Minette Kwok, our Immigration Practice Group partner, was recently quoted in a post on ImmigrationImpact.com, a blog of the American Immigration Council.
Despite the fact that immigrant-founded venture-backed companies create enormous value in the U.S., no immigrant entrepreneur visa exists. The current E-2 investor visa is often unavailable to entrepreneurs because it can only be used by companies owned by nationals of countries that have treaties with the U.S. There is no such treaty with many countries, like India, that produce the largest percentage of foreign entrepreneurs. Minette Kwok , an immigration attorney and partner at Minami Tamaki LLP, told Immigration Impact that in addition “most start-ups seek venture capital funding from U.S. investors, so that an E-2 company ends up disqualifying itself because it becomes majority U.S. owned”. The E-2 is also a temporary visa valid for only 2 years at a time, and does not lead to permanent residence (a “green card”).
Minette serves on the national Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council, and organization that leads and develops wide reaching and forward thinking national policy on behalf of immigrants through its litigation, education and advocacy.