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Visas for entrepreneurs (economist.com)
170 points by newscasta on June 8, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 75 comments

2 days ago, Startup Act 2.0 was introduced to the house floor (a).

The highlights of the act, which include many of the suggestions in this thread-

1 - Create a new STEM visa so that U.S.-educated foreign students who graduate with a master’s or Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics can receive a green card and stay in this country where their talent and ideas can fuel growth and create American jobs.

2 - Establish an Entrepreneur’s Visa for legal immigrants so they can remain in the United States, launch businesses and create jobs, and eliminates the per-country caps for employment-based immigrant visas, which hinders U.S. employers from recruiting the top-tier talent they need to grow.

3 - Make permanent the exemption of capital gains taxes on the sale of startup stock held for at least five years, so investors can provide financial stability at a critical juncture of firm growth.

4 - Create a targeted research and development tax credit for young startups less than five years old and with less than $5 million in annual receipts. This R&D credit is designed to allow startups to offset employee taxes, freeing up resources to help these young companies expand and create jobs.

5 - Use existing federal R&D funding to better support university initiatives designed to bring cutting-edge R&D to the marketplace more quickly, where it can propel economic growth. Require government agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of proposed “major rules” with an economic impact of $100 million or more.

6 - Direct the U.S. Department of Commerce to assess state and local policies that aid in the development of new businesses.

(a) http://polis.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=2...

I agree with most of this with the exception of number 3. While taxes can be a large burden on any firm, new or old, if an investor is selling his/her shares, presumably they are cashing out of their company and stuffing it in their personal bank account. Exemption from taxes at that point just seems more like a handout to those who are already successful rather then a real incentive for investment. Am I missing something here?

That particular provision is actually just making permanent a temporary exemption that already exists.

The intention is to increase capital available to startups because of the extra tax incentive for investors.

I was aware of that. I don't fully agree with the exemption even as a temporary measure, but I do understand that we are desperately trying to revive our economy and can understand the rationale behind it.

There is a pretty good case to be made that taxing capital gains[1] is not in the long term best interest of the economy. The theory being you want to encourage more investment. The saving to the government by removing its own funding and making it very attractive to invest for private individuals & companies works out better in the long run. The bonus is that keeping politics out of the mix makes for better decision making.

Could a person invest in multiple ventures, reap the rewards, and not pay taxes on a large amount of income. Yes, and it does seem unfair, but people are being employed; businesses are being built; and that money is being spent. We need to think about the overall goals of the system as opposed to "fairness" at each point.

[1] there are many articles - for a math heavy one: http://www.mpls.frb.org/research/qr/qr2331.pdf

I take issue with your use of the phrase 'long term best interest of the economy'.

I would take economic stability over growth any day. It is commonly accepted that taxes prevent the overheating of an economy by absorbing capital that would otherwise be directed towards superfluous investments.

Additionally, taxes are a necessary evil. We need to fund our government and denying that is irresponsible. I would much prefer a government that tries to be fair with it's system of taxation than a government that uses it's taxation system to support the interests of a small minority of the population. (And one could argue that we are already faced with the later of the two situations, at least in the U.S.)

If entrepreneurs and investors are truly the white knights of our economy, then I highly doubt that they really need much help from the government. The only true and reliable path to out-sized wealth is through investment, and that will never change regardless of taxation. I don't blame them for arguing for a system that benefits their bottom line, but one needs to look at the larger social good when making decisions of this sort and come to a solution that balances the interests of all stake holders.

I never said I was against all taxes. The government needs to pay for the services it provides. I do believe the government needs to limit its spending.

I am concerned at what points we tax, and eating the seed corn is not a good thing. We need capital to fund business creation and expansion. Fairness is secondary to people being able to find jobs and having opportunity. Our tax system is so badly screwed up because everyone needs their exception or rule as opposed to looking at where we need to tax and how to make it simple and sustainable.

"I would take economic stability over growth any day. It is commonly accepted that taxes prevent the overheating of an economy by absorbing capital that would otherwise be directed towards superfluous investments."

I would need to see some information on this, as it makes some rather large assumptions about the government's use of the money.

