Last year Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) introduced legislation aimed at creating a new layer of employment immigration law. The StartUp Visa Act sought to create an EB-6 visa for immigrant entrepreneurs.
A spokesman for Senator Lugar says the there is renewed interest in the StartUp Visa Act this year after President Obama delivered his State of the Union address, and the senators plan to reintroduce the legislation soon. Florida employment immigration attorneys note that the proposed legislation would operate similarly to the EB-5 visa program, but with reduced conditions.
The EB-5 program allows immigrant investors who provide an investment of $500,000 or more in a targeted employment area to receive a temporary U.S. visa. After two years, if the development has created at least 10 jobs, the immigrant investor can apply for a green-card, or full time residency status in the United States.
The StartUp Visa Act seeks to reduce the conditions somewhat, making the program more affordable to job creating investors. The proposed legislation would drop the upfront investment to $250,000. Permanent residency would be available if the investment creates at least five new full-time jobs within the two year period.
Permanent residency would also be available if the business attracts $1 million in additional investment or surpasses $1 million in yearly revenue after two years.
Immigrants started 25 percent of all new U.S. companies that opened their doors for business between 1995 and 2005, according to research conducted at Duke University. The StartUp Visa Act would seek to offer immigrant entrepreneurs with a new opportunity to obtain a green card by creating jobs in the United States.
The revived interest in the EB-6 program comes after President Obama announced in the State of the Union address that he intends to fight the current high unemployment problem. The senators reportedly are expected to reintroduce the legislation in the next few weeks.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, "Bill aims to attract tech entrepreneurs," Erich Schwartzel 26 Feb 2011