Britain Woos Entrepreneurs With Startup Visa

on GigaOM

It’s no secret that the political machine in Washington can be slow… very slow. New legislation — even if it’s potentially vital for the nation’s health — can take months or years to hit the statute books, while politicians engage in their games of horse-trading and back-room negotiations. Take the Startup Visa Act, which was first brought up for debate in 2009 and introduced for the first time last year, has only just now been reintroduced to Capitol Hill by John Kerry and Richard Lugar.

In the meantime, Britain has managed to enact a similar outcome despite undergoing a change of government, debating the ideas and having to institute the changes to immigration laws. In fact, the pace has been so rapid that new rules to grant visas to entrepreneurs will come into force in just three weeks. It’s no surprise officials are crowing about it:

“Entrepreneurs and investors can play a major part in our economic recovery, and I want to do everything I can to ensure that Britain remains an attractive destination for them,” said Damian Green, the Minister of State for Immigration. “Last year we issued far too few visas to those who wish to set up a business or invest in the U.K. — I intend to change that.”

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