While immigration reform in the US Congress continues to be more of a dream than a reality, specific steps via President Biden’s executive orders continue. Many consider the changes as a step to move away from the previous administration’s policies that limited available visas, lengthened the application process, and denied applications that complied with existing laws.
Employers in need of foreign talent in tech industries believe in a faster pace to secure the services of much-needed employees overseas. The significant shift that provided opportunities to immigrants is not occurring in business immigration and is only continuing the uncertainty.
Silicon Valley’s call to prioritize business immigration
There is plenty on the Biden administration’s plate with a continuing pandemic and vaccine rollouts combined with surges at the southern border. Add to that the lack of resources after overseas consular staff were sent home during the early days of the worldwide health crisis.
However, those in positions of power in Silicon Valley would prefer that the process accelerates after four years of restrictions. Currently, the highly regarded and skilled professionals, whether they be engineers or entrepreneurs, are still beyond their reach.
No industry is more dependent on overseas talent and skilled labor than technology industries. Immigrants from abroad currently make up more than half of the employees, according to a 2018 study in The Seattle Times.
Various organizations have requested that the Homeland Security Department increase resources specifically for startup founders, a segment of immigrants that do not have a formal visa category. The program was launched by the Obama administration, only to be considered a much lower priority by his successor.
For now, tech companies wait, as do the talent they need still residing overseas.