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Roughly 20 percent of today’s U.S. STEM workers with bachelor’s degrees are foreign-born individuals. That number jumps to 40 percent for STEM workers who hold advanced degrees. Maintaining the availability of high-skilled visas plays a critical role in allowing internet companies to continue to grow and thrive in the U.S., as opposed to expanding operations into the countries where workers already live.

Strict limitations on where students work can create barriers to innovation for internet companies. It’s not uncommon for many highly-skilled foreign workers who are trained at U.S. universities to return home, causing the U.S. to lose out on investments made in these students, and their ability to create American jobs and contribute to our economy. 

Industry Action On STEM

The internet industry invests in STEM education to develop a pipeline of young Americans who are ready to fill critical engineering roles and become the founders of future companies. 

  • IA and its member companies worked with the White House to sign the “Pledge to America’s Workers,” committing to providing over 100,000 opportunities for on-the-job training, continuing education, and work-based learning programs over a 5-year period. 
  • IA, its members, and other private sector companies announced a 5-year commitment of more than $300 million dedicated to K-12 computer science programs in 2017.
  • IA supports STEM education programs at After-School All-Stars, which provides free after-school STEM education programs for 90,638 students in 468 Title I schools in 53 cities across the U.S.

Industry Action On Immigration

IA believes that all industries benefit from a visa system that allows U.S. companies to attract the best and brightest, no matter where they are from.

Internet Association advocates for high-skilled immigration by:

  • Championing H-1B and H-4 visa distribution to allow foreign workers with special skills and their spouses to work legally in the U.S. 
  • Encouraging the continuation of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Optional Practical Training for STEM and non-STEM visas. 
  • Supporting the improvement and expansion of training opportunities for F-1 nonimmigrant students with STEM degrees and cap-gap relief for all eligible F-1 students.
  • Endorsing the reintroduction of the Startup Act to address the need for qualified, high-skilled professionals. 
  • Calling for the reinstatement of premium processing related to H-1B visas to clear the current backlog in the system.
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