Investor Visas have been in the news, and it isn’t pretty.
They’ve been described in numerous ways, the least flattering of which is as a way for the corrupt and evil to write a check and waltz across our borders. Nothing could be further from the truth. This aspect of our immigration system might soon be facing a major rewrite – one that could effectively end the path for foreign entrepreneurs looking to come to the United States.
I own a small business and none of my employees are immigrants. Why should I care?
If you are a small business owner who doesn’t feel like they have a dog in the immigration race, it might be tempting to just tune all of the noise out. It might also be tempting to believe all of the media hype concerning our Visa system and the apparent ease with which a foreign national with terrible intentions can just buy their way into the country. Sticking your head in the sand or taking at face value everything that streams across a news feed are both enormous mistakes when it comes to the future of your business and the future of the U.S. small business economy.
The truth about investor Visas? They are a continuation of our proud national heritage. With very few exceptions, everyone who is a United States citizen can look back into their own lineage and find an immigrant who came to this country and worked hard to build a better life for their family. They created the main street businesses that kept communities strong, drove the industrial revolution and brought the prosperity that made us into a world power. In more recent generations immigrant entrepreneurs have been innovators, creating the tech-based businesses we all know and use. Cutting off the ability for the next generation of foreign born entrepreneurs to come to the United States will kill the vital legacy that made us great in the first place. Eliminating foreign born entrepreneurs also removes from the pool a large number of future business buyers – buyers today’s business owners will need when the time comes to sell.
What about immigrants who just buy their way into the country? How do we know they aren’t “bad actors”?
Investor Visas used by foreign entrepreneurs come with an enormous amount of vetting and red tape. There are applications that require an immigration attorney’s help, one-on-one interviews at American consulates, seemingly limitless disqualifiers that can end the process for a foreign investor before it even begins. In most cases you have to have a large amount of capital to invest and your status within the United States could remain in perpetual limbo as you must reapply for some investor Visas every few years. In some cases you also have to prove that you are creating specific numbers of jobs for U.S. citizens. This wouldn’t be an easy or sensible road for any “bad actors” to take, especially considering that a tourist/business visitor Visa (of which this country issued 1,106,723 in 2016) is so much easier to obtain.
Investor Visas are a good thing. They bring us the people we want and need – driven entrepreneurs and innovators. Small business owners who want the small business economy to continue to thrive should encourage, not resent, the investor Visa process.
Have questions about the process by which foreign-born entrepreneurs can buy a business in the United States? Want to know if your business would be open to this pool of buyers? Contact us today.
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907
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