Mid-Year Policy Review: Immigration Policy – Ouch

Immigration is our lifeblood in Silicon Valley.  The 57 percent of our STEM workforce hailing from abroad is an outlier even among tech hubs in this country – and is a critical part of the Valley’s secret sauce.

The 2018 SVCIP made several federal policy recommendations again this year to streamline high-skilled immigration to further the Valley’s competitiveness. But the powers that be haven’t been feeling us on this, shall we say. Here’s the litany:

  • The Administration has proposed eliminating the International Entrepreneur Rule, which granted international entrepreneurs temporary visas if they provide evidence of venture funding and jobs to be created.
  • The Administration has proposed eliminating the work authorization for H-4 spouses of H-1B recipients.
  • Premium, or accelerated, review of H-1B visas was cancelled earlier this year.
  • Chinese visa applicants are now subject to heightened scrutiny and shorter visa stays. This is the Administration’s response to suspected IP theft by Chinese nationals.

The importance of immigrants to Silicon Valley’s vitality is not in question.  We will continue to find new ways to encourage open immigration policies consistent with our national identity and the well-being of the innovation economy.

Coming Up:  Our Final Mid-Year Policy Update – On Education: A Marathon, Not a Sprint

Thanks go out to Peter Leroe-Muñoz for his contributions to this post.