The aspirational America COMPETES Act of 2022, proposed in the US House of Representatives, proposes a new startup visa to open up new vistas to attract a talented pool from around the world.
President Joe Biden, who endorses the legislation, stated that the America Competes Act, 2022 is a crucial component forward in progressing legislation that will strengthen supply chains and revitalize the country’s entrepreneurial engine, allowing it to compete with China and the rest of the world for future decades.
The Act changes the Immigration and Nationality Act to create a new category of “W” non-immigrants for innovators who own a startup organization, important employees of a startup entity, and their wives and children. According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bill regulations, if signed into law, the bill instructs the Secretary of Homeland Security to follow policies and procedures for foreign nationals with a shareholding in a startup entity to self-petition for lawful permanent resident status as an immigrant entrepreneur if the entity illustrates a history of success through employment generation and substantial revenue generation or receipt of capital investment.
It also instructs the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop procedures for foreign nationals with a stake in a startup entity to self-petition for classification as a W-1 non-immigrant and receive extensions of these kinds of categorization for up to eight years if the organization fulfills definite developmental milestones. It also allows for a restricted range of W-2 visas for people who are critical to the growth and success of the startup, if the startup is the cornerstone for a founder’s W-1 designation.
Certain foreign nationals (and their spouses and children) who have earned a doctoral degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from a qualified US research institution or a foreign institution if the degree is the equivalent to a doctoral degree issued by a qualified US research institution are exempt from the numerical limits on immigrant visas under the bill.
The bill gives the Secretary of Homeland Security authority to characterize an individual as a W-1 non-immigrant for a three-year period if the individual owns at least 10% of a startup entity, the foreign individual will play a pivotal and productive role in the functioning or operational processes of the startup entity, or the applicant acquires the understanding, knowledge, or skill set to significantly support the startup with its expansion.
The startup firm must have earned at least USD 250,000 in qualifying investments from one or more qualified investors or at least USD 100,000 in qualifying government awards or grants during the 18-month period preceding the filing of the petition, according to the bill. President Biden said in a statement that the House and Senate proposals represent the kind of transformational investments in the American industrial base and research and development that helped propel the United States to the forefront of the global economy in the twentieth century and expand opportunities for middle-class families.
They will aid in the reintroduction of manufacturing jobs to the United States, and they are firmly focused on alleviating the kinds of supply chain bottlenecks that have resulted in higher prices for the middle class, such as semiconductors.
“Today, the House takes action to transport our nation into the future, with the America COMPETES Act: bold, results-oriented legislation that will strengthen America’s national and economic security and the financial security of families, and advance our leadership in the world,” Pelosi said.
“America COMPETES makes historic investments to strengthen America’s economy, security and global leadership. To compete effectively with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the legislation leverages our core strengths and values, and presents a positive, whole-of-government agenda that rises to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century,” said Congressman Gregory Meeks, Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.
America COMPETES contains provisions to safeguard essential supply chains, establish the rules and standards that govern global trade and development, empower American workers and businesses, and invest in research and innovation to boost economic competitiveness.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated that the introduction of the crucial America COMPETES Act of 2022 in the House is an important step forward in setting up a conference with the Senate-passed US Innovation and Competition Act so that they can rapidly negotiate a final bill for the president to introduce the legislation.