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New Class of Entrepreneur Visas Coming?

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on February 16, 2013

As the push for immigration reform gains momentum on Capitol Hill, more bipartisan immigration measures are being introduced, some of which have a good chance of being incorporated into any sweeping reform package.

One bill that has strong support on both sides of the aisle is the Startup Act 3.0, which would grant up to 75,000 new “entrepreneur visas” annually to business founders who raise at least $100,000 for their new ventures, and would extend those visas if the entrepreneurs hire at least two employees within a year and five within the following three years.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a trade association representing nearly 400 companies in Silicon Valley, reportedly sent a dozen immigrant founders of high-tech companies to Washington to testify in favor of special startup visas, pushing for them to be included in any ultimate reform package this spring.

The group noted that it is very difficult for promising young immigrant entrepreneurs to raise money because funding is often contingent upon their receipt of some kind of stable immigration status, which is currently hard to obtain.

The Startup Act 3.0, as currently reported, would include a permanent 100 percent exemption on capital gains for investments held in affected startups for at least five years, or as long as the business has less than $50 million in assets.

Currently, most promising young scientists and innovators from foreign countries who come to the U.S. must do so by means of visas, such as the H-1B visa, which ties them to their U.S. employers. Once they develop a promising concept, invention or device of their own, it is very hard for them to get funding, leave their employers and start a new company here.

If you are an individual in need of immigration assistance, do not hesitate to contact our office for an appointment to speak with an experienced and qualified lawyer at (847) 564-0712. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information on how we might assist you in a variety of ways.