Our Immigration System Must Encourage Foreign Entrepreneurs to Invest in the U.S.
August 24, 2013 Leave a comment
Immigrants started 33 percent of U.S. venture-backed companies between 2006 and 2012 that went public, according to a new report from the National Venture Capital Association. The report, however, also noted that there is no reliable immigration program for foreign entrepreneurs, who must surmount enormous legal difficulties in order to come here to create businesses and drive innovation and job growth.
The bills are not perfect, but they represent a crucial step towards creating a functional immigration system that will drive innovation, growth, and prosperity.
Despite the fact that immigrant-founded venture-backed companies create enormous value in the U.S., no immigrant entrepreneur visa exists. The current E-2 investor visa is often unavailable to entrepreneurs because it can only be used by companies owned by nationals of countries that have treaties with the U.S. There is no such treaty with many countries, like India, that produce the largest percentage of foreign entrepreneurs. Minette Kwok , an immigration attorney and partner at Minami Tamaki LLP, told Immigration Impact that in addition “most start-ups seek venture capital funding from U.S. investors, so that an E-2 company ends up disqualifying itself because it becomes majority U.S. owned”. The E-2 is also a temporary visa valid for only 2 years at a time, and does not lead to permanent residence (a “green card”). READ MORE