On January 29, President Obama called on Congress to create a visa category for immigrants who launch successful startup companies. A few days prior, officials in Canada announced that they launched a comprehensive startup visa program, reaping the benefits of the outdated immigration policies in the United States.
The need for a start-up visa is pertinent for the United States to stay competitive on a global scale. This would allow immigrants who have founded startups to live in the United States as long as they are able to raise a low level of financing and employ workers. According to The Huffington Post, foreign-born entrepreneur Asaf Darash faces deportation after studying at the University of California, Berkeley, and launching a startup in San Francisco because of the low number of green cards available. Unfortunately, this story is not rare and many graduates are forced to take their talents to other countries.
“Right now in one of those classrooms there are students wrestling with how to turn their big idea – their Intel or Instagram – into a big business,” Obama said in a speech in Las Vegas. “We’re giving them all the skills they need to figure that out, but then we’re going to turn around and tell them to start that business and create those jobs in India or China or Mexico or someplace else. That’s not how you grow new industries in America. That’s how you give new industries to our competitors.”
Canada’s startup program will enable immigrant entrepreneurs to launch innovative companies that will boost the economy and create jobs, as well as provide those individuals with assistance in the challenging Canadian business environment. The program will also provide private sector firms with a broad access to the world’s brightest minds.