US high-skilled immigration enlargement efforts

Low-skilled immigration in the United States is highly unpopular, but high-skilled immigration is moderately accepted (see high versus low skill). Despite this,only a fairly small fraction of visas in the United States are allocated to high-skilled immigrants, and the demand for these visas is much higher than the number of visas available. Since the mid-2000s, legislators have proposed a variety of methods to make high-skilled immigration easier. Some of these are mentioned below.

  • Startup Visa is a bill currently pending in the United States legislature that would make it possible for unused EB-5 visas to be used for a new visa category, EB-6, intended for people working in startups that have an investor with a strong track record. The visa enjoys bipartisan support, but is very low down in the legislative priority list and its introduction has been deferred until such a time as a “comprehensive immigration reform” package may be introduced (which may well be never).
  • STEM Jobs Act, introduced by Lamar Smith (R-Texas) (see here). Although somewhat different from the Startup Visa proposal, it enjoys a similar support base. More details will be added based on what happens.
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