Some pieces of legislation refuse to die. For a third time, lawmakers introduced a bill that would create visas for foreign entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the United States. The Startup Act 3.0 is a bipartisan bill that would grant entrepreneurs who employ at least two full-time employees or raise investments up to $100,000 an additional three years to grow, with the possibility for permanent status, according to Mashable.com
Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on much at the moment, but the Startup Act 3.0 has support on both sides of the aisle. Even President Obama has voiced his support for these “entrepreneurial visas.” Obama noticed that bright foreign students are studying at American Universities, but don’t have the opportunity to continue toward the American Dream. “Once they earn that diploma, there’s a good chance they’ll have to leave our country,” Obama said.
Not every bill gets three strikes. But the Startup Act 3.0 could be the next step toward economic recovery and social reform.
The beauty of new businesses isn’t just the jobs or innovation. It’s also the secondary consequences. Foreign entrepreneurs, B2B businesses and consumers all stand to gain from the Startup Act 3.0. Obviously, foreign born entrepreneurs gain access to launch business in the United States. While many will argue that the U.S. is becoming a less and less fertile place to start a business, it still boasts the largest economy in the world, according to Economywatch.com. As startups launch, they strengthen B2B businesses through partnerships. A startup usually can’t facilitate credit card transactions on its own, but a company like Capital Processing Network offers expertise and support. The result? Both businesses become stronger. From the consumer’s perspective, there’s no downside to new startups. Competition means lower prices, higher quality and increased innovation. Considering the vast positives and potential for more job opportunities, it’s no wonder the Startup Act has come back to life.
Visas and Immigration
Part of the reason the Startup Act has needed three renditions is because it dives into a currently unsettled territory: immigration. According to Huffingtonpost.com, previous renditions of the bill failed to pass because of their controversial nature. Immigration is no less controversial, but once again, entrepreneurial visas are on the table. During his recent State of the Union address, President Obama called for a comprehensive immigration reform bill in “the next few months.” It remains to be seen whether this comprehensive reform will interfere with the Startup Act 3.0.
Inside the Bill
According to a press release from Virginia Senator Mark Warner, one of the bill’s sponsors, the Startup Act 3.0 includes provisions beyond creating new visas. Additional provisions include:
- A mandate that grants U.S.-educated foreign students who graduate with a master’s or Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics a green card and allows them to stay in the United States
- Research and development credits for startups less than five years old
- Elimination of per-country caps for employment-based visas
- A mandate that makes permanent the extension of capital gains taxes on the sale of startup stock held for at least five years
These provisions reveal that the Startup Act 3.0 packs a punch. Perceived by some as a small piece of immigration reform, lawmakers hope 3.0 will jumpstart the economy.