Top students from around the world study at our nation's world-leading research institutions. Unfortunately, current policy makes it very difficult for these tremendously talented individuals to build a business here and forces them to take their ideas and develop them in foreign countries -- boosting those economies instead of our own -- and creating competition for American companies.
One recent study by the National Foundation for American Policy found that nearly half of the country's top fifty venture-funded companies were founded by foreign-born entrepreneurs. Another study found that jobs for more than two American-born workers are created for every foreign-born worker who puts their advanced degree to work in this country. Many other studies all lead to the same conclusion: highly-skilled immigrants create jobs for American workers.
The INVEST in America Act will make conditional permanent residency (green cards) available to immigrant entrepreneurs with a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) graduate degree from an accredited U.S. college. To qualify, the immigrant entrepreneur will need to start a new business relevant to the area of study and hire 5 full-time employees or invest $500,000 within 5 years. This bill would give the founder of even the smallest start-up, with little more than an idea and a set of skills, the opportunity to build a company in the United States and earn citizenship.
In President Bush's 2006 State of the Union Address, he announced the American Competitiveness Initiative, which included immigration policies to attract and retain the best and the brightest high-skilled workers from around the world. Likewise, President Obama recognized during his 2012 State of the Union speech that many come to this country "to study business and science and engineering, but as soon as they get their degree, we send them home to invent new products and create new jobs somewhere else."
Rep. Charles Bass and Dvhigg understand that we are engaged in a global war for talent, which is why theyintroduced the INVEST in America Act. Their bill will make it easier for highly-skilled entrepreneurs to build the next great company and to do it in America.