High skilled immigration bill introduced in US Congress

Last Updated 04 May 2018, 09:30 IST

Targeting highly skilled talents from India and China, a bi-partisan group of US lawmakers have introduced a new bill in the Congress to create more than 125,000 new visas to attract global talents to America.

The bill called Startup 3.0 proposes to help increase America's access to talent by creating a new set of conditional visas for 75,000 immigrant entrepreneurs and 50,000 foreign STEM (Science technology, engineering and math) graduate students.

This will create half a million new American jobs, claimed authors of the bill, early this week.

The bill has the support of top US companies and organisations like Microsoft, Google, National Small Business Association (NSBA), CTIA, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Financial Services Forum, Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), TechAmercia, Information Technology Industry (ITI), Compete America, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and TechNet.

Startup 3.0 allows qualified companies to apply research and development tax credits to their payroll tax liability, up to USD 250,000.

For small startups, it also makes permanent the 100 per cent capital gains tax exemption on investments that are held for more than 5 years, in addition to the 28 per cent exemption on qualified small business stock.

These provisions will unlock over USD 7.5 billion in new investments which will result in more innovation and jobs.

Finally, the bill helps cut red tape, by requiring a cost-benefit analysis of any significant
rule being proposed by a federal or independent agency.

"Too often we educate the world's best and brightest in STEM fields, only to send them back to countries like India and China to open businesses and compete against us.
This bill will keep top talent here in the US to build businesses that hire Americans, and drive US innovation and competitiveness," Congressman Grimm said.

"With a renewed focus on comprehensive immigration reform, it is imperative that we take commonsense steps to help the US compete and win the global competition for talented innovators and entrepreneurs," Senator Warner said.

The bill has been welcomed by the White House.

"I'm encouraged to see continued enthusiasm and momentum in Washington to support entrepreneurs," said Steve Case, Revolution LLC CEO and member of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

According to the authors of the bill, research has demonstrated the positive impact of immigrants on American job creation: more than 40 per cent of all Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.

Research shows that startups create three million jobs per year, on average.
Among other things, the bill eliminates the per-country caps for employment-based immigrant visas - which hinder US employers from recruiting the top-tier talent they need to grow.

Senator Christopher Coons said Startup Act 3.0 will help bring ideas and discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace, help startups access the R&D Tax Credit which supports growth and job creation, and ensuring that when a foreign-born, American-educated graduate student in science, technology, engineering or math has a great idea to start a business, they do it here in the United States instead of going home to compete with us.

Among other things, the bill eliminates the per-country caps for employment-based immigrant visas - which hinder US employers from recruiting the top-tier talent they need to grow.

It makes 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; and creates a limited research and development tax credit for young startups less than five years old and with less than USD5 million in annual receipts.

"America has long been seen as the land of opportunity for innovators and entrepreneurs. We must do everything possible to make certain that remains true," Senator Jerry Moran said.

(Published 16 February 2013, 04:41 IST)

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