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Kauffman Foundation: Startup Visa could create 1.6M jobs over next decade [REPORT]

A new report from the Kauffman Foundation estimates that introduction of the startup visa could create between 500,000 and 1.6 million new jobs in the U.S. over the next 10 years. Read the Kauffman Foundation report here. The startup visa is the much heralded tenet of the Startup Act 3.0, the third iteration of a […]

A new report from the Kauffman Foundation estimates that introduction of the startup visa could create between 500,000 and 1.6 million new jobs in the U.S. over the next 10 years.
Read the Kauffman Foundation report here.

The startup visa is the much heralded tenet of the Startup Act 3.0, the third iteration of a bill originally introduced by then-senator John Kerry in 2010. Its purpose is fairly straightforward: keep foreign-born entrepreneurs presently living in the U.S. in this country, something the act proposes to do by creating two new visa categories so that green cards may be issued to immigrant-entrepreneurs and foreign-born students who hold an advanced degree in a STEM subject.
As written now, the act would make 75,000 visas available for foreign-born entrepreneurs already holding H-1B and F-1 visas, as reported on Technically Baltimore.
Stipulations then apply for foreign-born entrepreneurs to remain eligible for the so-called startup visa, as the chart below illustrates.

immigration-bill

The Kauffman Foundation bets big in writing that startup visas “would release considerable pent-up entrepreneurial energy” in the U.S., especially given the eligibility requirements for such a visa. (While it’s perhaps easier than ever to start a business, raising or investing $100,000 and employing two full-time employees can be a feat for American-born startups.)

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But assuming that foreign-born entrepreneurs equipped with startup visas satisfy all the conditions within four years, and therefore employ at least five, full-time employees, the Kauffman Foundation report outlines three scenarios that demonstrates how it arrived at its 1.6 million figure:

  • Using the legislative minimum requirements, and applying company and employment survival rates from Census data, we estimate that four-year- old Startup Visa companies would create nearly 500,000 new jobs after ten years.
  • Using Census data on average employment per firm, we estimate that four-year-old Startup Visa companies would create nearly 900,000 new jobs after ten years.
  • Assuming that half of the Startup Visa companies would be technology and engineering companies, we use data on immigrant-founded technology companies in the United States. We estimate that, in this scenario, Startup Visa companies would create nearly 1.6 million new jobs after ten years.

“We consider these three scenarios to be conservative, low-end estimates,” write the report’s authors.

Screen shot 2013-02-27 at 1.57.08 PM

Talk of startup visas comes at a time when comprehensive immigration reform has resurfaced in Congress, in part because of the Obama administration’s renewed focus and the efforts of several senators, among them Marco Rubio of Florida, a member of the “Gang of Eight” senators who put forward bipartisan immigration legislation.

Rubio is also among the group of four senators who released the Immigration Innovation Act, or “I-Squared,” which seeks to raise the cap on the number of H-1B visas available, as Technically Baltimore has reported.

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