India Abroad

Trump Administration Blocks Startup Entrepreneurial Visas

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
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| July 12 , 2017 , 12:03 IST

One of the most significant measures taken by US President Donald Trump after coming to office was a total crackdown on visas that the country provided. From outrightly banning visas to citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries to reducing the H-1B work visas granted the visa policies have changed drastically.

As India adjusts to the reduction of work visas, which have come as a blow especially in the IT sector, the latest US government's announcement states that the 'startup' visas finalised during the tenure of former President Barack Obama have been put on hold.

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Approved by the  Barack Obama administration, the startup visas were meant to allow foreign entrepreneurs who start companies in the US to live in the country as well. The visas were to come into effect from July 17.

More than half of the US startups valued at $1 billion or more have been started by immigrants, out of which 30 percent have been founded by people of Indian origin.

Indian-American technology entrepreneur and academic Vivek Wadhwa speaking to Times of India called the policy a "lose-lose" situation for the US.

"Without doubt, bringing in entrepreneurs creates American jobs and expands the economy, it is the closest thing there could be to a free lunch for the United States. This is a lose-lose for the US and for the entrepreneurs who would have come here but it will benefit the countries where they would have come from," said Wadhwa.

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"This is the type of brain-dead policy that is becoming a hallmark of the Trump administration. They are pandering to anti-immigrant groups rather than focusing on US competitiveness and economic growth," he added.

According to a study by US-based non-profit public policy think tank National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), 14 Indian-origin entrepreneurs have started billion dollar companies in the US that have a collective value of $19.6 billion.  

However, there may be a silver lining for India with this step, as now entrepreneurs will likely focus their start-ups in India itself.