Questions for the Customs and Border Protection
(1) What is the CBP admission policy for Entrepreneurs on a B-1 visa?
"Prospect entrepreneurs who will later apply for E-2, EB-5 or other visas (and possibly the prospect startup visa) need to enter the U.S. as visitor waivers or B-1 visas to establish the business, many of them feel on a edge situation as they logically usually don't have a job in their home country when they start their venture, don't have all the meeting dates yet on arrival or even a precise return date."
- What are the recommendations of the CBP to those entrepreneurs?
- What is the policy of the CBP regarding the inspection of those documents?
- What is the maximum amount of status time granted on entry on a B-1 visa by the CBP?
(2) Does the look of a job-offer or invitation-letter letterhead matter to the CBP?
"Several entrepreneurs mentioned the CBP overly evaluating the merit of their documentation by the letterhead of the letters they have, is this true or a subjective perspective of the entrepreneurs?"
- Is the CBP the authority on the admission of Canadians entering the US on a TN visa/status?
- In the view of the CBP, is the TN status a proper status for entrepreneurs?
(3) What is the CBP stance on admission positions that are contrary to information entrepreneurs claim they received?
"An entrepreneur was advised by the US Embassy in Italy to simply conduct his business trip on a business waiver (a trip for a branch expansion), on admission, the position he got from the CBP was completely different and contradictory to the information he received from the US Embassy."
- What does the CBP implements to help inform foreign entrepreneurs traveling to the US on what they need to do or prepare?
- Several entrepreneurs stated "the admission officers often know little about technology startups when they review documents", CBP comment?
(4) We have reports of repeat secondary inspections for entrepreneurs. CBP Comment?
"An overwhelming large portion of the entrepreneurs interviewed or who contacted us reported repeat, sometimes systematic secondary inspections, and reported wait times of over 90 minutes and/or elevated stress."
(5) Are entrepreneurs entering the country several times as a business visitors flagged?
- What about entrepreneurs managing several ventures and coming on different motives (different companies) for their trips, does the CBP make the distinction?
(6) In light of the current absence of a founder visa in the US Immigration System, is the CBP implementing any internal policies to lower entry burden or stress for entrepreneurs entering the US with the alternative employment visas options they may have?
"The Startup Visa in not law yet and no employment visa exist for founders (a "founder" here is an entrepreneur raising outside funding), as a result these entrepreneurs sometimes have to use alternative visas, i.e. TN, O-1 etc. for which they can often be just over the line of qualification. Once they receive those visa, their entry still depend on the CBP, does the CBP receive or evaluate the documentation of those entrepreneurs in any special way?"
- Similarly, in earlier venture stage or for entrepreneurs entering as non-employees, does the CBP implement any internal policies to lower entry burden or stress for entrepreneurs entering the US on business waiver or B-1 visas?
(7) Would the Startup Visa (also called "EB-6") enter law, how much time would CBP take to implement it for their part?
"Any training of officers required? Software update? Is it implemented by the CBP at all?"
- If CBP had to implement anything, how much time did it take CBP to implement entry procedure for the EB-5 visa of 1990?