Delay in US startup visas not good for Indian entrepreneurs

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As reported earlier, the Trump administration is considering doing away with the startup visa program, having already postponed the launch from its intended date of 17 th July.

The visa programme was approved in January by Barack Obama administration, and if implemented, would allow non-US founders to live in US if they build their startups there.

As per the varied Silicon Valley startup culture, more than half of the US startups valued at $1 billion dollars or more have been founded by immigrants, who are also key members of either management or product development teams in more than 70% of these companies. The above data was compiled in a 2016 study by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), a US-based non-profit nonpartisan public policy think tank.

Out of these startups founded by immigrants, around 30% have been founed by people of Indian origin.

"Without doubt, bringing in entrepreneurs creates American jobs and expands the economy, it is the closest thing there could be to a free lunch for the United States. This is a lose-lose for the US and for the entrepreneurs who would have come here but it will benefit the countries where they would have come from," said Indian-American technology entrepreneur and academic Vivek Wadhwa.

"This is the type of brain-dead policy that is becoming a hallmark of the Trump administration. They are pandering to anti-immigrant groups rather than focusing on US competitiveness and economic growth," he added.

Another Silicon Valley entrepreneur Puru Vashishtha said that some of his friends from Stanford University had their ideas and capacities limited because of lack of a startup visa.

"These were highly trained, best minds in the world. They wanted to do product startup in the Valley. Unfortunately, because of being a foreign national, even a top university graduate does not get the same options as rest of her US classmates. This is regressive and it deprives the US from significant value creation and job creation. Startup visa was a big hope," he told ET .
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