A group of Silicon Valley geeks try to bring about immigration reform with the Startup Visa Act
At the end of February, Senators John Kerry (D - Mass.) and Richard Lugar (R - Indiana) introduced the Startup Visa Act of 2010, which will let immigrant entrepreneurs earn a two-year visa if they get at least $250,000 in venture capital investment, and then earn them legal US residence if that startup creates five or more new jobs, gets a second round of funding of over $1 million, or nets $1 million or more in revenue.
"Global competition for talent and investment grows more intense daily and the United States must step up or be left behind," Sen. Kerry said in introducing the bill. "Everywhere Dick Lugar and I travel for the Foreign Relations Committee, we see firsthand the entrepreneurial spirit driving the economies of our competitors. Creating a new magnet for innovations and innovators to come to the United States and create jobs here will offer our economy a double shot in the arm -- robust job creation at home and reaffirmation that we're the world's best place to do business."
This week, a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists led by former PayPal executive turned startup investor and advisor Dave McClure will be heading to Washington DC to promote the bill to legislators in hopes of showing the power that this bill holds.
"There are no lobbyists, no campaign contributions, no PR agencies," McClure writes on the site dedicated to the bill. "This is a 100% grass-roots movement of citizens who want to encourage job creation and innovation in the United States."
More than 160 notable VCs and investors have voiced their support for the bill, and there are plenty of ways for citizens to join in on the startupvisa.com campaign page.