immigration

Administration delays International Entrepreneur Rule, plans to rescind

One week before implementation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the International Entrepreneur Rule would be delayed until March 2018 and that a new proposal to rescind the rule will be made. The rule would have provided immigrants who have founded a high-potential startup with equity investment to remain in the country up to five years to scale the company.

Foreign governments capitalize on shifts in US policy

Since President Trump has taken office, the U.S. has seen several dramatic shifts in science and technology (S&T) policy from the previous administration—changes that several foreign leaders believe will create economic growth opportunities for their countries. As the Trump administration continues to roll out its S&T policy directives, these nations seem committed to growing their economies while chipping away at U.S. dominance in S&T.

H-1B cap reached in one week

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Friday that it had reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for FY 2018, just five days after opening the application process. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. This year, petitioners were unable to apply for premium processing, which has been temporarily suspended. USCIS has also received “a sufficient number” of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.

Welcoming America Toolkit Describes Tactics to Support Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Although much has been written on the value of immigrant entrepreneurship, relatively little research to date focuses on strategies for supporting these individuals. Welcoming America, a national nonprofit and non-partisan organization focused on immigrant inclusion, has addressed this gap by releasing a how-to-guide for those interested in supporting immigrant entrepreneurship in their cities. Produced with Global Detroit, an initiative focused on southeast Michigan’s international community, Seeds of Growth describes practical ways for regions across the nation to leverage opportunities associated with including immigrant entrepreneurs in local economic development strategies and programs.

White House Announces Proposed New Rule for Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Immigrant entrepreneurs would be allowed to remain in the United States for an initial period of up to two years, and, conditional upon meeting certain benchmarks, could potentially stay in the country for one additional period of up to three years under a newly proposed rule by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As part of the International Entrepreneur Rule, which is now open for a 45-day comment period, certain international entrepreneurs would have an opportunity to start or scale their businesses in the United States. In an official blog post by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation Tom Kalil and Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship Doug Rand, the authors note that the new reform would propose clear criteria to identify those entrepreneurs with the potential to provide significant public benefit to the United States. Evaluating entrepreneurs on a case-by-case basis, the proposed rule would consider factors such as: the entrepreneur’s ownership stake (at least 15 percent) and leadership role in the startup; the growth potential of the startup; competitive research grants of at least $100,000 from federal, state, and local government agencies provided to the firm; and the investment of at least $345,000 by qualified American investors.

Importance of International STEM Student Attraction, Retention

Attracting and retaining talented workers is a critical element in a technology-based economy.  In the U.S., a major source of this talent comes from international students, many of whom stay in the United States to work after graduation – especially in STEM industries. New research from economists at the University of California at Santa Barbara examines why international students may choose to study in the U.S., as well as what compels them to either remain in the country or go elsewhere after earning their degrees.

Majority of Startups Valued Over $1B Founded by Immigrants, Report Finds

Earlier this month, SSTI highlighted recent research from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) that detailed the critical role immigrants play in developing some of the most notable innovations in the U.S.

Immigrants Play Vital Role in U.S. Innovation, ITIF Report Finds

Immigrants play a significant role in American innovation, while women and minorities are underrepresented, according to a new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

ME Considers State-Run EB-5 Program, GAO Report Looks at Economic Impact of EB-5 Programs

Due to a lack of activity by the state’s three privately-run regional EB-5 centers that serve the state of Maine, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (MECD) is considering launching its own EB-5 visa program to attract more direct foreign investment to the state, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Recent Research: Special Journal of Labor Economics Volume Emphasizes High-Skilled Immigrants

Although immigrants account for approximately one-fourth of U.S. science and engineering (S&E) employment, there have been relatively few academic studies published that discuss the link between these immigrants, who represent an increasing share of the U.S. workforce, and innovation in the United States. Through a broad investment from the Alfred P.

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