NVCA: Startup Visas would boost economy, job creation

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The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) maintains recently introduced legislation creating a Startup Visa allowing foreign-born entrepreneurs would aid in bolstering the economy and creating jobs.

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The NVCA indicated it supports the Let Immigrants Kickstart Employment (LIKE) Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), which targets the establishment of high-growth companies via foreign entrepreneurs.

“Making America the world’s best place to start a new business is a win for job creation, economic growth, innovation, and U.S. global competitiveness,” NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin said. “Immigrant founders have built some of the most iconic American companies, including Moderna and Pfizer, that have delivered lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines to the American people. Current immigration policies push foreign job creators away while other countries are rolling out the welcome mat. The U.S. share of global venture capital investment has shrunk from 84 percent to 51 percent in just 17 years.”

Startup Visas are needed because there is no dedicated visa category for foreign-born entrepreneurs, the NVCA cited. Firm founders must use visa categories not built for entrepreneurs, noting the bill would create a pair of immigrant entrepreneurs Startup Visas.

The Nonimmigrant Visa would be accessible for an initial three-year period to a foreign-born founder who owns at least 10 percent of the startup, has a central role, and raised at least $250,000 in qualifying investment.

Meanwhile, officials said the Immigrant Visa would be extended to a foreign-born entrepreneur admitted under the non-immigrant visa or another nonimmigrant visa connected to the startup entity. And there is a requirement of having created at least 10 qualified jobs, raised at least $1.25 million, or have generated $1 million or more in annual revenue.

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