'Commonly accepted' may have been bit of an overstatement on my part. The last place I read about the taxes and overheating thing was in the 'The Affluent Society' written by J. Galbraith. Written in 1958, it was a best seller at the time. The book presents a really good critique about blindly pursuing economic growth.

Generally, I am of the opinion that as we make significant gains and improvements in efficiency, productivity, and technology the number of jobs created for each dollar directed towards investment and business creation will significantly shrink. This will make it difficult to achieve wide-spread prosperity by encouraging investment, as the wealth will increasingly be concentrated at the top (we are already seeing this happen). More likely, we will have to transition to a post-labor economy (there are a few random discussions about this on the internet, but as far as I can tell this is a fairly new idea). Unfortunately for those that lean on the libertarian side, a stable and successful post-labor economy involves high taxes and large social programs (of course this assumes that we can even attempt to make this transition).

Sorry, kinda went off on a tangent, but I think this idea is very relevant to any discussion regarding our approach to economic recovery. It may be a few decades or so before it is relevant, but this transition has been happening for quite some time (when was the last time you withdrew cash from a bank teller, or sent a letter through snail mail, etc).

Remember 'investors' here means VCs not just the founders

You can't go taxing the rich - this is still America

The least US could do is to - Get rid of country based quotas for employment based GC immigration, Provide instant GCs for immigrations who get advanced degrees in STEM from top institutes in US

I know a ton of entrepreneurial Indian, Chinese immigrants with advanced degrees (MS/PhDs) from MIT, Stanford, UW etc who are sick and tired of waiting years for their GC (average of 5-7 years wait), so they are not tied to the fate of the employer for their stay in US. Imagine, freeing them for these visa shackles, so they are free to pursue their own ventures, without have to worry about getting kicked out of this country

Agreed. As I personally can ratify, it takes a great deal of intellectual and emotional investment to be tied to the fate of our employers. The gamble impacts every aspect of your life, from having a family to buying a car or house. I am incredibly thankful to this country for the opportunity, but I think I've proven I am a good candidate for a Visa that provides me peace of mind.

So I have gone through this problem personally and it is a HUGE pain. There are only two specified categories of business visas in which enterpreneurs could apply. One is E-2 Investment visa and the other is the EB-5. So as such there is no Entrepreneurship visa is the USA. For the visas above you need to show substantial investment in the US economy which could be anywhere between 50k to 100k for E-2, and over 500k for EB-5, depending on the business.

I got the E-2 visa based on my first company I started and by the time I applied we already had paying customers and orders. I expedited my application and the approval for E-2 came in exactly 15 days.

So its not undoable if you can muster up some money from outside the US. However, if you can only raise from inside the US you are hugely disadvantaged. The other hack to this would be to form a company and apply for an H-1 based on the company, which is hard to get. Once you are on H-1 you can apply for a green card after a certain time period (I think it is 5 years or so but not sure)

You can apply for a green card at any time while on an H1B as it is a dual intent visa (i.e. they don't think its a problem if you tell them you want to stay permanently unlike E2). A shell company is highly unlikely to get an H1B petition approved

How quickly/successful you are with your GC application depends on whether you can qualify for EB2 or have to go through EB3. EB3 is backed up for years. EB2 is current (therefore around 12 months wait) if you are not from india and china but you need to have a masters or 5 years of provable experience (letters from previous employers) in an area that the petitioning company cannot find an American will the same skills.

The E-2 can be a bit of a trap IMHO. If your business fails or you sell it, you have to leave the US. This might seem reasonable until you consider someone might run a small company for years, build a family, settle, and then have to leave because of economic downturn or because they sell their company. I don't know how easy it would be for someone to move from owning/running a company under E-2 to H1B employee of a new owner.

tl;dr? There is no clear path from E-2 to green card.

Great points, except that the E2 visas ONLY apply to treaty countries, which excludes India and China.

Ironically, I + C are the biggest source of skilled tech labor, as evidenced by the 5+ year EB2/EB3 waiting period.

I am not saying that it will work for everyone as it did for me, and I know how fortunate I was. But I do know the system really well enough to get through the process. I actually come from a country where it is extremely hard to obtain a US visa from and so going through the process was not as easy as my first comment had made it seem.

