Immigrant Entrepreneurs’ Play a Vital Role in Boosting US Economy

The world’s most creative entrepreneurs staying in U.S are immigrants, they contribute and succeed significantly. One of the economic prosperity of the country is the contribution by these immigrants’ entrepreneurs.

Immigration has re-emerged over the past 25 years as a potent force influencing the size and composition of the population in U.S. cities. According to a report, immigrants’ impact on population growth has a corresponding positive impact on a region’s wages, housing prices, rents, and cultural diversity. Similarly, the Brookings Institution finds that immigration has a positive influence on metro areas by reversing population losses, expanding the workforce, boosting home values and reducing vacancy and foreclosure problems. Further, the Fiscal Policy Institute has examined the economic role of immigrants in the country’s 25 largest metropolitan areas and finds that immigration and economic growth of metro areas go hand in hand.

There is a widespread agreement across a number of key economic planning groups that immigrant entrepreneurs create jobs and strengthen the economy. Yet, the US immigration system often forces out immigrant entrepreneurs driving them to other countries that are competing for international talent.

Though many people recognize that giants of immigrant entrepreneurship such as Google, eBay, thousands of other science and technology businesses are quietly making a difference by creating almost half a million jobs for Americans and generating revenue of more than $50 billion. The depth and breadth of immigrant entrepreneurs extend across the spectrum of enterprises, including neighborhood, growth, and transnational businesses.

Immigrants often move into low-rent neighborhoods that have little economic activity and deteriorating physical conditions. Many establish businesses as an alternative to working at low-wage jobs, usually within 3 to 10 years after they arrive. These businesses are typically small to moderate in size and include real estate firms, restaurants, food stores, nail salons, and gift shops.

There is no doubt that immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators play an important role. But they bring in additional revenue, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation industries and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies.

Immigrant entrepreneurs not only contribute to large innovative companies, but also to small business formation in local communities. The sprawling Atlanta metropolitan area contains many examples of immigrant entrepreneurship. A potent combination of declining population growth and economic stagnation has led many cities and metropolitan regions to rethink how to strengthen their communities.

It’s a known fact that immigrants are risk takers by nature, are unusually successful entrepreneurs, more than twice as likely as native-born Americans to start their own firms.

As a result, immigration is one of the strategies to which communities are repeatedly turning to fuel economic growth. A budding place-based awareness of the important contributions that new and existing immigrants make to neighborhood revitalization is seen in the increasing number of cities pursuing a nexus of immigrant welcoming, integration, and economic development initiatives.

Research points out that “most immigrants establish their businesses without assistance from local banks, relying heavily on family labor, and family and personal savings to fund business growth.” Immigrant-founded businesses create jobs for Americans and strengthen the US economy, are represented in every industry and business size throughout the United States. Generate tax revenue, and provide valuable goods and services. Americans lives are touched every day by these immigrants.

Determining Eligibility for Immigration Benefits for Dependent Spouse or Partner: Same Sex Couples

Moving to a new country is one of life’s biggest events. Whether one is relocating to take up a temporary work assignment, or permanently immigrating, one’s spouse (or life partner) is normally essential to the equation and will often play a vital supporting role in the process. It is, therefore, essential to ensure in advance that the immigration laws of the country in question recognize this important individual as a proper “spouse” for immigration or visa purposes.

The United States currently takes a narrow view on the definition of a spouse for immigration purposes. The result of this is that spouses and partners in many not-uncommon types of marriages and relationships are entitled only to limited – if any – immigration benefits. In this article, we review the criteria used by the United States government to determine whether it will recognize a spouse for immigration purposes, as well as how said criteria applies to several marital situations.


United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and the United States Department of State (“DOS”) both apply a three-prong test to assess the validity of a marriage for immigration purposes. The following three-prong test is applied both in assessing eligibility for a derivative non-immigrant visa (e.g., L2 visa, E2 visa, H4 visa, etc.) or an immigrant visa, as well as in matters of family-based sponsorship by a United States Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident:

Prong 1: Was the marriage valid in the place of celebration?

