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StartUp Visa Act gets renewed interest in Congress

Immigration reform ideas keep making headlines. This blog has reported a variety of ideas that have surfaced in recent months, from real estate investment visas to streamlined rules regarding EB-5 visas. Investment visas and employment visa programs are often referred to in many news reports. Studies have shown that immigration can help to fuel an economic recovery.

One such study, released by the Partnership for a New American Economy says that 40 percent of all American Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants. ABC News recently ran a story of an immigrant who secured $1.65 million in venture capital funding for a business that employed nine American workers by the end of the first year in business before the government sent the man a letter denying him a visa. The man moved to Canada and ran his company via Skype before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services changed its mind and granted the immigrant business owner a visa.

President Obama said during a town hall meeting in July, "What I want to do is make sure that talented people who come to this country to study, to get degrees, and are willing and interested in starting up businesses can do so." He said he does not want educated talented immigrants to leave the U.S. only to compete against the country.

Now ABC News reports a number of Senators say they are reintroducing the StartUp Visa Act. This blog has noted the act in previous posts. The Act would work somewhat similarly to the EB=5 visa program to encourage new business and job growth in the United States.

The proposed measure, previously introduced two years ago, would allow "immigrant entrepreneurs and foreign graduates from U.S. universities to appeal for a two-year visa." The visa holder would have to have the ability to secure financing for a new business and show that the business can generate jobs under the proposed measure. If the business enterprise proves successful, the immigrant could apply for permanent residency in the United States.

Source: ABC News, "Immigrant Entrepreneur Gets Visa After 'World News' Story," Ben Forber and Christine Brouwer, Nov. 2, 2011

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