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Latino Daily News

Friday August 20, 2010

Foreign-Born Entrepreneur Visas Can Help Struggling Economy

If someone has a great idea for a U.S. business that is well funded and creates jobs why might it not succeed?  Of course there are a multitude of reasons but for foreign-born entrepreneurs it will mostly likely be lack of visa. 

There is a rigid immigration system that in the current political climate may become more restrictive.  Many businesses fear that this political climate will result in less student, visitor and cultural visas being issued.  Any entrepreneur that wants to pitch his idea to funders or launch a U.S. business must apply as a student or visitor to be allowed to come to the U.S.

An idea that is finding an audience especially from the business community is creating a new visa program aimed specifically at attracting foreign-born entrepreneurs.

The US remains one of the world’s largest entrepreneurial centers with available funding for good business concepts, numerous business incubator programs and ready and willing mentors.  Current studies bare out the benefits of immigrant founded U.S. businesses:  there is at least one immigrant founder in 25% of all technology companies in the U.S.  These tech businesses contribute approximately $52 billion to the economy and employ hundreds of thousand individuals.

There is currently a proposal in Congress that would create these new foreign-born entrepreneur visas, crafted by Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar.  The entrepreneur has to secure $250,000 in funding and if the business has generated 5 full-time jobs with $1 million in revenue within two years the founders are granted a green card allowing them to stay indefinitely in the country.  Many view this is a win-win for everyone and especially the U.S. economy that needs to add new jobs quickly.