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The Problem

US immigration policies are forcing foreign-born startup founders with venture capital and employees out of the country, effectively sending thousands of high paying knowledge jobs overseas for no reason. The foreign-born founders would much rather be here contributing jobs, taxes, and innovation to the United States of America. The situation now is hurting our competitive edge in the global economy.

The Solution

The Startup Visa Act will allow entrepreneurs to keep their companies and their jobs here in the United States.

The legislation is already out there, we just need to push it across the finish line in the House and Senate.

About was created by Eric Ries, Dave McClure, Shervin Pishevar, Brad Feld, Paul Kedrosky, Manu Kumar, & Fred Wilson to raise awareness and change policy re: the EB-5 visa, which enables investors from other countries to get a visa in exchange for starting a business in the US with $1M in capital (or $500K for economically targeted areas) & the creation of at least 10 US jobs.

We aim to represent the interests of entrepreneurs everywhere— in Silicon Valley, in the US, and around the world. We have been inspired by posts on the Startup Founder Visa Movement by Paul Graham and Brad Feld, among others. We want to make it easier for entrepreneurs to come to the US, start new businesses, and most importantly create more jobs.

Our current plan is a proposal to modify the EB-5 visa, in order to enable non-US entrepreneurs with funding from a US investor to get a visa to start a company. On Dec 10th, 2009, legislation was proposed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) in the House called the Employment Benefit Act of 2009.  On Feb 24th, 2010, this proposal has been joined by The Startup Visa Act of 2010 in the Senate, sponsored by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) & Richard Lugar (R-IN), and is also supported by over 100 US Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors.  We hope to have one or both of these bills formally presented to Congress sometime later this year.

Under the proposed legislation, instead of the visa going to an investor, a startup company founder or entrepreneur who receives a minimum equity investment of $250,000 could qualify as an EB-5 visa recipient. At least $100,000 would have to come from a sponsoring US investing entity.

Overall we hope to make it easier for more entrepreneurs to start businesses in the US and create jobs.

Our Support