USCIS and DOS both judge the validity of the marriage based on the laws of the place where the marriage was celebrated. A marriage that is not valid in the place where it was celebrated will not be recognized as a marriage for the purposes of receiving immigration benefits.

By way of example, a marriage in Thailand must be registered with the civil registrar, the Amphur. A religious ceremony alone does not create a valid marriage in Thailand. Thus, although a religious ceremony may be sufficient to register a marriage in certain states in the United States, if the marriage that took place in Thailand was only a religious ceremony, without the required civil registration, the spouse will not be eligible for United States immigration benefits due to the invalidity of the marriage in Thailand.

By contrast, informal and tribal ceremonies that would not rise to the formality normally required to register a marriage in the United States may qualify for immigration benefits if the ceremonies meet all of the legal requirements to be valid in the country performed. This element comes up often with common law marriages, which are discussed later in further detail.

There may be the opportunity to cure an invalid marriage and obtain immigration benefits. In an opinion by the General Counsel for the former Immigration and Nationality Service, now USCIS, an Iranian mosque marriage that was performed in Turkey was found not to be valid under the laws of Turkey; however, a subsequent civil marriage validated the marriage in Turkey, thus rendering the spouse eligible for immigration benefits. (See INS General Counsel Legal Opinion No. 91-58, File No. CO831 (July 25, 1991)). Marriages that were previously ineligible for United States immigration benefits may even be cured by subsequent laws in the relevant country that cause the previously defective marriages to be recognized as valid in that country.

The Foreign Marriage: Choosing Whether to Marry Your Immigrant Spouse Inside or Outside of the U.S.

If a U.S. citizen wishes to sponsor his or her spouse for a green card (“lawful permanent residency” under U.S. immigration law; see, timing can always be an issue. Whether a U.S. citizen marries the immigrant spouse inside or outside of the U.S. can affect how soon the couple can begin living together in the U.S.

When a U.S. citizen marries a foreign national (“immigrant” for purposes of this article) and the marriage takes place outside of the U.S., it could be difficult for the immigrant spouse to enter the U.S. as s/he once did, i.e., on a tourist visa or other temporary visa to visit his or her family, friends, and spouse.

The reason that re-entry into the U.S. is difficult for an immigrant is that when an immigrant marries a U.S. citizen, that shows CIS and airport DHS inspection officers that the immigrant has the permanent intent to stay in the U.S. and not return to their home country. Yet, when the immigrant tries to enter on a tourist visa or other temporary visa, the immigrant is telling CIS that s/he plans to stay only for a short period in the U.S. This conflicting temporary v. permanent intent problem (commonly referred to as “dual intent”) usually results in CIS concluding that the noncitizen committed “visa fraud.” Further, if a DHS ( inspecting officer at the airport discovers that the immigrant is married to a U.S. citizen when the immigrant tries to enter on a tourist or other temporary visa, the officer will be likely to conclude that the immigrant will overstay their visa and live permanently in the U.S. because of the existence of a U.S. citizen spouse giving the immigrant “good reason to stay” in the U.S.

Because of this and due to potentially longer processing times with immigrant visas and the K-3 (a temporary visa that allows spouses of U.S. citizens to enter the U.S. to wait until their immigrant visa based on the marriage is processed and approved), many couples decide to marry within the U.S. to take advantage of the usually faster Adjustment of Status process instead of waiting for consular processing.

Many times, couples prefer to legally marry in the U.S. but then have a renewal of vows or another ceremony (often called a religious ceremony) for friends and family abroad, so they can start the immigration process for the immigrant spouse as soon as possible while the immigrant spouse is in the U.S. This option could also prove risky because if the immigrant spouse entered on a temporary visa (such as tourist visa), a CIS officer at the green card interview in the U.S. may conclude that the immigrant committed visa fraud – i.e., never disclosed his/her intent to marry and stay in the U.S. when entered with a tourist visa.

