The StartUp Visa: Unlimited Potential for Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Americans
Google, eBay, AT&T, Goldman Sachs, Nordstom. What do they have in common? Besides being remarkably successful, they were all founded by immigrants. A more recent example of a lucrative immigrant founded company is WhatsApp, the app that was recently acquired by Facebook for $19 billion, was founded by a Ukrainian immigrant. In fact, one quarter of new tech start-ups have been founded by immigrants.
Which shouldn't be surprising, considering that immigrants are more entrepreneurial than their American counterparts. In fact, immigrants are twice as likely to start their own business and more than 40% of Fortune 500 Companies were founded by immigrants or their children.
The American economy has definitely benefited over the years from foreign born entrepreneurs and the United States continues to be a top destination for people from all over the world who want to start a business. Countless jobs have been created for Americans and the United States as a whole has prospered.
Several countries, such as Israel, Canada, and Chile have recognized this and have created start-up visas for ambitious immigrants. Both the House and the Senate have proposed start-up visas acts and such a visa is expected to part of any future Immigration Reform bills. However, moment for reform has again stalled and we still have no start-up visa. Yet as the Kauffman Foundation points out, the estimated economic impact of a start-up visa would be enormous for the United States. Hundreds of thousands, and maybe even one million, jobs could be created in the United States as a result of a start-up visa (see image above or click here).
Starting a business carries quite a lot of risk and usually requires the entrepreneur to quit her day job. But for many immigrants in the United States, that would mean risking deportation. How can someone be expected to take such a chance?
The United States' tech industry is a world leader. To keep it that way we need to ensure that the best talent and most innovative people can come and stay here.