Startup Visa Provisions under Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill 2013!


by

Tahmina Watson






Startup Act Blog pic

The comprehensive immigration reform bill 2013 finally provides the long and anxiously awaited Startup Visa Act provisions.  Titled – Investing in New Venture, Entrepreneurial Startups and Technologies, the provisions include a non-immigrant visa category and an immigrant visa category.


A qualified entrepreneur can apply for this visa.  A qualified entrepreneur means:



  1. Has significant ownership in a US business

  2. Is employed in a senior executive position

  3. Submits a business plan to the USCIS, and

  4. Had a substantial role in the founding or early stage growth and development of such US business entity.


Invest Non-Immigrant Visa:



  • Initial admission for 3 years

  • May be renewed for an additional 3 years, if during the most recent 3 year period alien did the following:

    • Created at least 3 full-time jobs AND received $250,000 qualified investment.




OR,



  • Created at least 3full-time jobs AND during the 2 year period ending on the date extension applied for generated at least $200,000 annual revenue.

  • May obtain a renewal for up to 2 one-year periods for a waiver from the above if the alien has made substantial progress and that such renewal is economically beneficial to the US.


Invest Immigrant Visa: There are 2 types:


First



  • Must be qualified entrepreneur

  • Maintained valid non-immigrant status in the US for at least 2 years.

  • During the 3-year period ending on the date extension filed alien has

    • Significant ownership in a US business entity that has created at least 5 full-time jobs AND has received $500,000 qualified investment in the alien’s business.




OR,



  • Has significant ownership in US business that created at least 5 full-time jobs AND generated at least $750,000 annual revenue during the last 2 year period. AND, no more than 2 other aliens have  received non-immigrant invest visa status on the basis of alien’s ownership of such business.


Second



  • Must be qualified entrepreneur

  • Maintained valid non-immigrant status in the US for at least 3 years prior to filing for such status.

  • Holds an advanced STEM degree, AND

  • During the 3-year period ending on the date the alien files petition under this section:

    • Alien has significant ownership in US business that created at least 4 full-time jobs. AND received qualified investment of at least $500,000




OR,



  • Alien has significant ownership in US business that created at least 3 full-time jobs. AND during the 2-year period ending on such date generated at least $500,000.


At first reading, these provisions seem reasonable to me and I think will greatly benefit the US economy.  It does not restrict the type of business entity/industry.  There is no specified percentage of ownership in business.  There are definitions of certain terms and other important smaller details.  I will include them soon.


As I read more and understand more, I will update this article. In the interim, the above provisions sum up a great addition to immigration reform.


*Copyright 2013 by Watson Immigration Law. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


 



Originally posted on the Watson Immigration Law Blog. Reprinted with permission.





About The Author







Tahmina Watson is an immigration attorney and founder of Watson Immigration Law in Seattle Washington. She was a practicing barrister in London, UK, before immigrating to the United States herself. While her practice includes family-based and employment-based immigration, she has a strong focus on immigrant entrepreneurs and start-up companies. She can be contacted at tahmina@watsonimmigrationlaw.com. You can visit www.watsonimmigrationlaw.com to learn about Tahmina and her practice.







The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.