While immigration reform plays out in the nation's capital, businesses throughout the country, including those located in the Miami area, are anxiously waiting to see what happens. One of the regions perhaps most interested in changes to the current immigration system being made is Silicon Valley. This is in part due to the fact that in the 10 year period between 1995 and 2005, more than half of the startup businesses in that region were created or co-created by someone from another country. Since that time, the percentage has fallen to 42 percent.
Recognizing the need for that region in particular to have qualified workers, some senators from both sides of the aisle, recently introduced a bill to try to assist with the matter.
The bill is known as the Startup Act 3.0 and is designed to make additional visas available to students who have obtained advanced degrees in a STEM field at institutions in the United States. It would also provide additional visas to startup entrepreneurs from different countries. The bill proposes 75,000 and 50,000 additional visas respectively.
Because of the investment requirements tied to receiving a visa under this act, businesses in Silicon Valley interested in hiring foreign workers, as well as the nation's economy, would probably benefit financially from the passage of this bill, or another like it. They would not be the only winners however. A couple of groups that would likely benefit from its passage as well are individuals from India and China who have been unable to obtain a visa due to caps on visas that provide permanent residency.
Whether this bill, or something similar to it passes remains to be seen. Most would probably agree that anything that would boost the U.S. economy is worth exploring.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, "U.S. senators introduce high-skill immigration bill in nod to Silicon Valley," Matt O'Brien, Feb. 14, 2013