ARLINGTON, VA – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) today issued the following statement after the White House unveiled the details of President Obama’s executive order on immigration.
“In the absence of congressional action to fix our broken immigration system, we appreciate President Obama’s leadership on this important issue,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA. “We are pleased to learn the president intends to expand visa opportunities for venture-backed entrepreneurs who all too often lose out in the race to secure U.S. visas. By targeting solutions to help foreign-born entrepreneurs build their businesses in the U.S., President Obama has made clear he understands the important role the entrepreneurial ecosystem plays in our economy and is prepared to do all he can to ensure the U.S. remains the global hub of innovation.”
“We still believe that congressional action is the best way to deliver meaningful and substantive reform that will finally address the problems plaguing our antiquated immigration system,” added Franklin. “In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue with our outreach efforts on Capitol Hill and at the White House to secure a legislative solution. As an industry that prides itself on optimism, we disagree with those that say this level of collaboration and compromise is no longer attainable in today’s Washington, and remain hopeful agreement can be reached in the coming year.”
Because of the unique nature of small startup companies, H-1B visas are not as useful to the startup community since they are most often issued to larger companies that have the financial resources and technical knowhow to secure visas for their workers. Small, venture-backed startup companies are much better served by the expansion of other visa categories such as the O-1A visa which is granted to a temporary worker who “possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics,” or the E-2 visa which permits an entrepreneur to raise private capital to start a business in the U.S.