US May Introduce Startup Visa For International Entrepreneurs
Senators Jerry Moran and others have introduced a bill under the ‘Startup Act’ designation. This bill has the potential to create enormous opportunities for domestic as well as international entrepreneurs by granting them a ‘startup visa’.
Under this act, international students with a STEM degree form the US will have a quota of 50,000 visas. These will facilitate getting a green card for permanent residency. Legal immigrants who wish to start new ventures in US will have a quota of 75,000 visas. This bill also considers universities who wish to commercialize some of their research. Federal agencies will then have the power to distribute grants for that purpose.
Restarting the Startup System
A non-profit organization by the name Kauffman Foundation is a pro-entrepreneurship NGO . It found a decline in formation of new ventures from 0.33 percent to 0.31 percent. This is from a 100,000 adults who start new business per month. Senator Moran is worried about the numbers and hopes to urge Congress to do something about it.
Ideally, he would like the Congress to support bills like the one he introduced and make it easier for the ‘real dreamers’ to implement their dreams in the form of businesses by granting them the startup visa. And in due process, he is confident that it will create more jobs for Americans.
This bill has some additional policies in making. For example, it will have the Commerce Department to gather information about the local as well as state policies for startups. It will also mandate the government agencies to analyze any policies that hamper the formation of new businesses.
Additionally, the bill would require the government to direct more funding towards the Regional Innovation Program of the Economic Development Administration. This will help VC firms support entrepreneurs and businesses developing new products.
If all goes well, this ‘startup visa’ is going to shake up the immigration system in US. It will also provide relief and take the attention away from the current H-1B witch-hunt.
New Opportunities for Foreign Workers
There has been heated debate on the fate of many immigrant workers who have for decades, made America their home and made significant contributions to the American economy. Immigrants are an example of America’s hospitable nature and this has been reciprocated by revolutions that have impacted generations to come.
However, there is a possibility that with the H1B regulations, things might be different with a more emphasized restriction on the number of jobs coming from outside.
This has raised the emergence of alternative scenarios where other markets now stand to gain from this change in policy.
The European Union:
Even with Brexit signifying a major landmark judgment and a new direction for the world economy to take, it has taken significant steps to improve its immigration policies and create a more holistic package that supports the rise of immigrants in their land. To give substance to these debates, they have also re-initiated talks with India on an EU-India trade agreement that makes it easier for immigrants to enter the European Union.
Mexico is making a significant effort in re-building trade relations with India including re-locating the displaced Indian IT workers, who have been left in the lurch for a long time. Mexico is always known to be a major technological hub with companies like Infosys and TCS have a huge presence.
How does this impact the US IT sector?
This would directly result in less talent reaching the US, as with the advent of digital technology and moving border alliances, companies need to be flexible in all the locations they operate in. This would mean that Indian companies would start shifting their operations to locations that are more welcoming, taking the talent with them, resulting a potential loss to the American economy.
A Re-packaged Immigration Policy for India
The US has re-assured India that the H1B visa issue is not a concern they should be worried about, as they are a part of an immigration reform package that benefits all Indian immigrants in the years to come.
There is a definite sense that the contribution of the Indian population to the technology sector in the US is one of the priorities for the current administration and it has been confirmed that these will be addressed as a separate mandate from the H1B visa issue. India has been taking up the H1B visa issue very strongly clearly stating that the category is one of trade and services which only helps the American economy maintain its competitive edge.
It has been clearly understood and communicated that if America’s intention is to employ domestically and attract foreign investment translating into higher growth in the long term, it would be essential to maintain this partnership. Also, it has been pointed out by many that H1B is not an economic issue but rather a trade and business one and therefore should be looked at in a different light. While there has definitely been support for the merit-based system that the Americans are propagating, it only substantiates India’s case of recognizing the contribution the Indian population has made, in this regard.
India has been assured that there will be special attention given to their credible partnership and opening up the immigration policy in the form of H1B visas would be a step in that direction. India’s IT revolution has been a major reason for America’s competitive edge and has significantly impacted the employment potential of the American population, giving rise to more jobs on both sides. This clearly indicates that sentiment has moved way up ahead of legislative action.
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