The US startup visa was introduced as part of the International Entrepreneur Rule and is designed to allow foreigners – who secure venture funding – to live and work in the US for up to five years, growing their businesses.
The scheme was supposed to ‘attract thousands of foreign entrepreneurs, boosting jobs and the US economy.’ It was launched by the former President Barack Obama.
However, the program has been hit with a series of delays. Just days before it was set to be launched in July 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a rule in the Federal Register, delaying the implementation until March 2018 and stated its intention to rescind the regulation altogether.
Washington-based industry lobbying group, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), challenged the DHS in the courts successfully, keeping the program open for now. However, the Trump administration has repeatedly said that it would find a way to discontinue the program.
While the US startup visa has received 10 applications, none have been awarded. Meanwhile, in 2017, US Homeland Security indicated that it was working to abolish the program entirely.
With entrepreneurs continually being denied entry to the US, they’ve pursued opportunities in other countries, especially Canada.