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Obama backs "Startup Visas" for foreign-born tech entrepreneurs

Published: Friday, February 1, 2013 9:00 am

February 1, 2013.  President Obama called on Congress on Tuesday to create a special visa category that allows foreign-born entrepreneurs who launch successful startups to remain in the country. (Readers may recall that Canada recently announced such a program, which they plan to market aggressively to foreign entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.) immigration attorney lawyer chicago canada silicon valley entrepreneur congress visa obama israeli deportation startup

In a major address on immigration policy in Las Vegas, Obama touted the need for a "startup visa" that allows immigrants who found startups to live in the United States as long as they raise a minimum level of financing and employ a certain number of workers. They could "remain permanently" in the country if their startups continue to grow, he said.

Last year, The Huffington Post detailed the story of Adaf Darash, an Israeli entrepreneur who faces deportation after studying at the University of California at Berkeley and then launching a startup in San Francisco. His story is not unique. For the first time, the number of immigrant-founded startups is in decline, as foreign-born entrepreneurs struggle to obtain a limited number of visas and green cards and decide to launch companies in other countries

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