Comparison of entrepreneur visa programs around the world

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Many governments in the world state that they encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. When immigrants, however, start knocking on their doors with their own projects and ideas they get rejected.

The United States, for example, is one of the worst countries for aspiring foreign entrepreneurs. The USA does not offer any specific visa program for entrepreneurs who want to establish new businesses.

It offers the only visa to qualified investors but the requirements form granting it are so high that the annual quota of 10 000 visas is never filled.

Prospective applicants for such kind of visa must invest at least 1000 000 USD in government-approved investment in the USA.

Other countries are much more open. Singapore, for example, grants a visa to people who are ready to invest at 40 000 SGD in a new business venture in the country.

Britain is another country who has a separate visa program for entrepreneurs.

The requirements are that the prospective applicants invest at least 50 000 pounds in a new venture. New Zealand does not have any capital minimum capital requirements for its entrepreneur visa program but requires that the new business benefits in some way the local economy and community.

Chile is another country which is highly generous to entrepreneurs who come from abroad. The country offers 40 000 USD in seed money and 1-year residence permit to selected startups.

This scheme has been available since 2008 and has been highly successful in attracting new ventures into the country

The fact that the USA does not have its own entrepreneur program is surprising. The share of permanent visas granted for economic reasons (as opposed to kinship) fell from 18% to 13% between 1991 and 2011.

As a comparison  in Canada, it rose from 18% to 67%

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