Bill Would Lure Talent through Visas
A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate on Tuesday would create two new visas to attract and maintain immigrants that are skilled in fields where the U.S. is weak. Those fields include technology, science, math and engineering. The new bill is designed to follow the Jobs Act success in helping new companies get start-up capital.
More and more technology companies are complaining that without changes to the immigration system they might have to move research and development and other projects outside the country to gain access to highly-skilled talented workers they are in need of.
The Senate legislation known as Start-Up Act 2 would create a new foreign student visa for those students who have graduate degrees from schools in the U.S in technology, engineering, math or science. These foreigners could at some point get legal permanent residency as long as they have remained working in the fields for the past five years. Another visa, an entrepreneurial visa, would be created for up to 75,000 skilled immigrants annually, who start-up a business in the U.S., hire Americans and raise or invest capital in the U.S.
The legislation is a revamped edition from last year and includes new tax incentives to aid start-ups. President Barack Obama has endorsed the call to make it easier for companies to maintain talented students who are foreigners in the U.S. following their graduation. The likely Republican president nominee, Mitt Romney has said he also supports allowing foreigners with degrees from schools in the U.S. to stay to help fill vacancies that are tough to fill.
Thus far, it has been difficult to reform policies for skilled immigration because of the problems with broad immigration reform.