Coming to America is an entrepreneurial exercise in and of itself, and tapping more talented people from around the world to use their skills to start and grow businesses here is good for the United States and its global economic competitiveness. Yet current immigration policy makes it difficult for foreign-born entrepreneurs to receive a green card (i.e., permanent residency). Immigration reform is needed to unlock the potential of immigrant entrepreneurs in the United States. The federal government should:
- Establish a startup visa that authorizes foreign entrepreneurs to start businesses in the United States.
- Research shows that immigrants are twice as likely as native-born Americans to start a business.
- More than half of all of America’s startups valued at $1 billion or more were started by at least one immigrant.
- Immigrants are playing an increasingly large role as new business owners. Between 1995 and 2012, the share of employer firms started by immigrants grew from about 16% to 25%.