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New version of US Startup Visa Bill generates buzz among NRIs

The below article is copied from the Hindu Business Line journal.  For the reasons stated therein, I am a huge proponent of the Start Up Visa Act or EB6 visa as many of my clients would benefit from it. Let’s hope this bill is passed soon!

Hyderabad, May 22: 

Working in a Fortune 100 company in the US, Upender Dwivedi (name changed), an NRI holding H1 visa, still feels helpless. He secretly nurses a dream to start his own venture.

“But I don’t have a green card and on an H1, I can only be a passive participant if I start a company,” he says.

After sulking for long, he now sees light at the end of the tunnel in the form of Startup Visa. If a Bill introduced in the US Congress comes through, it is not just those from outside the US, but foreign students with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) degree could have a green card on their graduation day if they have the requisite qualifications.

They, however, need to create at least five fulltime jobs (other than close kin) in two years. The Government could hold the right to revoke such visas if milestones are not met. Introduced in the US Congress, Startup Visa Act of 2011, by Senators Mr John Kerry and Mr Richard Lugar, an updated version of the Startup Visa Bill from last year, has generated huge interest in the NRI community, both high-net worth individuals and H1 holders.

“Till now, this process has been incredibly difficult and has been stifling the creation of new companies and the corresponding job creation that these companies provide,” an NRI, who doesn’t want to be named, told Business Line.

Mr Jay Pullur, Chief Executive Officer of Pramati Technologies, says it means a lot to those who want to go to the US to work on their entrepreneurial projects.

The new proposal has quoted much more “realistic thresholds” than last year’s Bill. The minimum investment has been lowered to $1,00,000.

Those who have completed a graduate level degree in science, technology, engineering, math, computer science are eligible to apply as long as they have either an annual income of $30,000 or assets of at least $60,000 and a qualified US investor agrees to invest at least $20,000. This opens up the Startup Visa to students after they graduate, which is a big thing, the NRI says.

Mr J.A. Chowdary, a The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and Chairman of human resources development firm TalentSprint, says this Act would help the US generate more jobs, besides inviting investments into the economy.

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