Indians lead foreigners in setting up US tech firms

The US lawmakers may be seeking to restrict entry of skilled foreign workers to save jobs of their citizens, but a new research shows that firms founded by immigrants from places like India are creating thousands of jobs every year in the country.

The research, conducted by professors of Duke University and the University of California, also shows that an immigrant figures among the founders of every fourth engineering and technology firm in the country. Further, every fourth engineering and technology company founded by immigrants have Indians as its founders.

“There was at least one immigrant key founder in 25.3% of all engineering and technology companies established in the US between 1995 and 2005 inclusive,” says the report titled ‘America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs’.

These entities generated over $52 billion in 2005 sales, while creating just under 4,50,000 jobs as of 2005.

“Almost 26% of all immigrant-founded companies in last 10 years were founded by Indian immigrants,” it noted.

Even as the findings of the research pitch for entry of more skilled foreigners, the US Congress has approved a proposal to restrict firms, receiving the government’s bailout package, from hiring H1-B visaholders, if they are to replace Americans.

The latest measure, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as stimulus bill, could adversely impact Indians as they make up a major chunk of the H1-B visaholders.

For the fiscal year 2009, more than 1,60,000 applications have been received under H1-B visa programme, where one lakh applicants are estimated to be Indians.

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