Immigrant Entrepreneurs Beneficial to US Economic Livelihood

The Brookings Institution recently published a study showing that 16 percent of high tech businesses employ at least one immigrant. A total of 77 percent of them have become U.S. citizens and are touted as immigrant entrepreneurs. These individuals typically have extensive education, professional expertise, and contribute to high-impact companies that are the backbone of the country’s economic livelihood and job creation.

Many of the immigrants came to the U.S. for graduate level education. Others came to create business opportunities that were unavailable in their home countries. The Brookings study noted that immigrant-founded companies were inclined to have strategic partnerships with other countries for endeavors such as product development and sales. These partnerships created more revenue and growth in the U.S. and abroad.

Companies and individuals seek to diversify their employee base, but sometimes they hit a roadblock on the way to immigrating. An employer can sponsor an individual under the First Employment Based Preference, also known as EB-1, if they have a permanent position or tenure. Some outstanding researchers and professors can qualify for EB-1 even without an employer backing if they have extraordinary ability or they can apply for immigration under Second Employment Base Preference, EB-2, for National Interest Waivers.

An experienced immigration lawyer will assist an individual or a backing employer to navigate through all the documents and qualifications. More visas are permitted for higher preference levels, and thus the time to get permanent residency is markedly shorter. Outstanding and extraordinary ability aliens must have a minimum of three or more traits to qualify under this status; extraordinary aliens need a minimum of two or more. These qualifications include: national or international awards or prizes; membership in associations for outstanding achievements; publication in major journals or citations of the individual’s work by others; participation in panels or peer reviews; proof of original scientific or artistic contributions such as patents or copyrights; or, proof of a high salary.

National Interest Waivers are a bit different, and mandate that individuals have a master’s degree or higher and entail work of a national scope and substantial intrinsic merit. Their work must complement U.S. interests to a “substantial greater degree than is available to a native worker having the same minimum qualifications.”

Immigration lawyers can help expedite the lengthy process of immigration. An eight to 10 year backlog of a half million applicants wait for employment-based green cards with EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 status. Applicants become nervous and frustrated, with their entrepreneurial goals stifled by such a lengthy delay. Green cards have a set amount that can be given out each year as well as limits on how many individuals can immigrate from each country. Temporary visas are a short-term fix while an individual waits five years or more for true citizenship.

Students who wish to stay after their U.S. college experience also benefit by utilizing an immigration lawyer to transition to permanent residency. A promising career path and the potential to contribute in high-skill occupations is a big plus for an immigrant student.

Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee has helped many individuals and businesses through the intense immigration process. Many of her clients, including biotech companies, multinational manufacturing companies, IT firms, Fortune 500 oil companies and small businesses have prospered because of immigrant employees. She is known for her fast, efficient manner and individualized attention to every client. Annie is an immigrant and thus she knows how to represent her clients for the best outcome.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at