SIA Semiconductors

Policy Priorities

Immigration & Workforce

One of the key factors driving growth and innovation in the U.S. semiconductor industry and across the broader tech sector is the availability of highly educated professionals – from both the U.S. and abroad – to create jobs and develop new technologies. 

For too long, America’s outdated and ineffective immigration system has been a barrier to innovation, forcing highly educated immigrants to leave the U.S. because they are unable to obtain visas. This system undermines America’s economic strength and global competitiveness by preventing U.S. companies from recruiting and retaining the world's best innovators. SIA is working to ensure that policymakers in Washington act swiftly to fix this broken system.  


Brilliant researchers, scientists and engineers flock to our world-class universities, but once they have their diplomas U.S. immigration policy makes it almost impossible for these U.S. educated professionals to work, live and become productive citizens in America. 

In a world where talent and capital are available globally, this is a significant problem for U.S. high-tech businesses. Foreign nationals represent a large percentage of the science and engineering graduates that will be key in solving national challenges such as energy, health care, and national security. It is imperative to our nation’s economic future that we not allow these talented individuals to get lost in our immigration system.

Congress has failed to reform the employment-based (EB) green card and H-1B visa systems that U.S. employers use to recruit and retain top worldwide talent. 

  • The broken green card system causes employees to spend years in limbo, unable to be promoted or relocated without restarting the process. 
  • Over 3,700 H-1Bs in the semiconductor industry seek permanent resident status.
  • Over 500 applicants have been waiting for 4 years or more.
  • The result is that America is less welcoming to the world’s best and brightest at a time when other countries are increasing their efforts to attract these individuals.

To move forward we believe it is important for parties with different viewpoints to come together and seek common understanding, which is why the SIA has reached agreement with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -U.S.A. (IEEE-USA) on permanent, employment-based immigration reform. We urge Congress to do the same by enacting the following measures:

  • Exempt graduates with advanced STEM degrees from U.S. universities from the EB green card cap to allow U.S. employers to retain foreign-born employees already working in America; and
  • Streamline the path from student to permanent resident to allow U.S. companies to access key talent, particularly individuals educated at U.S. universities.



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