Startup Visa Act Looks Towards Senate
Posted on September 28, 2011
Under the terms of the bill, immigrant entrepreneurs will be able to receive a two-year visa if their start-ups have received at least $100,000 in capital from investors. After two years, the business must have created at least five new jobs and generated at least half a million dollars in revenue.
The bill also covers foreign entrepreneurs and graduate students studying math or engineering on unexpired H-1B visas, as well as those who have generated $100,000 in sales within the U.S. from their companies.
Rather than authorizing the creation of new visas, the bill is intended to transfer allotment of existing EB-5 visas, which grants temporary status to foreigners who invest in U.S. businesses. In 2009, only 4,191 of the allotted 9,940 EB-5 visas were granted.
The bill has enjoyed widespread bipartisan support from Congress as well as from members of the venture capital community, who criticized the current U.S. immigrant policies for forcing thousands of high paying jobs into other countries.
“Capital and consumer benefit [from start-ups] can go anywhere in the world but jobs are wherever the company is located,” said Eric Ries, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author. “If we kick out our talented PhDs out of the company the moment they want to create a company, American investors will still get to participate and American consumers will enjoy the product, but the jobs are somewhere else.”
Over 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, including tech giants like Intel(INTC_), Google (GOOG_) and eBay(EBAY_), according to a report from the Partnership for a New American Economy.
27 Sept 2011