Regardless, where you decide to legally marry (not necessarily a religious ceremony or even a wedding, perhaps just a justice of the peace), could significantly change your options and processing times and what path you choose. It is always best to discuss your wedding plans with a qualified immigration attorney to decide what path is best for your situation and the consequences and benefits of marriage outside and inside the U.S.

The Immigrant Visa Process

Once a U.S. citizen marries an immigrant spouse whether inside or outside of the U.S., the U.S. citizen will have to apply for an immigrant visa and provide all supporting documentation for that application with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services in the U.S. Once CIS approves the petition, the case is ( for continued processing.

Once a visa number is assigned to the case and final documentation received, the case is transferred to the consulate nearest the noncitizen spouse’s foreign address, which will arrange for the spouse to be interviewed (much like a green card interview in the U.S.) by a consulate nearest the immigrant spouse’s foreign residence. Assuming all goes well, the spouse will be issued a green card in his or her passport upon entry into the U.S. The processing time for this entire process can take 9 months – 2 years, depending on which state the U.S. citizen spouse resides in.

There are a few exceptions to this process, that allow a couple to save months of processing time so as not to be separated for long periods. If time is a concern and before a couple tries to cut corners in the immigration process, a couple should consult an attorney right away, so as not to make any decisions that could ruin the immigrant spouse’s chances for a green card.

Immigration of Thoughts: From Bigotry to Openness

A plane sets its course up against the massive azure sky. Facing the limitless horizon, people in the aircraft readily await their destination. They seek either a typical tour, as tourists; a business meeting, as commercial travelers; or to shift permanently, as immigrants. Under this plane, a ferry swims its way to its predestined coast. In it, too, are sightseers, explorers and immigrants. But beneath the same sky, in some parts, there are few unfortunate people who are forcibly deporting their land to survive – the chief struggle of human beings – normally known as “refugees”.

First of all, my aim is to pinpoint the general causes of immigration. Afterwards, I reveal the bitter reality relating to immigration that lies before us, induced by none other than ourselves. The same reality is gradually instigating disarray among people and acts as an impediment to the progress of human civilization. Every menace, no matter how threatening, has a way out, certainly. By the same token, in the end, you’ll find me providing a humble solution to avoid the negative aftermath of immigration phenomenon. Now, as proposed, we begin with expounding the basic reasons for immigration; personal, academic, economic and oppressive.

Human nature is innately attracted towards remarkable paraphernalia of life. Who knows her next desire may be to seek a superlative milieu or magnificent abode? These longings, obviously, require better environs. Better environs are found at wonderful, but limited, places of the world. A person normally pursues what his or her heart craves. Accordingly, moving becomes an individual’s dream, the bullseye of his or her dart. This can be construed as the personal reason for immigration. The decision to shift for mere fulfillment of one’s yearnings, however, can be misjudged and may create deplorable consequences. So before committing to such a resolve, it would be a wise approach to carefully reconsider, over and over, the possibilities of such an action.

Academic goals are students’ objectives, short-term or long-term, related to educational success. The eventual success in academic career means strength and ease in financial career. A student with long-term scholastic ambitions may, oftentimes, endeavor for superior education or enrollment in a particular graduate or post-graduate institution. The probability of presence of such institute in the vicinity of one’s residence is usually meager, and so, the learner is obliged to move. The idea to relocate for the actualization of academic goals frames the academic reason for immigration. It is noteworthy, knowledge is power and acquiring it is the basic aspiration of every knowledge-seeker. Thus, adults who are knowledge-seekers might also decide to travel in quest of a river of knowledge to quench their thirst.

Economists and governments are concerned with the betterment of their economy and people, now more than ever. The economic benefits are the outcome of right economic struggle. An economic struggle is like plantation of a tree. The ecology of a land is sometimes not suitable for a specific plant or vice versa. The same is with livelihood struggle. A specific economic struggle may fail due to multiple reasons, both personal and collective. The wise solution is to shift the environs. It is the economic reason for immigration to avoid scarce provisions. There is, however, possibility of wrong decision. So, the immigration demands a thorough analysis of ground realities of present and destined regions. Life may become a financial pell-mell on account of a wrong migration.