As far as skilled tech labor goes, that is more of an H-1B cap issue, which the US should increase. Ironically, in 2007-08 when they were about to increase it, the great recession hit and not enough people applied to it. As such, they never got around to increasing it to the substantial number that they should

my point was I know tons of I+C engineers waiting for 5+ years for their GC via EB2 or EB3, so that they can eventually do a startup.

Could you please elaborate on how did you expedite your application and got your visa in 15 days (if you dont mind). I know couple of my friends who'll be looking for visa sometime soon hence asking.

I went through the E-2 process a few years ago. IIRC you can pay an extra $1000 to make your application a "high priority" one, which cuts the guaranteed response time from something like 3 months to 30 days.

When I did it as a high-priority application, I got an initial response saying "we need more data" within 2-3 weeks (from what I remember), then the final approval 2-3 weeks after I submitted that info.

I actually got it on the first go which surprised even me. Though it was more of a testament to how thorough my lawyer was.

Why dont you just email me (address in profile), and I will help you the best I can

Don't forget however that the E-2 visa is only for certain countries. Your country must be party of a treaty with the US. For people from countries like India, there is no E-2 visa. http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_3726.html

There is also the O1 visa which is possible albeit with a great deal of work, it's almost like a second job!

That requires not just a great deal of work, but unusual achievement and connections. It's the kind of thing that you can't just decide to get and apply for, but you have to have started years ago - getting a PhD at a top university in hard science, founding an innovative company, etc. etc.

E2 only requires 50k to 100k?

I looked into it a couple of years ago and was told by a lawyer "substantial" means around 500k.

Maybe it depends which country you are from? I have been told that ~100k was possible.

You are probably right. That's a shame as I'm now moving to Canada instead but good to know for a year or two down the line.

Substantial depends on the type of business you want to setup, there is no scale. For an early stage internet company it's certainly possible with 100k

Why not raise wages and increase on the job training for Americans? This sounds like a subsidy for the college industry and puts them in control of the visas. Concentrating on and fixing things here should create more jobs and lower unemployment should be the focus of any new legislation. Since we already have generous immigration policies AND there's no real hindrance to capital mobility perhaps venture financiers have no real barriers to investing by exploring alternate markets overseas. Why not do the facebook from Africa or South America?

I think you're looking at this from a labor perspective, when it's more from a capital perspective.

If (and this is a big if) an entrepreneur gets a visa and hires 1 more person, then it's a good trade from an employment angle.

On top of that, current domestic unemployment statistics are incomplete by just looking at the U-6 number. For programmers and other STEM fields, there is a labor shortage. For workers unemployed from industries generated from the credit bubble, their jobs are unlikely to come back.

And the main barrier to VC money moving to different countries is lack of experience in the area and field.

"Labor shortage" ? What evidence is there that there is a labor shortage? I'll buy that there is a mis-match between what employers want to pay and what an employee wants to take.

I suppose there's a prime rib-eye steak shortage. I'm willing to pay $1 for a steak!!! But nobody wants to supply me with it. But if I raise my price to $12, then suddenly I can find many suppliers. Is there a rib-eye steak shortage?

So many "STEM" types work in places like Manhattan, Silicon Valley, Boston, etc. These are high cost of living areas and careers can be very short. $80/K a year can not buy a house. Perhaps the industry's solution is working better with local labor. Henry Ford did it when paid his workers and "outrageous" $5/day. The well paid workers could afford things, like the Ford cars they were making.

Bill Gates and Tim Cook can afford it. So can Sand Hill Road. Pay the going rate.

If American needs more "venture", invest in American Moms and Dads and they'll do great things.

Anyone have any knowledge of how easy these ex-US start-up visa are to get?

It's one thing for a country to have a visa category, but it's another to actually qualify for one.

When I read this: "New Zealand has no specific capital requirement but offers residency to entrepreneurs whose firms are deemed to benefit the country."

I wondered how broad "benefit to the country" is interpreted.

As a New Zealander, it probably means whose company is willing to provide the minister with corporate box passes.

Be right back, moving to Chile. Knowing several people who've acquired visas, it seems slightly less than the headache it's portrayed as in this article. Admittedly, the US could do better but unless you have funding or partners here already, why would you choose to build a startup in the US when they are never going beat the lucrative options of other countries (many of whom have lower costs of living)?

