Administration Announces Steps to Attract Skilled Workers, Researchers

Tuesday, May 06, 2014, 5:00pm

by Semiconductor Industry Association

Today, the Obama Administration announced two new initiatives that would help enable highly skilled workers and researchers from around the world to contribute to the U.S. economy and eventually become American citizens.  

First, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule that would allow work authorization for the spouses of H-1B workers who have begun the process of applying for a green card through their employers, enabling these spouses to contribute to the U.S. economy. Second, DHS also proposed a rule that would make it easier for exceptional foreign university professors and researchers to establish their eligibility for the EB-1 visa – a type of green card reserved for the best and brightest from around the world – so that these tremendous thought leaders and innovators can put their talents to work in the U.S.

SIA commends the Obama Administration for taking action to chip away at the barriers to accessing foreign-born talent. Allowing top minds from abroad to fill open jobs in the U.S. is critical to America’s economic strength and technology leadership, as well as the U.S. semiconductor industry. Every highly educated immigrant who stays and works in the U.S. creates nearly three additional American jobs, according to a recent study, and many of America’s most innovative companies – including several SIA members – were founded and led by immigrants.

While today’s announcements represent a welcome step toward addressing America’s increasingly urgent need for access to the world’s top talent, the best and most effective path forward is for Congress to take action to overhaul our broken immigration system. SIA will continue to advocate strongly for swift enactment of meaningful immigration reform legislation.