NVCA is pleased to report that a new bi-partisan bill has been introduced in the Senate that is aimed at bringing and keeping the best and brightest entrepreneurs from around the world here in the United States. Introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Mark Udall (D-CO), the StartUp Visa Act of 2011 will permit entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. or to remain here after completing university studies if they meet certain criteria, including receiving investment in their businesses from a qualified U.S. investor. This would include venture capital dollars.
Foreign-born entrepreneurs in the U.S. are increasingly active in creating jobs for Americans in the U.S. Fast-growing companies have long been the main source of new jobs and innovation in the United States. Companies such as Google, Pfizer, Intel, Yahoo, DuPont, eBay and Procter & Gamble are all former start-ups founded by immigrants. Foreign-born residents made up just 12.5% of the U.S. population in 2008, while nearly 40% of technology company founders and 52% of founders of companies in Silicon Valley are foreign-born. However, U.S. immigration policies are forcing foreign-born startup founders with venture capital and employees out of the country, effectively sending thousands of high paying knowledge jobs overseas for no reason. The StartUp Visa Act spotlights entrepreneurs who are already integrated into American business or research culture (since they are lawfully present, working for a U.S. organization or conducting graduate research here). The StartUp Visa Act will create jobs and increase America’s global competitiveness. We urge lawmakers to support S. 565/H.R. 1114.