Today the U.S. House of Representatives is holding a hearing to discuss support for high-skilled immigration reform and a series of new bills that would increase the supply of STEM visas. (STEM is an acronym for the fields of study in the categories of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.)
The bills that will be discussed are the:Startup Act 3.0 (its central components seek to attract and retain entrepreneurial talent, attract capital investments in startups, and spark increased innovation through the commercialization of taxpayer-funded university research). StartUp Visa Act of 2013 (To qualify for this visa, prospective immigrant entrepreneurs must have financial backing and must implement commercial activities that will generate employment, revenue, or capital investment. A 2013 report estimates that a Startup Visa for immigrant entrepreneurs could generate anywhere from 500,000 to 1.6 million jobs over the next ten years, representing 0.5 to 1.6 percent of GDP, or roughly $70 billion to $224 billion in economic gain.) Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 (its purpose is to "amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to authorize additional visas for well-educated aliens to live and work in the United States, and for other purposes.")
These bills reflect a growing, bipartisan consensus on the need for the U.S. to efficiently attract and retain the best and brightest entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world.
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.