Another foreign investor proposal came out of the Senate this past week due to the work across party lines amongst freshman Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.). This is one of approximately 8 job creation proposals introduced already in Congress, as consistent economic data indicate how small business creation is the motor of job creation in the United States.
Moreover, our immigration system currently only has two limited options for foreign investors to obtain green cards through the businesses they invest in, with a minimum of $500,000 required to be invested. In light of the IPO of Facebook this past week and other modern giants before them (e.g., Google, Apple), it is an understatement to say that many successful companies can arise without the need for a half million in capital. Many foreign investors under the E-2 temporary visa in the US actually start, manage and grow very successful businesses, pay taxes, and hire US workers, without any remote option to become a permanent resident due to the high capital requirement. This proposal is most welcome given the lack of progress on this policy topic thus far.
The bill actually proposes two visas: one visa for foreign students who obtain graduate degrees in science- and math-related fields from American universities, and the other that offers permanent residence to immigrants who start successful companies and create jobs in the United States. The bill also proposes an elimination of the country-based caps on employment based green cards, which has been already introduced in the Senate.
According to Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, Startup Act 2.0 “will help solidify America’s position as the world’s most entrepreneurial nation,” and “winning the global battle for talent is essential if we are going to keep our entrepreneurial economy moving forward.” Washington Post
What are the odds of approval for Startup Act 2.0 in Congress? Senator Moran stated, “I would guess that 80 percent of my colleagues in Congress would agree with the visa provisions in this legislation.” However, he cautions as do others that success heavily depends on whether lawmakers can set aside their differences on sweeping, comprehensive immigration reform and focus on the intentions of this more targeted piece of legislation. Immigration policy is an acerbic topic in Congress, especially in an election year. Look for 2.0 to perhaps gain momentum post-November. For more information on the Startup Visa Act or investor options in the US under current law, please contact Catherine Brown immigration attorney in Colorado.