You may have heard about the StartUp Visa Act, proposed by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.). It would be to help small businesses grow and add jobs to the U.S. and encourage international business and entrepreneurship as well.
If passed, the act would allow any immigrant entrepreneur, who can secure $250,000 in capital from American investors, to get a two-year visa. At the end of their visa, if they have raised an additional $1 million or have reached the $1 million mark in revenue, and have created at least five full-time jobs in the U.S., they could become a permanent resident.
Many foreign entrepreneurs find more success in the U.S. because of its startup culture. This act could help them grab hold of the opportunity to not only improve business, but become a resident so that they wouldn’t have to take “time-outs” from doing business in the U.S. while they return to their home country. The London Business School and Babson College’s Global Entrepreneurship Monitor has tracked 53 other countries, finding that 11% of residents are starting businesses. With more businesses being started, and an interest in foreign investment rising, this could be a great chance for both entrepreneurs and investors. Other venture capitalists and investors have supported this bill, saying things like, “It’s such an obvious win.” If passed, thousands of jobs would be created from the multitude of startups.
Others aren’t as enthusiastic about the idea of the StartUp Visa Act passing. They may debate that investors are needed to get a StartUp Visa, and then the personal founder’s risk goes up. It may not be beneficial for investors because the foreign entrepreneurs may not be successful, or decide they don’t want to stay in the U.S. This could possibly result in time and money wasted for investors.
With the decision of this act pending, we're not sure how things will pan out. What are some other advantages and disadvantages to this proposed act?