One issue to consider in this public policy issue, as in most public policy issues, is basic economics. "The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics." Entrepreneurs are a scarce resource from the point of view of countries. On the other hand, countries in which to start a thriving business are a scarce resource from the point of view of would-be entrepreneurs. Just HOW scarce a resource is, in terms of how much an offer of that resource will change human behavior, is measured by the resource's price, which is set by supply and demand.

There is a lot of demand for living and working in the United States. The United States enjoys net immigration with respect to almost all other countries in the world, and has throughout my lifetime. There are definitely other countries that value entrepreneurs and that offer prosperity, personal security, and freedom and democracy to would-be immigrants. But each time the issue of immigration policy comes up on Hacker News--and it comes up a lot--the dozens of comments make clear that many, many, many smart, diligent people would be glad to settle in the United States, if only they could, and so all the existing channels for legal immigration to the United States are well used. Many of those channels bring in founders of new thriving businesses.

So the policy issue to consider in United States politics, for an American voter like me who reads the interesting article kindly submitted here, or an article from today's local press,


is how much I think the United States is missing out on entrepreneurs who desire to immigrate to the United States soon rather than go to some other country. Surely such people exist. But surely (undeniably) each year the United States already enjoys large numbers of immigrants,



and many of the immigrants who arrive here start up businesses once they arrive. Perhaps the United States is already doing enough. It would be interesting to hear from readers here whether they have ever seriously considered settling in Singapore, Britain, New Zealand, or Chile under the currently offered policies in those countries.

AFTER EDIT: And I see (from net downvotes soon after posting) I'm already swimming against the usual tide here of most HN participants supporting the United States having an entrepreneur visa on easy terms: perhaps terms easy enough for them and for their friends to use. That's a legitimate opinion. I'm happy to learn from you. Please explain why you think that is a necessarily better policy for the United States than the current United States policy. Learning to persuade is part of political life here.

> Perhaps the United States is already doing enough.

Long-term it's absolutely not enough. The fundamental socioeconomic feature of 21st century will be the competition between the US system and China's massive population for global economic dominance.

The US population is ~300 million, China's is ~1.2 billion, 4x our size. For every engineer, scientist, genius, etc in the US, there are ~4 in China. Over the long term the US has no hope whatsoever of competing against that without significant structural changes.

Those structural changes include fixing our educational system, fighting tooth and nail for skilled immigrants, offering them better incentives to stay rather than return home to fast growing developing economies to make their fortunes, fixing the broken financial and patent/IP systems, etc.

Judge Posner sums up our shortfalls well in a recent blog post [1]. The US system will need to be operating at an order of magnitude greater efficiency than it currently is to have any hope of overcoming China's massive numbers advantage. Immigration is one of the few crucial advantages the US can exploit in that competition, but right now we're shooting ourselves in the foot so hard there we're blowing our leg off.

1. http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2012/06/capitalismposner.h...

The more fundamental point is that assuming equally sound governance (a big assumption of course), the natural size of the Chinese economy is around 4x the natural size of the US economy.

Does that matter? Not really. "US" and "China" are ultimately just arbitrary labels.

Yes, that too of course. Though I'd argue that population alone is nothing, as China's 20th Century history demonstrates quite clearly.

It's a country's government and legal system, combined with its human resources (both aptitude and education), that dictate whether its population will be an asset or liability. Hence my focus on their human resources' massive numbers advantage

Unless, of course, there are more people with genius IQs living in china then there are people of any kind living in the U.S. :P

just had to throw that one in there... j/k

Haha, I actually tried to find that scene on Youtube to reference in my post, but couldn't. All of The Social Network breakup scenes on Youtube start after it. That was like, the most important part for the movie, ffs.

You don't need lots of geniuses - you can always import an Einstein or Fermi. What you are facing is a country where the best students become semi-conductor designers rather than lawyers or MBA.

The USA is in trouble when the smart 'ethnic' students can all get into law school/MBA programs instead of being forced into STEM.

It is not true that: "The United States enjoys net immigration with respect to almost all other countries in the world, and has throughout my lifetime."

The US is ranked just 31 in the world for net migration rate: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/imm_net_mig_rat-immigratio....

