Startup Act would create entrepreneur visas, advance immigration reform debate

Entrepreneurs are known for defying the odds and going ahead with their businesses, even in the face adversity. It’s a trait that politicians have, too — at least when they decide to run for office. In a move that combines both, a group of U.S. Senators have introduced yet another version of a bill to […]

Entrepreneurs are known for defying the odds and going ahead with their businesses, even in the face adversity. It’s a trait that politicians have, too — at least when they decide to run for office. In a move that combines both, a group of U.S. Senators have introduced yet another version of a bill to support the growth of new businesses, despite the fact that its gone down in flames in three previous attempts since 2011, according to The Washington Post.

A description of the proposed legislation known as the Startup Act in The Hill noted that it would:

“…create a new visa category for science and tech workers and make other changes to U.S. immigration law to help entrepreneurs stay in the country. It would also reform the tax code to give more credits and exemptions to startup companies, require a cost-benefit analysis of major new regulations and encourage universities to bring inventions to market.”

The bill has bipartisan support. Jerry Moran, a Republican from Oklahoma, and Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virgina, proposed the legislation Friday. The Post said the new entrepreneur visa “would enable up to 75,000 non-citizens to start and attempt to grow a business in the U.S. Should the company meet certain investment and hiring benchmarks within the first three years, the entrepreneur can eventually apply for a permanent visa.”

For a country mired in immigration reform debate, the bill would provide a modest step that should appeal to both sides of the aisle and pave the way for a more thoughtful discussion down the road. Those who receive entrepreneur visas would also have a huge amount of motivation to succeed.

Personally, I would add another provision to provide visas for data scientists to support the big data analysis needs that so many companies seem to have, across startups and established businesses.