OBAMA AIMS TO STAY COMPETITIVE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY BY ATTRACTING TOP TALENT IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
President Obama will also announce his intention to attract more highly skilled immigrants to the US as part of his immigration proposal. By offering a more streamlined path to immigrate for highly accomplished immigrants in the fields of technology and science, this will likely impact both the non immigrant and immigrant visa numbers in H1Bs, L1A and L1B, and E categories as well as Green Cards.
“Part of staying competitive in a global economy is making sure we have an immigration system that doesn’t send away talent but attracts it,” Obama said at a White House ceremony recognizing achievements in science, technology and innovation.
Currently highly valued immigrants in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics apply for temporary work visas through the H1B, L1 and E categories, with researchers heavily relying upon the J-1 researcher visas. The most popular non immigrant visa category for professionals and highly skilled immigrants is the H1B visa or Specialty Occupation Worker visa. However, as this category is used for all workers who possess at least a Bachelor’s degree or higher, (i.e. teachers, graphic artists, accountants and marketing analysts, etc.), those in the STEM industries are often competing alongside these workers for a select few visas. The H1B visa category is historically oversubscribed each year resulting in the US turning away thousands of otherwise qualified candidates in these highly coveted fields. It is hoped that any proposals and overhaul of our immigration system will help to attract and retain the world’s top talent in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics along with encouraging American students to excel and contribute to these areas as well.