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Proposed Legislation America COMPETES Act of 2022 May Change Immigration Regulations to Attract Tech Start-Up Founders and STEM PhD’s

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By: Chris Costa

The legislative bill “America COMPETES Act of 2022”, currently being revised in the U.S. Senate, is aimed at bolstering U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing and scientific research to better compete with China and other global powers. The bill may also serve as a bipartisan means for long-awaited changes to the employment-based immigration system. Such changes may include the creation of a new visa category for tech start-up founders and the creation of an exemption from green card quotas for foreign nationals with PhD’s in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (“STEM”) fields. As previously announced, the current administration is a proponent of attracting global talent in STEM fields with the aim of strengthening the U.S. economy through innovation and job creation and increasing U.S. technological competitiveness. Immigration measures have historically struggled to garner broad bipartisan support in Congress but leveraging high-skilled immigration in STEM fields to increase U.S. technological competitiveness in the current environment has already won bipartisan support in the House of Representatives. Moreover, U.S. Senators cite the challenges universities face in retaining foreign-born graduates under current immigration regulations as a principal motivation for reform. Creating a start-up visa for foreign nationals of all nationalities and creating an exemption from green card quotas for foreign nationals with PhD’s in STEM fields would absolutely attract global talent in STEM fields and thus spur innovation within the United States, stimulate the U.S. economy and increase U.S. technological competitiveness.

Drummond Advisors will continue to monitor the status of the America COMPETES Act of 2022 as well as other changes in U.S. legislation that may impact and hopefully improve current immigration regulations.