Amin Shokrollahi was supposed to be in Silicon Valley last week to accept an award at a prominent semiconductor conference called DesignCon.
He never made it.
President Donald Trump's travel ban targeting citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries forced Shokrollahi, a native Iranian who left for Germany when he was 16, to stay behind in Switzerland, home to his tech start-up Kandou Bus.
A federal judge in Seattle on Friday granted a nationwide temporary restraining order against Trump's action, which would be welcome news for Shokrollahi and others if made permanent. An appeals court upheld the restraining order on Thursday. However, Trump has vowed to overturn the judge's stay, meaning the rules could change on short notice.
Regardless of the outcome, Shokrollahi is now rethinking his entire business plan, which had included hiring 80 to 100 engineers and designers in the U.S. Instead, that expansion is now likely to occur in Europe or Asia, places where Shokrollahi can easily travel and where the environment is more welcoming.
On top of that, Shokrollahi's visa just expired and he's been waiting six weeks for a new one. That's clearly not a priority for the new administration.
"I have to be pragmatic about my business and see where to grow it," said Shokrollahi, in a telephone interview this week from Lausanne, Switzerland. "I feel that the U.S. is just not a stable country. I can't really make long-term plans there."