Visa Crunch

USA: COMPETES Act Removes Green Card Cap For STEM PhDs, Start-Up Visa Established

The House version of the ‘America Competes Act, 2022,’ passed by the US House of Representatives, aims to boost manufacturing and create stronger supply chains to compete with China, and includes several immigration-related provisions that would benefit foreign entrepreneurs and those with a doctorate in the STEM field.

It establishes a new category of non-immigrant ‘W’ visas for foreign entrepreneurs, their families, and ‘essential’ foreign workers in such businesses. The cherry on top is that family members are also eligible for work visas. Furthermore, it gives a road to a green card, which can lead to American citizenship.

The entrepreneur must have received at least a 10% ownership position in the startup within the 18 months before the submission of the visa application, as well as at least $250,000 in investments from US residents or organizations or at least $100,000 in government grants or scholarships. This startup must have been founded within the last five years.

The National Venture Capital Association’s president, Bobby Franklin, stated, “A startup visa has been our top priority for many years, and we are happy to see it advance out of the House.” This notion has always had bipartisan support since it permits the world’s top entrepreneurs to establish new businesses and jobs in the United States.

Unfortunately, the United States does not have a startup visa (which is offered by several other countries such as Canada and the UK). Instead, the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) allows eligible foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the United States for two and a half years, with the option of extending their stay for a similar period of time.

The fund-raising conditions are identical to those in the America Competes Act, requiring a minimum of $250,000 from eligible US investors or $100,000 from government subsidies.

The America Competes Act allows adjustment to a green card after a year of having a ‘W’ visa. Certain fundraising, turnover, and job creation standards, as well as having an ownership interest in the business and playing an active part in its management or operation, must be met.

This Act also permits the issuance of an unlimited number of green cards to foreign citizens who have achieved a doctorate in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from a US institution of higher learning or an equivalent degree from a foreign university. This green-card system includes spouses and children.

The America Competes Act includes many immigration proposals for Hong Kong residents, in addition to the startup visa and the elimination of green card caps for STEM PhD holders and their families.

“The Senate has passed a version without the immigration provisions. They will have to hammer out a compromise bill and send it back to each house for a new vote,” immigration attorney Greg Siskind stated.

Read all the Latest News here. Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

Subscribe to get the latest news and updates.

No Spam, we promise.

Add comment

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular

Most discussed


Book your appoinment today!