High skilled immigration bill introduced in U.S. Congress

February 16, 2013 11:47 am | Updated 11:47 am IST - Washington

Targeting highly skilled talents from India and China, a bi-partisan group of U.S. 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.

While in the Senate the bill has been introduced by Senators Jerry Moran, Mark Warner, and Christopher Coons, in the House of Representatives it has been introduced by Congressmen Michael G. Grimm, Loretta Sanchez, Kevin Yoder, Jared Polis, Devin Nunes, Gerald Connolly and Steve Chabot.

The bill has the support of top U.S. 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 $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 U.S. 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 Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

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