Humans have existed interdependently since their emergence. Individuals have duties that are associated with their rights. Those observing their duties, justly, deserve concomitant rights. Malfunctioning in a society means overlooking of social duties by some people and, thus, unjust apportion of due rights. Disequilibrium in duties and rights inevitably gives rise to societal turmoil. Disorder in a society, triggered by power-hungry people, and mayhem, engendered due to intergroup conflicts, results in chronic oppression towards common and straightforward masses. Consequently, the oppressed ones venture elsewhere to sustain their social status and live life with sense of security and freedom of will. Sometimes, when situation is out of hand, these people are forced to exile from their own land. This constitutes the oppressive, and our final, reason for immigration.

Illegal Immigrant Workers

Migrant labor is an issue receiving an increasing amount of attention. It has become a matter of growing importance as a number of factors, including rapid population expansion and higher rates of urbanization, lead many people to seek better economic opportunities in other countries.

The International Labour Organization estimates there are roughly 96 million migrant workers and their dependents in the world today. Some experts predict that the number will double in the next twenty years.

In the United States there are 6.3-million illegal workers in the United States, according to estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center. About half of those are from Mexico. These illegal Mexican immigrants are at the center of an ongoing debate as to how the United States should handle illegal immigration.

A common belief is that Mexicans immigrate to the United States in order to find work. But according to a study conducted by the center, a lack of jobs in Mexico is not a major reason that immigrants come to the United States illegally. Rather, immigrants are driven out of their home country because of Mexico’s low wages, poor job quality and lack of long-term prospects and opportunity.

Study results were based on interviews with 4,836 men and women applying for Mexican identification cards at consulates in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Fresno, Atlanta and Raleigh, N.C.

The study found that only 5% of Mexican immigrants who have been in the United States for less than two years were unemployed in Mexico. In fact, the vast majority of undocumented migrants interviewed were gainfully employed before they left for the United States.

The study also found that immigrants have little trouble finding work in the United States, despite the lack of legal rights to work. After six months in the United States, only 5% of the immigrants reported being unemployed. This statistic reveals how important these immigrant workers are to the United States economy, because they perform jobs that few others are willing to do.

And they do so for low wages. Immigrants generally make poverty-level wages in the United States, or about $300 per week. While shockingly low, these wages are twice what workers in Mexico make.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center study, Mexican immigrants provide many types of labor needed around the country, including construction in Atlanta, Dallas and Raleigh; hospitality in New York; manufacturing in Chicago; and agriculture in California. These four industries employed about two-thirds of survey respondents.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington D.C., says it’s not news that a demand for low-wage labor exists in the United States. But instead of establishing guest-worker programs or amnesty for illegal immigrants, Krikorian advocated removing immigrant workers from the economy gradually. In his view, this would, among other things, improve wages for American workers.

Despite a seemingly steady stream of immigrant workers, farms in California and other businesses are having a hard time finding enough people willing to work for low wages. Many immigrants are choosing to work in the riskier but higher paying construction industry. And the government and civilian border patrol groups like the Minutemen are stepping up efforts to secure the United States-Mexico border, making it harder for immigrants to enter.

Government officials, including the President, want to establish new legislation that will more strongly enforce the immigration laws.

In January of 2004 President Bush outlined a plan to revamp the nation’s immigration laws and allow some eight million illegal immigrants to obtain legal status as temporary workers, saying the United States needs an immigration system “that serves the American economy and reflects the American dream.”

Illegal immigrants already in the United States could apply for the temporary worker program only if they already had a job. The special status would last for three years and could be renewed once, for a total stay of six years. If temporary workers failed to stay employed or broke the law, they would be sent home.