16 March 2011

StartUp US Visa Act introduced in American Congress

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Legislation has been introduced into Congress, which if passed would provide a two-year US visa to any entrepreneur that can obtain an investor to fund their idea.

US Visa

A new Act creating a StartUp US Visa has been introduced into Congress.

The StartUp Visa Act of 2011 will allow an immigrant entrepreneur to receive a two-year US Visa if he or she can show that a US investor is willing to invest in the startup venture.

The Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators John Kerry, Richard Lugar and Mark Udall, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney plans to introduce companion legislation in the US House of Representatives.

"Every job-creating American business started as an idea in the mind of an entrepreneur. We need to keep and bring more of those ideas to our shores where they can put Americans to work. Global competition for talent and investment grows more intense daily and the United States must step up or be left behind," said Senator Kerry.

"We want to establish a way for the smartest and most entrepreneurial individuals in the world to come to the United States and create jobs. Many are already here studying at our great universities," said Senator Lugar.

The Act would give immigrant entrepreneurs three new options for entry or retention of residency.

Under option one, immigrant entrepreneurs living outside the US would be eligible to apply for a StartUp Visa if a qualified US investor agrees to financially sponsor their entrepreneurial venture with a minimum investment of $100,000.

After two years, their business must have created five new jobs and raised not less than $500,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $500,000 in revenue.

Under option two, immigrant entrepreneurs currently in the US on an unexpired H-1B visa or those who have completed a graduate level degree in science, technology, engineering, math, computer science from an accredited United States college or  university  would be eligible for a StartUp Visa provided they can demonstrate a minimum annual income of $30,000 or the possession of assets of  $60,000 and have proven that a qualified US investor agrees to financially back their entrepreneurial venture with a minimum investment of $20,000.

After two years, their business must have created three new jobs and raised not less than $100,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $100,000 in revenue.

Under option three, immigrant entrepreneurs living outside the US would be eligible to apply for a StartUp Visa if they have controlling interest of a company in a foreign country that has generated, during the most recent 12-month period, not less than $100,000 in revenue from sales in the US.

After two years, their business must have created three new jobs and raised not less than $100,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $100,000 in revenue.


The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their  ESTA to the US Embassy.


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