Start-up companies have always been a driving force in the U.S. economy. They are even more important in a down economy, as innovation drives job creation. While there are visa categories for entrepreneurs who invest their own capital, there is a gap in U.S. visa policy when it comes to entrepreneurs with great ideas who have established investors ready to back them financially. The current investor categories are limited by country of citizenship for temporary visas and by a minimum investment of $1 million ($500,000 in some cases) for green cards, making a permanent visa solution unlikely for the vast majority of would-be foreign national entrepreneurs in the United States.
Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) have introduced legislation proposing a new green card category for immigrant entrepreneurs who have secured at least $250,000 in funding from a qualified venture capitalist or “angel investor.” The bill is designed to drive job creation and increase the country’s global competitiveness by helping immigrant entrepreneurs secure permanent residence in the United States.
More than 160 venture capitalists from around the country have endorsed the bill, citing a restrictive visa policy that has forced many innovative entrepreneurs (and the corresponding creation of new jobs) to establish outside of the United States.
Jackson Lewis works with entrepreneurs and investors all over the world who wish to invest in the United States on opportunities which create jobs for Americans. If this bill is passed, the new visa category would substantially broaden the pool of potential investments for venture capital firms and help stimulate the U.S. economy.