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Let PJ Stay

Watch PJ's Story

America’s immigration system should support — not deport — 
companies like PJ’s

Pierre-Jean Cobut

Co-Founder, Echo Labs

Palo Alto, CA

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The Petition

PJ is one of many aspiring immigrant entrepreneurs that are building new American companies and growing existing ones.

Without enough visas to support our innovation economy, we’re left with an antiquated system that’s expected to turn away half of the talented, aspiring immigrant entrepreneurs and skilled professionals that apply this year.

American companies are losing important talent, and America is losing out on what could be the next great American companies—companies like PJ’s.

Why Fix It?

  • Our system is using outdated quotas, rejecting about half of all talented immigrant entrepreneurs and skilled professionals based purely on chance.
  • Existing companies like Google and Microsoft lose key talent that’s fueling their latest innovation and job creation.
  • We’re losing out on the next great American companies. Entrepreneurs like PJ are forced to build their companies elsewhere if they don’t get one of the few visas available.
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Who Will Steal PJ?

Palo Alto, CA

PJ wants to build Echo Labs in America. He’s hiring American workers and hopes to help grow America’s innovation economy. However, unless he’s lucky enough to win a randomized visa lottery, he’ll be forced to leave and take his company with him.


Since 2012, Italy has begun implementing startup-friendly legislation, including the Italia Startup Visa. These reforms mean streamlined visa applications for entrepreneurs, significant tax breaks on seed and VC investments, and an innovative incubator support network. Furthermore, the application process takes a maximum of 30 days.


The Chilean government works hard to recruit immigrant entrepreneurs with its Start-Up Chile program. Accepted participants receive a $40,000 grant, a one-year work visa, and an entrée into the country’s affluent VC community, whose investments the government has been matching by as much as three to one.

South Korea

The South Korean government recently launched the Overall Assistance for Startup Immigration System, which offers entrepreneurship training and a points-based, streamlined visa system. Recipients can earn permanent residency by employing Koreans and raising enough capital.

Vancouver, BC

PJ is most likely to move to Vancouver, where a growing startup culture is being fostered by low business taxes and Canada’s new startup visa, which offers recipients immediate permanent residency if they meet three simple criteria: 1) English language proficiency, 2) investment from a designated Canadian VC or fund, and 3) at least one year of postsecondary education.


Ireland’s Start-up Entrepreneur Programme offers a tempting two-year work visa not contingent upon job creation. In addition, administrative and financial assistance are available, most notably a €10 million fund designated for international startups.


The Entrepass visa program offers entrepreneurs a renewable visa for as long as the startup remains viable. Recipients also gain access to significant tax benefits, including full exemption on the first $100,000 of chargeable income and 50 percent on the next S$200,000 for the first three years.

New Zealand

New Zealand’s Entrepreneur Work Visa operates on a point-based system and provides two tracks to gaining permanent residency – one in two years, the other in six months. Furthermore, accompanying partners and dependent children can gain work or study authorization as well.

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Meet the PJs

PJ, the co-founder of Echo Labs, always dreamed of starting a company in the United States, but if he doesn't get an H-1B visa, he'll have to move Echo Labs to Canada.

Pierre-Jean Cobut

Co-Founder, Echo Labs

PJ always dreamed of starting a company in the United States, but if he doesn’t get an H-1B visa, he’ll have to move Echo Labs to Canada.

Read PJ’s Full StoryWatch the Video

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