First, those are two different metrics. I read him as saying that the United States has net-positive bilateral migration with almost all countries in the world; i.e. for any given country X, more people are emigrating X->USA than USA->X. That doesn't imply that the U.S. would necessarily be the #1 country in the world for overall immigrants-per-capita, only that it wins most pairwise comparisons of "voting with your feet".

Secondly, even by your metric, the U.S. is pretty high up. Of the 30 above it on that list, many are microstates, which makes per-capita statistics fairly wonky (some individual American cities would be that high, too, if they counted separately as microstates). And, many aren't even countries at all (e.g. French Guiana, or the Northern Mariana Islands... a 50,000-person U.S. territory). If we ignore those, then things look quite a bit different; the U.S. ends up #15 among independent non-microstates. And a lot of those are places you don't really want to move to if you have a choice, e.g. Burundi ranks highly because of regional wars and refugee camps. Among the US's peer group of non-micro developed nations, it's #6, behind Singapore, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and Portugal.

I would be interested in net immigration statistics restricted to G8 or G20 countries. It would surprise me if the US wasn't in the top 5.

Top 5 out of 8 wouldn't be doing so well... but the point here is not about absolute numbers of people migrating, its about the types. Does the US want entrepreneurs or just those with family members?

It depends. If you are Intel/MSFT you want a bigger pool of EEng MSc to chose from.

If you are a politician you want more warm bodies from $ETHNIC GROUP$ in a certain voting area who are grateful that you let their grandmother in.

I think the United States comes in for a bit more than its fair share of criticism around immigration, but that's partly because of the earned (and adopted) reputation as the worldwide centre of liberal thought and economics.

The very essence of the United States rests on both economic and migratory freedom, so issues that combine both (immigration of entrepreneurs) form a touchpoint that highlight the higher standards to which America is held.

Spoken as a deported Canadian entrepreneur.

A man offers you free envelopes, as many as you want to take.

Half the envelopes contain no money. Half of the other envelopes contain a one dollar bill. Half of the remaining contains a five dollar bill. The rest a ten dollar bill.

Why don't you take all the envelopes?

Some envelopes actually contain debt that you must pay.

Immigrants might create social pressure until they're fully integrated, some don't know the language, and some are more likely to commit crimes or cost the state money upon deportation procedures. In Switzerland, almost three out of four detainees nationwide are foreigners (citation: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Experts_reflect_on_sp... ).

I do think you can mitigate this by making people pull their own fees when the visa is granted, not only all the cost of the actual administrative procedures but also a median insurance fee for future detention and deportation costs broken down via a statistical model. But even then you have side-effects, like a sudden increase in San Francisco population, increased rents for housing, gentrification of neighborhoods ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentrification ), displacement of people that otherwise have lived their entire life in that area, and less opportunities for US nationals given the foreigner's competition.

Despite this, I still think that US should allow more immigrants, that the bar is currently set too high and that in the future we'll be able to make more progress towards the idealistic "Earth: one country one nation" slogan, but it's not as simple as taking all the envelopes.

Immigrants might create social pressure until they're fully integrated, some don't know the language, and some are more likely to commit crimes or cost the state money upon deportation procedures.

Surely that's the whole point of the immigration process, to weed out the applicants that fall into these categories... Canada and Australia both require you to prove English language ability (via IELTS test). Background check people's criminal past etc etc

I very much like Australia's immigration process, which requires independent verification of a person's skills, they have a specific skills shortage list (updated regularly) and you have to agree to respect Australia's culture and values. You want to live here then you adapt, not the other way round. I think this is the problem with too many places at the moment.

I think gentrification of neighbourhoods and displacement is happening regardless of the fact of immigration, it's the result of an aging population alongside the increase in population in general.

The question was not about immigrants. It was about people who wanted to come and start their own companies.

There's lots of space here. If letting lots of entrepreneurs in is likely to grow the economy/grow federal revenues/create jobs, what are the arguments for having more restrictive regulations?

Other countries won't reciprocate. Unless an American can freely go to India or China and start a business with no strings or interference, the opposite should not be allowed.

Further, anybody who wants in to the US will simply call themselves and 'entrepreneur' regardless of their skill, experience, and capital necessary to start a successful business. For instance if someone is dying because of substandard medical care in their own country and only wants treatment in a US emergency room they would just declare themselves an 'entrepreneur'.

