Washington – A new proposal
on Capitol Hill would grant visas to immigrant entrepreneurs launching new
companies in the U.S.,
provided they have commitments to secure a minimum amount of investment
capital. The Startup Visa Act, sponsored by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and
Richard Lugar (D-Ind.), is being supported by signatures from more than 100 U.S. venture
capital and angel investors.
To qualify, entrepreneurs would need to land
capital from a qualified U.S.
investor of at least $100,000, as part of an equity financing of not less than
A previous incarnation of the act enables investors from other
countries to earn visas in exchange for starting a business in the U.S. with $1 million in capital and creating at
least 10 U.S.
"We applaud Senators Kerry and Lugar for recognizing the importance
of foreign born entrepreneurs to U.S. economic growth," said
Mark Heesen, president of the Arlington-based National Venture Capital
"These individuals want to build their companies in the United States,
but many have been discouraged in the past by difficult immigration laws. Today
entrepreneurs can build their companies and create jobs anywhere. This bill
sends the right signal that we want them here."