VCs to Trump: Don't lock out our meal tickets! Save startup visas!

Tech's rich aunts and uncles beg the President not to ditch Entrepreneur Rule

A gang of venture capital firms and startup funds has asked the Trump administration to save an immigration rule that allows foreign startup founders to come to the US in order to build their companies.

Exactly 60 companies and organizations on Thursday signed a letter [PDF] asking the President to scrap plans to rescind the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule before it can go into effect next March.

Also known as the "Startup Visa," the rule would allow temporary residency for foreign nationals who enter the US expressly to found or grow a company they have started or want to start. It was proposed by the Obama administration in August of last year.

First slated to become active on January 17, 2017, the Trump Administration ordered Homeland Security to delay the introduction of the rule to next year and, under this week's proposed immigration changes, eliminate the exception outright.

For obvious reasons, venture capital and local startup groups throughout the US don't want that to happen.

"The International Entrepreneur Rule will allow the world's best entrepreneurs to create jobs in our country, rather than overseas where they will then compete with American workers and companies," they write.

The groups are asking the White House to walk back their plans and commit to setting March, 2018 as the effective date for the exception to go into effect. That is going to be a hard sell with an administration whose immigration policy has not done the tech world many favors.

Still, the VCs are hoping to appeal to the President's business sense in order to get the rule changed.

"President Trump has made winning the global competition for jobs a priority of his administration and we appreciate his stated focus on making our country the best place in the world to create a new enterprise," they write.

"However, a key aspect of growing our economy is to ensure talented entrepreneurs start their companies here in the United States." ®


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