Startup Visa to be in Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill

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The top-level summary doesn’t include us. Fine, we’ve got no lobbyists to prioritize us, so that’s no worries. Ignore the TechCrunch article that says otherwise.
But we’re an explicit bullet point in the official mid-level summary, published on Scribd.
And I’ve got further confirmation from sources at the Small Business Administration, from the US Chamber of Commerce, and from folks checking in with Senators.
Key points:
  • Elimination of diversity lottery
  • Creation of startup visa
  • De facto/impilcit creation of STEM Green Card through exemption from numerical limits for PhDs; Masters get an increased slice of first-come, first-serve visas that should prevent caps
  • Creation of a new points-based merit visa
  • Mandatory E-Verify (we’ll want to set up a White House Innovation Fellow to hack this for startups, cause I hear it’s a bulky process for tiny firms)
The timeline:
  • Bill is getting introduced over the next day or so, first hearing scheduled tomorrow
  • Expecting a Senate vote mid-summer (Senators put odds of it passing around 60-80%)
  • Expecting the House to move in the fall, with a final vote between Sept and November (House Representatives put odds of it passing around 40-60%)
  • Realistically, we want the President to sign a final bill by New Year’s; slow, but feasible
I’m waiting on specific language to see if the startup visa actually works, though.
For example, the qualifications in Startup Visa Act of 2011 or 2013 would create a worthless startup visa, eligible only to Masters or PhDs in technical fields or current workers, and with a STEM Green Card, the Masters and PhDs have an easier path to follow. Startup Act is much better.
We still don’t know the capital levels or milestones, either of which could also choke off a successful startup visa, which after all is just an idea that needs to be effectively executed on.
I compared legislative comparisons since PG’s essay in 2009:
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5 Responses to Startup Visa to be in Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill

  1. I’m sure you’ve seen the full text, but just in case:

    • PolitiHacks says:

      Thanks, David! We got the text later that night, so a more formal version of this analysis that I’ll post now includes the link. Appreciate the thoughtfulness!

      • David Chouinard says:

        I ended up writing a summary of the bill myself. You might find it interesting:

      • PolitiHacks says:

        Looks good! And I have a backlog of summaries to post myself. I’ve just been running them through my digest ( and letting the queue pile up here.

        I’ll quibble with the word “additional” in your INVEST renewal section, as I believe it’s a baseline level that needs to be met during each period, rather than additional funding raises or increases in revenue each cycle.

      • David Chouinard says:

        Ah, good catch, I think your interpretation is correct. I’ve correct my post. Thanks!

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