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Feb. 25, 2013 10:02 am

Startup Act 3.0: how does this federal legislation encourage immigrant entrepreneurs?

Another contribution from Maryland Immigration Attorney Lynn O’Brien on immigration reform impacting entrepreneurship. She previously wrote about the Immigration Innovation Act. Although previous attempts to get the Startup Act signed into law have been thwarted, on Feb. 13, 2013, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced […]

Another contribution from Maryland Immigration Attorney Lynn O’Brien on immigration reform impacting entrepreneurship. She previously wrote about the Immigration Innovation Act.

Although previous attempts to get the Startup Act signed into law have been thwarted, on Feb. 13, 2013, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced the Startup Act 3.0, (S. 310) an updated version of the Startup Act 2.0, and the original Startup Act.

The purpose of the bill is to “jump-start economic recovery through the formation and growth of new businesses.” (Please note that the only published version of the bill is still unofficial because of a delay in printing the bill). What do we know about it?

According to the unofficial version, the bill provides for various tax incentives and credits, and for the creation of two new visa categories. These two new visa categories will allow for conditional permanent resident status (green cards) to be granted to:

  • Certain immigrant entrepreneurs
  • Foreign national students with a U.S. advanced Science Technology Engineering or Math (STEM) degree

The idea is to woo U.S. educated talent into remaining in the U.S. (so that their talent will benefit the U.S. economy rather than their home country’s economy) and to make it easier for foreign national entrepreneurs to remain in the U.S., launch businesses and create jobs for Americans. If the bill passes, then foreign talent who might not otherwise have been eligible to stay and work in the U.S. or who might not have had an avenue to create a startup in the U.S., will be able to stay.

Here is a summary of who may apply and how and when they may be able to convert the grant of conditional permanent resident status to permanent resident status.

immigration-bill

The question remains, will this third time be the charm for the Startup Act? Although it’s a bill with bipartisan support, it may come down to whether Congress or the administration will pass a narrower immigration-related bill while they are still working on comprehensive immigration reform.

Read more from ReadWriteWeb here.

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Lynn O’Brien is a partner at Orner & O’Brien, LLC where she practices in the area of immigration law. She is the founder of the Immigration Section of the Maryland State Bar Association and has served as its Chair. She is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and has been published on other topics related to business immigration such as the use of E-Verify. Her practice is based in Bethesda, MD.

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