WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas hosted an Information Summit today at the NASA Research Park in Moffett Field, Calif., to launch the USCIS Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) Initiative.
“Today USCIS gained invaluable insights from prominent entrepreneurs and industry leaders on immigration issues critical to our nation’s economic prosperity,” said Director Mayorkas. “The introduction of expert views from the private and public sectors will help us ensure that our policies and processes fully realize the immigration laws’ potential to grow our economy and create American jobs.”
The summit brought together more than 150 high-level representatives from the entrepreneurial community, academia and government to discuss how USCIS can realize the full potential of immigration law to foster entrepreneurship and bolster American prosperity. Through panel discussions and breakout sessions, the summit gave participants the opportunity to share their strategic thinking and business expertise with the agency.
Today’s event informs the work of the newly formed Entrepreneurs in Residence tactical team, comprised of external business experts and USCIS employees, who will work collaboratively over the next several months to ensure that immigration pathways for foreign entrepreneurs are clear and consistent, and better reflect today’s business realities. The tactical teamwill identify ways to enhance USCIS policies, practices and training across a range of existing nonimmigrant visa categories used by entrepreneurs.
Director Mayorkas joined the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in Pittsburgh in October 2011 to announce the EIR Initiative. This effort follows a series of policy, operational and outreach efforts announced last year to promote startup enterprises and spur job creation within the context of current immigration law.
As part of today’s event, Director Mayorkasconducted a naturalization ceremony and welcomed 20 candidates from the Silicon Valley area as new U.S. citizens. In addition, he recognized five of America’s immigrant entrepreneurs who are naturalized citizens—Christopher Che, President and CEO of the Che International Group; Ping Fu, President and CEOof Geomagic; Michael Moritz, Partner at Sequoia Capital; Shervin Pishevar, Managing Director of Menlo Ventures; and Vivek Wadhwa,Academic, Researcher, Writer, Entrepreneur—as Outstanding Americans by Choice.
The Outstanding American by Choiceinitiative recognizes the achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens through civic participation, professional achievement, and responsible citizenship. Recipients of this honor have demonstrated their commitment to this country and to the common civic values that unite us as Americans.