A new US immigration policy is helping immigrant entrepreneurs start businesses and create jobs. Denis Kiselev of Russia, for example, was able to use the law to help his startup company, SnapSwap. Under the new law, Kiselev was able to use SnapSwap to sponsor his H-1B visa. As a result, he will be able to set up his business in the Exchange Building in downtown Seattle. The online company will allow customers to swap gaming currencies for popular video games.
Traditionally, immigrants had to find an established US employer to sponsor them for a H-1B visa. This meant that entrepreneurs would need to work for someone else in order to get sponsorship for the visa, only pursuing their own companies after the fact. While the road to a visa is still not easy, it has become easier with the relaxing of visa restrictions. The new policies allow more flexibility for immigrant entrepreneurs interested in setting up businesses in the US.
Some immigration attorneys note that immigrant entrepreneurs can now use their own companies to sponsor themselves for H-1B visas. However, according to experts, most of these immigrant entrepreneurs have a hard time remaining in the US past the six years that the H-1B visa usually allows. Attorney Tahmina Watson wants to see new legislation — the Startup Act 2.0. The law would streamline the process and give immigrant entrepreneurs a pathway to a green card. The proposed law is sponsored by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, Jerry Moran, Chris Coons, and Mark Warner.
According to research by the Kauffman Foundation, immigrants are more likely to start their own businesses, creating jobs. The same source reports that for the past thirty years it is new businesses that have propelled innovation and job growth. Based on these findings, it seems to make sense to encourage immigrant entrepreneurs who can create jobs and companies.
If passed, the Startup Act 2.0 would go a long way towards encouraging new businesses. The legislation would increase the number of permanent residencies offered to students graduating from US colleges and universities with tech and science degrees. The law would also increase the number of green cards granted to immigrant entrepreneurs who employ US workers. The Act addresses the basic problem of H-1B visas and student visas. While these two visas allow potential immigrant entrepreneurs to stay in the country, they do little to encourage them to remain and to keep creating jobs. The Startup Act 2.0, supporters stay, would encourage qualified students and entrepreneurs to stay in the US and contribute to the economy.