Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced legislation on February 24, 2010, to help immigrant entrepreneurs secure visas to the United States.

The “StartUp Visa Act of 2010” would allow an immigrant entrepreneur to receive a two-year visa under a new EB-6 category, drawing from existing EB-5 visas, if he or she can show that a qualified U.S. investor is willing to dedicate a minimum of $250,000 to the immigrant’s startup venture. After proving that he or she has secured initial investment capital and if, after two years, the immigrant entrepreneur can show that he or she has generated at least five full-time jobs in the U.S., attracted $1 million in additional investment capital, or achieved $1 million in revenue, he or she would receive permanent resident status.

Sen. Kerry noted, “Everywhere Dick Lugar and I travel for the Foreign Relations Committee, we see firsthand the entrepreneurial spirit driving the economies of our competitors.” Sen. Lugar said the U.S. “should channel the power of innovative thinkers from around the world and American investors towards creating jobs and encouraging economic growth and future prosperity.”

More than 160 U.S. venture capitalists have endorsed the senators’ proposal. A press release announcing the bill’s introduction is available here.

Angelo Paparelli is quoted in a February 25, 2010 Los Angeles Daily Journal article regarding the proposed legislation. A discussion of this article is available here.