Startup Visa Introduced in the US senate. Obama calls for action. Let’s get on the boat shall we?

US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama

Two United States senators, Mark Udall and Jeff Flake, announced yesterday that they will reintroduce the bipartisan Startup Visa Act to help foreign entrepreneurs and highly skilled graduates to create jobs in America. According to some reports (1,2), the bill has already been introduced.

“The economic boost that will be felt as a result of allowing more foreign-born entrepreneurs to create their businesses here alone makes this a commonsense bill,” Flake said in a statement.

If cleared by the congress, the proposed startup Visa will make it easier for entrepreneurs from countries like India to immigrate to the United States and start businesses. This could also accelerate the Indian startup brain-drain to the US, about which we wrote earlier this month.

On Tuesday, American President Barack Obama urged the congress to act on comprehensive immigration reforms in the country, which includes a proposal to create “startup visas,” to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the United States and build businesses.

Obama, who was sworn in as the president of the United States for the second term last week, said:

If you are a foreign student wanting to pursue a career in science or technology or a foreign entrepreneur who wants to start a business with the help of American investors, we should help you do that here.

The much debated Startup Visa, is a proposed amendment to the US immigration law which aims to slow down the exodus of skilled workers from the US and help them create startups and American Jobs.

A broad consensus is emerging on the comprehensive immigration reform, Obama said in his speech.

The immigration reform calls for America’s immigration laws to be updated. Obama’s plan includes: strengthening border security, cracking down on employers that hire undocumented workers, creating a path to earned citizenship and streamlining the US immigration system.

According to the proposed startup visa plan

If a US investor agrees to financially sponsor their entrepreneurial venture with a minimum investment of $100,000. Two years later, the startup must have created five new American jobs and either have raised over $500,000 in financing or be generating more than $500,000 in yearly revenue.

After all, immigrants helped build businesses like Google and Yahoo, added Obama. He cited examples of Chip-maker Intel and photo sharing site Instagram, both founded by immigrant students who stayed on in the United States.

The proposed legislation has many supporters including Dave McClure of 500Startups and Vivek Wadhwa, the entrepreneur turned academic who recently authored the book– “The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent.”

Obama’s Immigration Speech

Get on the boat shall we?

Recommended Reading

Startup Visa And The Impact on Indian Startup Ecosystem [BrainDrain 2.0]

Indian Startup Braindrain to USA : A (disturbing) trend that’s for real

Indians lead the immigrant entrepreneurship race in USA, though immigrant entrepreneurship has stalled

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