A bipartisan group of eight senators, dubbed the “Gang of Eight,” is expected to file its landmark immigration bill today.
If passed, it would make a lot of people in Silicon Valley and the tech industry as a whole very happy.
The outline of the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” proposes, among other things, the creation of a startup visa, an increase of the cap on high-skilled H1-B immigrants (from 65,000 to 110,000), and employment green card exemptions for people with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and maths.
The startup visa would allow immigrants to start companies in the U.S., provided they have secured venture funding. However, as PandoDaily notes, the memo does not specify how much money an entrepreneur would need to raise, whether they would need to hire American workers, or how long they could be in the country before incorporating a company.
The caveat: employers may have to pay higher salaries and fees in order to employ high-skilled immigrants. They also must rigorously monitor their employees’ immigration statuses, the memo outlines.
If the startup visa goes through, it could help create 1.6 million jobs in the U.S. over the next 10 years, according to estimates by the Kaufman Foundation.