Start-Up Visa: Congressional Legislation to Keep Talented Foreigners in the USA

Start-Up Visa: Congressional Legislation to Keep Talented Foreigners in the USA

Around half of the tech businesses started in Silicon Valley are started by non-Americans.  Tech entrepreneur and now Congressman, Jared Polis, has proposed a new visa category to or a new “start-up visa” to help foreign born tech entrepreneurs stay in the USA.

The idea is part of a proposed overhaul of the US immigration system.

“Every day the American economy is losing ground – not to mention high-tech jobs and technologies – to India and China because foreign-born entrepreneurs cannot secure a visa to stay in the US,”  [Polis] said.

This will help entrepreneurs who can secure funding stay and grow their business.  The article shares Eric Diep’s story. Diep, who is Canadian, started an Internet applications company but had to leave the USA because he couldn’t qualify for an EB-5 visa.

Each year the USA issues 10,000 of these.  In order to get one applicants need to invest $1m and create 10 full-time jobs. Diep eventually got funding, but now he spends his time commuting back and from from Canada to Silicon Valley.  This new class of visa could avoid this sort of problem.

This is how it will work:

It would be granted to foreign entrepreneurs if their business plan attracts either $250,000 from a venture capital operating company that is primarily US based or $100,000 from an angel investor.

They must also show that the business will create five to ten jobs or generate a profit and at least $1m in revenue.

Is there anyone out there who has been impacted by not being able to get an EB-5 visa?  How does this proposed visa category match up to similar ones that already exist in Canada, the UK and Australia?

More links:


Polis Introduces Legislation to Reform EB-5 Visa Program and Create “Start-Up Visa”

Read next: How to make a mask with photoshop