I agree with your thoughts on reciprocal agreements, although UK -> US is not the same as the other way around, it is MUCH MUCH easier for a US citizen with skills to move here than a UK citizen to go to US. I looked into this a few years back and I would have to go H1B route which makes it almost impossible since I would have to find a job from the UK.

but agree with your sentiments that that's how it should work in an ideal and fair world.

Not sure if I was dying then I would want to rake up such a HUGE bill and move to US for medical treatment, unless I was super rich in which case this would never be an issue...

If you have a universe with two countries, A and B. A says it will take anyone from B provided they're in the top 10% of the population on some arbitrary metric. B says nobody can come because it's pissed off and feels Soviet. Over time the expected state is that A will accumulate more individuals ranking high on our arbitrary metric than B.

If our arbitrary metric is economic productivity, we can see that having a large population of Sergey Brins, Vinod Khoslas, etc. is beneficial to US citizens even if Americans may not have a tea party resettling in Russia or India.

The us already has such metrics. What the anonymous economist author is advocating is reducing these criteria at which point many people can simply buy their way into the country under the guise of being an entrepreneur.

Why should America wait for other countries to reciprocate? If other countries don't accept American entrepreneurs and America accepts their entrepreneurs, most entrepreneurs will come to America to do business, and only a few will take business elsewhere. Wouldn't that give America an economic advantage?

Because America is a country that should support its own citizens. Suppose some other country becomes the hotspot for start-ups in five years and locating a business there becomes necessary to succeed. Without requiring reciprocation, American policy will have severely damaged American entrepreneurs ability to compete with foreign entrepreneurs who can start a business both in their home country and in the US. American policy should not support foreign entrepreneurs substantially more than its US citizen entrepreneurs.

EDIT: if you think that the US government should support foreign entrepreneurs over US citizens you need to explain why instead of downvoting.

Supporting foreign entrepreneurs IS supporting US citizens. It's 100x easier to find a job as a foreigner (and ostensibly take a job away from an American) than it is to start a company in the US and EMPLOY Americans.

It the US wants to support US citizens, it would let more people start businesses. More businesses = more jobs.

It's entirely feasible to make it easier to get into the U.S. without making it trivial.

Presumably that they would be eligible for social support if they lost their income?

I moved to the US from Britain. Trust me social support is much much better back home. If I wanted to be lazy I'd have stayed there.

An anecdotal example why the current system is broke (presented with a possible solution): http://crazyviraj.blogspot.com/2011/06/capitalistic-fix-for-...

Since when did this point of view:

The individual exists for the support and enjoyment of the state.

overtake this:

The state exists solely to facilitate the individual's pursuit of happiness.

"But surely (undeniably) each year the United States already enjoys large numbers of immigrants"

Agreed. I do not think that is the point of argument here. US overall has huge number of immigrants every year. The problem however is how they determine the eligibility. Family based permanent residency is much easier to get if your spouse is a US citizen no matter what your qualifications are. That is understood considering families need to be united. But why are the programs such as EB-5 investor visa so poorly designed ? If majority of those visas are going unused every year, why dont we instead try and correct it so that it makes it a little easier for aspiring foreign entrepreneurs to apply. Do we really need $1M to start a business these days ?

Do we really need $1M to start a business these days?

The EB-5 requires the investor to create or preserve 10 US citizen jobs within 2 years. Ballpark a median salary of $50K for each of those employees and double that number to account for non-salary costs of employing someone (employer paid taxes, healthcare, office space, etc).

There's a million dollars spent in the first year.

Creating jobs for 10 US citizens is a ridiculous requirement. Creating 1-2 jobs would be more reasonable.

Also US residency and citizenship is such not a wonderful asset. I for one would never want citizenship because it means that you now have to pay taxes on your worldwide income, even if you do not live in the US.

So if you earn $1000 per year and you live in a developing country, the right to live in the US is very valuable. If you earn $100k per year or higher the right to live in the US or to get US citizenship becomes a lot less interesting.

