New Policy Digest Makes Case for Startup Visa

The first in a new series of policy digests from the Kauffman Foundation highlights strategies for how a 'startup visa would allow immigrants to start businesses in the U.S. after satisfying certain funding, employment and other requirements. The Economic Case for Welcoming Immigrant Entrepreneurs features an analysis of possible economic contributions of one proposal currently before Congress and goes on to offer the following research-based strategies to maximize the benefits of any startup visa:

  • Broaden Eligibility Thresholds:
    • Fewer than 1 percent of new businesses receive venture capital investment at the outset.
    • While not all businesses receive outside investment capital, viable businesses will generate revenue. Recognizing that it can take time to develop, market and sell a product or service, revenue-generation over time could be a measure of potential entrepreneurial success.
    • Since a startup visa is meant to boost economic growth and create jobs, initial job creation could be a measure used to determine visa eligibility, so long as the requirement is not overly restrictive.
  • Create Easy Pathways to Entrepreneurship:
    • Most immigrants come to the United States to work or study. A startup visa could allow foreign students and workers to smoothly transition from school or employment to entrepreneurship.
  • Increase Number of Visas
    • Adding more visas for immigrant entrepreneurs will allow a startup visa to have a greater impact on employment and job creation.

The Foundation will release similar policy briefs highlighting research on policy-related entrepreneurship issues at the state and federal levels covering a range of topics -- from economic implications of policy reform for immigrant entrepreneurs, to state and local entrepreneurship trends and how policies help advance this important job-creating source. PDE will continue to cover these, but you can also sign up to receive an electronic alert whenever a new digest is available.

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