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Immigrant Profile: Darren Huston

Background

Darren R. Huston, the former CEO of Priceline, was born on January 3, 1966, in Canada. After completing grade school, Huston finished his high school studies in Italy at the United World College of the Adriatic. He went on to gain a BS in economics at Trent University. Huston then attended the University of British Columbia, where he received his MA in economics.

Immigration to the United States

After earning his MA, Huston made his way to the United States, where he attended Harvard Business School and completed his MBA. Huston served as the economic advisor to the Canadian government between 1990 and 1992. After returning to the United States, he took an executive job between 1994 and 1998 at McKinsey & Company in both Seattle and Atlanta.

Professional Background & Achievements

In 1998, Huston became the senior vice president at Starbucks in Seattle, in which post he served until 2003. Huston then became the president and CEO of American giant Microsoft in Japan in 2005. By 2008, he was running Microsoft’s consumer and online business as the company’s corporate vice president. Huston transitioned to Booking.com and became its CEO in 2011. Huston later joined the parent company, Priceline, in 2014 as the CEO. In 2015, Fortune magazine ranked him 43rd in its “Businessperson of the Year” list. Since 2016 he has been the CEO and founder of BlackPines Capital Partners, and since 2019 he has also been the executive chairman of The Knot Worldwide.

Contributions to the U.S. Economy

Priceline, which controls a large portion of the hotel, airline, and automobile rental booking market, owns six other well-known brands, including Booking.com, Kayak.com, and OpenTable. As of 2016, it was one of the world’s three biggest e-commerce companies, topped only by Amazon and Alibaba. As of 2021, The Knot is the world’s top wedding planning marketplace, drawing together wedding venues, photographers, suppliers of all sorts, and customers.

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EB-5 Program Update:

The EB-5 Program has lapsed. The US Congress is discussing the legislation that authorizes the program while USCIS reviews the regulations and policies for filing. Because of the recent court ruling that reversed the 2019 Modernization regulations, the investment level has shifted temporarily from $900,000 back to $500,000.

If the program is reauthorized before the regulations are updated, there may be another window of opportunity to file at $500,000.

LCR expects the program to be reauthorized in December, and continues to work with international families that want to explore alternative residency options.

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