Bloomberg Businessweek: No, Canada!

A recent dispatch from Bloomberg Businessweek puts us in mind of the old line about Nero fiddling while Rome burned. For the past several years, the U.S. Congress has batted around various schemes that – it was hoped – would attract more immigrant entrepreneurs to the United States. One of these was the Startup Visa, which Businessweek describes as “proposed legislation to allow an immigrant entrepreneur to receive a two-year visa if a qualified U.S. investor is willing to invest in the immigrant’s venture.” [See How Canada Plans to Steal Silicon Valley’s Immigrant Entrepreneurs, by Nick Leiber, Bloomberg Businessweek, 25.Jan.2013.]

As Businessweek points out, so far, the Startup Visa proposal remains on the drawing board, where it’s not doing anyone any good – with the possible exception of the Canadians, who now plan to capitalize on Congressional inaction with a startup visa of their own, one designed to make off with talented immigrant entrepreneurs who couldn’t get into the United States. The article notes that:

“Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, sketched out on January 24 a new startup visa program that grants permanent residency to foreign entrepreneurs who persuade Canadian venture capitalists, angels, or business incubators to back them. The mechanics of Canada’s new program are still fuzzy, but applicants will have to obtain investors’ support before they can apply for the visa.”

Canada plans to roll out its new visa program on April 1st, according to Businessweek, “… with an initial annual allotment of 2,750 visas for entrepreneurs and their families.” Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is just beginning to gear up for a comprehensive immigration reform fight that could take months to resolve. Members will have to carefully weigh the potential benefits of a slow, methodical approach against the significant opportunity costs of a protracted debate – one that could send immigrant entrepreneurs into the waiting arms of another country. The cautionary message is clear: you snooze, you lose – or to paraphrase Beyoncé: if you liked it then you shoulda put a visa on it…

Copyright © 2013, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.