New edition of 'Startup Visa' book strives to help America's global comeback

The new, second edition of “The Startup Visa: Key to Job Growth and Economic Prosperity” by immigration attorney and activist Tahmina Watson appears just as the U.S. re-emerges on the world economic stage and strives to regain a leadership position in global innovation. This leadership can only happen, Watson says, if the country strategically deploys one of its most potent resources: immigrant entrepreneurs.

“A bipartisan startup visa for immigrant entrepreneurs is essential for keeping America in this global race before the rest of the world surpasses us,” says Watson, who is herself an American immigrant and citizen of Bangladeshi heritage. “Historically, America has seen its best economic success when both domestic and international workers are able to contribute.”

Watson points out, many immigrant entrepreneurs “are American citizens waiting to happen.”

An expert in immigration law and the founder of the Watson Immigration Law firm in Seattle, Wash., Watson offers an analysis in her book of how existing options for immigrant entrepreneurs are not always good fits for today’s investor-backed founders. These include the H-1B, L-1A and E-2 visas. She also discusses the merits and strengths of the recently restored International Entrepreneur Program.

“Entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers will all find ‘The Startup Visa’ to be a helpful, practical guide,” Watson says. “It’s meant to be the kind of go-to reference that stays on your desk, and on your desktop.”

Brad Feld, the cofounder of Techstars, a global platform that connects entrepreneurs, investors and corporations, wrote the foreword to this second edition, which comes six years after the first publication of “Startup Visa” in 2015. That was one year before the Trump administration began significantly truncating the role of immigrant entrepreneurs in the American economy. Watson’s “Legal Heroes in the Trump Era,” which she published a month before Joseph R. Biden became president-elect, chronicled the efforts of a number of attorneys during that time to maintain equitable processes in immigration law.

“The Startup Visa,” 2nd edition, is available in e-book, and paperback on Amazon.