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Immigration laws affecting business start-ups

For entrepreneurs born outside of the United States, this country has historically served as the ideal location to start up a business. Motivated, intelligent and hard-working people have been coming to the U.S. to start up a business, create jobs and drive innovation for generations. However, for the first time in decades, immigrant entrepreneurship is on the decline.

Many highly successful companies in South Carolina and nationwide were started by a person who was born in another country. In the past, the U.S. has welcomed immigrants into the country, who then drive economic growth and innovation. However, with rigid, unwelcoming immigration policies in place combined with the limitations put on Entrepreneur Visas have made this country a much less desirable place to start a company.

Just last year, foreign-born entrepreneurs started 28 percent of the new businesses in this country, and 29 people on The Forbes 400 list are immigrants. But a recent report by the Kauffman Foundation indicates that immigrant entrepreneurship is stalled or declining in many important industries, including technology and engineering.

In addition to tougher immigration policies and increasingly complex economic systems, many people are citing increased competition for business as reasons that entrepreneurs are heading to other countries. More specifically, India and China are both attracting more and more business owners.

Some people say that the government's failure to recognize the important role immigration plays in business is causing fewer people to come and start businesses here. In response to this argument, Congress has introduced four bills aimed at driving business and innovation from foreign students by giving green cards to those working to earn an advanced degree in science, technology, math or engineering. Hopefully this will be a positive move in promoting immigrant entrepreneurship.

Source: Forbes, "Immigrant Entrepreneurship Has Stagnated For First Time In Decades, Says New Study," Luisa Kroll, Oct. 2, 2012

  • Our firm works closely with those who must navigate the complex and confusing system of immigration for business or employment purposes. For more information on how we can help, please visit our page on South Carolina immigration and business.

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