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What are the benefits of the startup visa for Mexican companies?

The International Entrepreneur Rule was proposed by Obama three days before leaving office, but was cut short during the term of Donald Trump.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Since May 2021, the Joe Biden administration revived a 'visa' program for international entrepreneurs, which had been contemplated since the Barack Obama administration, but was cut short during the term of Donald Trump .

The International Entrepreneur Rule was proposed by Obama three days before leaving office with the aim of granting international entrepreneurs asylum in the United States for five years to the extent that they attract at least $ 250,000 in venture capital and employ 10 people as minimum. Biden framed his resurrection in a speech that revolves around the development of startups and the economic reactivation of the United States after the crisis caused by COVID-19 .

Technically, it is not a visa; rather, it is a kind of 'probation' subject to a series of requirements. However, this initiative represents an opportunity for Mexican startups to reach the US market and compete with other companies.

“The interesting thing about this category is that its benefit is palpable in both senses: on the one hand, it contributes to the value chains of a globalized market; on the other hand, it means a huge boost to the strengthening of entrepreneurs from all over the world, particularly from developing countries ”, considers Víctor Aguirre López, founding partner of the firm BlackBox Startup Law , specialized in advising international startups operating in Mexico.

What benefits can it bring to Mexican companies?

According to an 'autopsy' carried out by CBInsights on 111 bankrupt startups, around 35% of them failed due to the lack of demand for their services and around 20% disappeared due to their lack of ability to compete in the market.

The program aims to operate as a solid base for new entrepreneurs to be able to consolidate their companies, under adequate regulation and close to flourishing ecosystems with great growth potential: close to 50% of the world's startups are based in the United States.

“They are environments in which these companies can truly mature and prosper. As startups are close to the hubs of their industries, they access knowledge and technology that they could not otherwise. It is in these exchanges that entrepreneurs find the necessary tools to perfect their products and services ”, explains the founding partner of BlackBox Startup Law.

How can the visa be acquired?

The eligibility criteria are not necessarily lax. To qualify for this 'visa' applicants must meet at least three aspects:

  • Have a central and active role in a startup created in the last five years.
  • Have at least 10% of the shares of a startup.
  • Show that in the 18 months prior to the request, it was achieved:
    • An investment of at least $ 250,000 from one or more qualified U.S. investors or
    • Government awards or scholarships amounting to $ 100,000.