02 November 2011

Immigration official hints at streamlined America visa process for entrepreneurs

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A US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) spokesperson has flagged the possibility of new America visa arrangements for foreign entrepreneurs.

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A US immigration official has flagged the possibility of new America visa arrangements for foreign entrepreneurs.

Foreigners who create jobs in the United States may benefit from a streamlining of America visa processes, an immigration official said this week.

"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is working to streamline the visa issuance processes to realize the full potential of our nation's immigration laws and enable immigrants to invest capital, create new jobs for American workers, and further dedicate their talent to the growth of our nation's economy," USCIS spokeswoman Edna Ruano said in a statement.

The comments followed controversy over the case of Amit Aharoni, an Israeli-born Stanford Business School graduate who is facing deportation over visa issues despite being the employer of nine Americans and potentially many more. Aharoni is a founder and director of CruisWise.com, an online cruise booking company described by Business Insider as one of the "20 hot Silicon Valley start-ups you need to watch".

Aharoni received a letter earlier this month from the USCIS rejecting his application for a US visa and issuing him a deportation notice.

"The letter is practically humiliating. It says you have to leave the country, as if I committed a crime of some sort by creating nine jobs," Aharoni told ABC News.

"I fear that I will be forced to move the centre of gravity of CruiseWise to a different place where I can rely on sensible immigration policy.

"And that would mean that the hundreds of jobs that we'd hope to create, would not be created in the U.S. but somewhere else."

President Obama first flagged his intention to ease visa restrictions for foreign US job creators in July. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also recently proposed an initiative of the kind being considered by USCIS.


The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people with their ESTA visa application.

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