Acceptance rate of H1-B visas continues decline

The share of H-1B applications approved by United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) in FY 2018 was well below the levels in FY 2017 and FY 2016, and new data from the first quarter of FY 2019 shows a continuing downward trend.

Student loan debt, urban wage premiums drive rural brain drain

When it comes to paying off student loan debt, rural individuals who move to metro areas fare better than those who stay, according to new research from PJ Tabit and Josh Winters of the Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs. Using panel data from Equifax and the New York Fed, the authors explore the relationship between the student loan balances of rural millennials and where they choose to live when they begin repayment. Their analysis offers a deeper understanding of the rural brain drain phenomenon and approaches to addressing the challenge.

Impacts of H-1B visa reductions on economic growth

Over the last two years, foreign-born workers have faced  increased difficulty in obtaining work visas, a condition that could lead to negative impacts on the future economic prosperity of the United States. Under the Trump administration, there also has been a reduction in the cap for H-1B visas from 85,000 in 2016 to 65,000 this year. In addition to a reduction in the number of H-1B visas offered, human resource professionals report that the U.S. visa application process has become more difficult due to increased complexity, longer preparation times, and increased requests for additional information, according to a survey by Envoy

The cap reductions have driven public discourse regarding the policy’s economic impact. Proponents of the reductions argue that H-1B visas reduce opportunities for domestic-born workers. Critics of these policies contend that generally domestic workers actually benefit from federal policies that attract skilled foreign-born workers. Over the past several months, three research articles looked to measure the impact that these immigration policies can have and have had on domestic workers and economic growth.

University-led strategies to retain international students beyond graduation

Due to their positive impact on entrepreneurship (31 percent of VC-backed founders are immigrants) and innovation (76 percent of patents from top 10 U.S. patent-producing universities had at least one foreign-born author) in the United States, many institutions of higher education are working to understand the opportunities, challenges, and gaps that exist in supporting international students from their first year of study through graduation, the job search process, and entry into the labor force. Institutions of higher education are seen as uniquely positioned to enhance international students’ employability as they provide access to work experience as well as cultural acclimation to increase the likelihood those individuals will remain in their host country after graduation.

Immigrant founders fuel list of most successful American companies

Adding to the national debate regarding U.S. immigration policy, the Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE) reviewed the 2017 Fortune 500 list, finding that 43 percent of the companies were founded or co-founded by a first or second generation immigrant. Those companies account for 52 percent of the top 25 firms, are headquartered in 33 different states, and accounted for $5.3 trillion in global revenue in 2016, the CAE analysis found.

Trump immigration policy rewards Olympians, Nobel Laureates; discounts VC-backed entrepreneurs

On the heels of delaying the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), the White House has endorsed a bill that would grade candidates for immigration. A total of 60 organizations, including SSTI and many of our member organizations, stated their opposition to the move in a new letter. It is not clear why the IER’s standard of investible businesses would not fit into the legislation’s merit-based system.

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.


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