Possible new Entrepreneur Visa for US

A United States congressman has proposed a new 'start-up' visa which would make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to start companies in America.

Congressman Jared Polis proposed the new visa, with the aim to make it easier for entrepreneur immigrants. Without immigration companies such as Yahoo and Google would not exist. The idea will be part of a proposed overhaul of the U.S. immigration system.

"Every day the American economy is losing ground, not to mention high-tech jobs and technologies, to India and China because foreign-born entrepreneurs cannot secure a visa to stay in the US," he stated.

If implemented, the new start-up visa proposal would mean that many more Immigrants will qualify for America's EB-5 visa scheme. Introduced in 1990 to help attract foreign capital, the EB-5 visa allows 10,000 foreign entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. However, applicants must invest at least $1 million and create at least 10 full-time jobs.

Polis hopes to add a new class to the EB-5 visa that would allow entrepreneurs to attain a visa if they can attract $250,000 from a U.S. venture capital firm or $100,000 from an angel investor. The new company would have to show that it could generate $1 million in revenue and create at least 5 to 10 jobs.

A 2007 study, America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs, undertaken by Duke University and University of California at Berkley found that 25 percent of engineering and technology companies started in the United States between 1995 and 2005 had at least one founder who immigrated to the country.

According to the study, these companies generated $52 billion in sales in 2005 and employ nearly 450,000 U.S. workers.