Silicon Valley. This Summit included panels, discussions, and opportunities for participants to share strategies to ensure that the immigration pathways for foreign entrepreneurs are clear, consistent, and more reflective of today’s business realities. Over the next several months experts in the industry will meet to discuss ways to ensure that the current immigration system becomes more accessible to foreign entrepreneurs and helps bolster the U.S. economy as a result.  In April, EIR members travelled to the California Service Center to meet with USCIS officers.

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