Startup Act 3.0 Aims To Attract Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Students

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Startup Act 3.0 to attract immigrant science students & entreprenuers.
Startup Act 3.0 aims to attract immigrant science students & entrepreneurs.

Aiming to attract immigrant entrepreneurs and science and technology students, a group of lawmakers has reintroduced, Startup Act 3.0, a new high-skilled visa scheme.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Feb. 13, 2013, introduced the Startup Act 3.0, a bill giving as many as 75,000 immigration visas each year to immigrant startup entrepreneurs and 50,000 to students with advanced science and engineering degrees from American universities.

The Startup Act 3.0 is one several immigration visa bills introduced as Congress debates overhauling U.S. immigration laws.

Some details of the Startup Act 3.0:

Startup 3.0 helps increase America’s access to talent by creating a new set of conditional visas for 75,000 immigrant entrepreneurs and 50,000 foreign STEM graduate student that together will create half a million new American jobs.

Research has demonstrated the positive impact of immigrants on American job creation: More than 40% of all Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant, and each foreign-born advanced degree holder who stays in the U.S. to work in a STEM occupation created an estimated 2.6 American jobs.

Research shows that startups create 3 million jobs per year, on average. In addition, over the past 30 years, companies less than five years old have created almost all the new net jobs in America.

This bill builds upon those successes by using tax incentives to spur continued growth and innovation.

In an important change from the previous bill, Startup 3.0 allows qualified companies to apply research and development tax credits to their payroll tax liability, up to $250,000.

For small startups, it also makes permanent the 100% capital gains tax exemption on investments that are held for more than 5 years, in addition to the 28% exemption on qualified small business stock.

These provisions will unlock over $7.5 billion in new investments, which will result in more innovation and jobs.

Finally, the bill helps cut red tape, by requiring a cost-benefit analysis of any significant rule being proposed by a federal or independent agency.

The bill has previously received industry support from Microsoft, Google, National Small Business Association (NSBA), CTIA, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Financial Services Forum, Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), TechAmercia, Information Technology Industry (ITI), Compete America, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and TechNet.

The Startup Act 3.0 was also introduced in the Senate on February 13, 2013 by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Christopher Coons (D-DE).

The Startup Act 3.0 was introduced in the House of Representatives the following day, Feb. 14, 2013:

Reps. Grimm, Sanchez Introduce Startup Act 3.0 to Create U.S. Jobs and Reform High-Skilled Visa Policy

As the bill’s name indicates, this is the third time around for this bill.


Third Time’s A Charm? Startup Act 3.0 Introduced… This Time With An Infographic

Not everyone thinks the Startup Act 3.0 is great idea.

From a story on the Startup Act 3.0:

“This is an addition” to current visas, said Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild. “None of this language says it has to create a single job for an American.”

The entrepreneur visa could be used to start a pizza joint or car wash, not just “the next Google(GOOG), IBM or Intel (INTC),” and the graduate degree visas could flood U.S. schools with foreign students admitted because they pay higher tuition, Berry said.

There are also questions about whether the existing H-1B high skilled visa program attracts immigrants who wind up sticking around and helping to support the U.S. economy.

From Mother Jones:

How H-1B Visas Are Screwing Tech Workers

Established in 1990, the federal H-1B visa program allows employers to import up to 65,000 foreign workers each year to fill jobs that require “highly specialized knowledge.” The Senate’s bipartisan Immigration Innovation Act of 2013, or “I-Squared Act,” would increase that cap to as many as 300,000 foreign workers.

“The smartest, hardest-working, most talented people on this planet, we should want them to come here,” Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.) said upon introducing the bill last month. “I, for one, have no fear that this country is going to be overrun by Ph.D.s.”

To be sure, America’s tech economy has long depended on foreign-born workers.

“Immigrants have founded 40% of companies in the tech sector that were financed by venture capital and went on to become public in the U.S., among them Yahoo, eBay, Intel, and Google,” writes Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior VP of “people operations,” which, along with other tech giants such as HP and Microsoft, strongly supports a big increase in H-1B visas.

“In 2012, these companies employed roughly 560,000 workers and generated $63 billion in sales.”

But in reality, most of today’s H-1B workers don’t stick around to become the next Albert Einstein or Sergey Brin.

Read the rest of the story here:

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