As Covid-19 shut a large portion of the American economy down and in-person communication had to be transferred to a new platform, programs like Zoom assisted colleges, businesses, and religious houses of worship. This new form of communication allowed countless individuals to continue to stay productive and still abide by state and federal mandate son social distancing. Nearly 200 million gather on the platform daily to share new ideas, learn, and stay connected with family. Although the company is invaluable and the services it renders helps millions, it almost didn’t happen. Founder and CEO Eric Yuan developed the idea back in China while studying engineering. While traveling to visit his girlfriend nearly ten hours away, Yuan had a new solution to communication but needed the valuable tools and resources that Silicon Valley had to offer. Bridging the gap between distance with the internet was Yuan’s mission but a series of setbacks by The United States Department of State almost stopped his mission in the tracks.
After eight denials for a temporary work permit, Yuan was finally able to receive a temporary work permit on his ninth try. Although Zoom has emerged as a key immigrant startup that changed the world for the better in a time of crisis, it is not alone in immigrant companies that have helped the U.S. consumer and producer in recent months. Before coming to the United States on a Work Visa, Apoorva Mehta, the founder of Instacart, a direct to home grocery delivery service, struggled to gain legal protection to work in the United States. Today, his company serves millions of American citizens, limiting their exposure to Covid-19 in grocery stores.
Jeff Bezos, the Founder and CEO of Amazon was the son of a Cuban refugee who immigrated to the United States at just sixteen. Today, Amazon delivers 1.6 million packages daily and streams to nearly 160 million consumers. Without these vital entrepreneurs, lockdowns would have been drastically different. Nearly half of the fortune five hundred companies were founded by immigrants or their children, including Google, Tesla, and Palantir. Based on market research, immigrants contribute disproportionately to tech startups and create high paying jobs that benefit American workers. In periods of high unemployment, these firms bolster the economy.
The payoff in the labor market is huge. Just one visa for Yuan and another for Mehta created nearly 15,000 full-time positions. Entrepreneurship is vital to America’s ability to compete with foreign rising powers like China. Immigrants who come to the United States transform the consumer experience and foster a new culture in the way work and business is conducted. Prices come down and quality goes up for entire communities. Productivity also climbs, as companies use the resulting technology to solve business problems. Kauffman Foundation Director of Policy Jason Wiens connects all of these benefits to immigration. “If you want job creation, you want entrepreneurs,” he writes. “And if you want entrepreneurs, a good bet is that you’ll find them among immigrants.”
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Many immigrants seek to come to the United States based on their job skills. In many cases, this becomes their opportunity to live in the U.S. permanently. If you are seeking to immigrate through the use of an employment-based immigrant visa, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our trusted firm.