Since (1) US taxes are relatively low on high income earners (right now anyway) (2) you can usually use the US taxes you pay as a credit against any foreign taxes you owe, is this actually a big problem in practice? Perhaps if you are making a large income and currently reside in a country with very low taxes, I suppose.

So what is wrong with other countries that you can't start a business there? Can anyone explain this? is this just a green grass thing?

Access to VC money. The money is in California, if you are even in Vancouver the VCs don't want to come to you.

This creates a virtuous spiral where the money is there so the tech people go there, so you start a company there because there are people there, so the VCs go there.

There are very few other centers so concentrated, Cambridge, Berlin, Waterloo are 1% the size.

But eventually some VCs will take the risk of a flight to Chile or Singapore - especially new Indian/Chinese money - and gradually the pre-eminence of silicon valley will decrease

Where does the US L visa (for setting up a US subsidiary of a foreign company) sit with all this? I've got a friend going through the process at the moment, it seems like the closest thing to an "entrepreneur" visa, but is that not the intent?

My biggest problem with the whole entrepreneurial Visa mess is that it gets lumped in with other Visa categories as well. Even the definition of Startup 2.0 crosses a line for me.

I believe, if someone has the the capital (or guarantee of capital) backing for starting a company and they want to do so in the US, the process should be very simple (beyond requisite background checks, etc). If you want to build, please come.

Visas for "higher education", I would willingly grant extended stay Visas for those completing PhDs but would put a slightly higher barrier on those getting Masters. Why? Two-fold (the second I will address below). My biggest issue is, especially here in California (for what I know), the UC system is hurting and embracing out of state (and out of country) applicants for the added tuition. And, for CS related degrees a Masters really generally just a one year degree. I would like to see more than just the one-year degree before granting an extended visa more easily than the existing visa paths.

My second problem with granting Visas to Master's students and this applies in general to my problem with visas for technical jobs, is the currently large unemployed base. My problem is not with those wishing to come here and contribute, but with the system itself. And, on some level, I am complicit in this.

The US has a very large un/underemployed base, even within tech. Companies argue that they can't hire enough qualified people, but the reality in a lot of cases is either: 1) the companies aren't willing to pay for the qualifications (the controversial path); or 2) companies aren't willing to train to fill in a potentially qualified candidate's gaps.

There are people out there that would be decent DevOps, SysAdmins, or even developers...but when a company posts for a position, they want the closest fit to that position. If someone might be an Ok fit over time, but would require investment in terms of training and time, the company will bypass them (in most cases).

For me, there is this gaping hole that this country needs to address -- we need to provide the ability to retool those seeking jobs to better fit current openings. The US and it's approach to "private enterprise" sucks at this. I know people that have gone to these fly by night "learn new skills" areas only to end up more in debt, still un/underemployed and not contributing to society as well as they might. Even in the case where people are trying (and not giving up).

I am probably rambling here, but I think Startup 2.0 is a step in the right direction, but I wish the US would do more to encourage the development and reeducation of local talent. Our current system of falling into the cracks or mortgaging ourselves further to sketchy private "learn X" institutions is doing us no good.

I don't understand why family unification/kinship is such a high priority for US immigration policy. I can see some arguments for setting the total level of immigration at a certain level (although, personally, I'd want large amounts of lawful immigration, provided people are going to be a net positive for the country and economy), but if your limiting factor is cost imposed, picking immigrants with low or negative costs seems like a much better strategy.

I don't think there is any need for any entrepreneurs visa in america. Already hundreds of thousands of Chinese, and Indians are coming in every year.

Second, the idea of innovators from outside boosting the US economy looks bogus to me.

Third, why can't these "foreign entrepreneurs" could do all that they want to do in their own country first, and then do some partnerships with people in the US, so nobody immigrates no where and both parties benefit.

I am guessing EIR is one such initiative to speed up the solution for this problem?



Latest H1B/Green Card Filings by US employers along with Salary trends

Guys, see link below for latest H1B/Green Card Filings by US employers along with Salary trends http://www.visasquare.com

It has the exhaustive database of 600k companies.

Try to catch the latest reports as welll which is very helpful. Help all your friends - this is a must see info for everyone to check if your company is paying you right and what are the latest jobs for these visa sponsoring companies.

For example this is the city wise report for 2012, this way you can check state,city,job


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