On 21st January 2022, the Biden Government declared that it would take action to attract STEM talent (science, technology, engineering, and math) talent to the U.S. in furtherance of its efforts to eliminate barriers to legal immigration as given in the Executive Order given 1st February 2021.
U.S. agencies like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), BridgeUSA, and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) will work together to further attract those in the STEM fields STEM.
These initiatives include STEM talent, but are not limited to:
- The Early Career STEM Research Initiative tries to connect BridgeUSA exchange sponsors with interested U.S.- based STEM host associations.
- The Academic Training Extensions for J-1 College and University Students. Allows students who are pursuing (or have recently finished) STEM-related studies. The opportunity to extend their academic training to a maximum of 36 months rather than the previous cap of 18 months.
- DHS has added 22 new fields of study to the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. Examples include bioenergy, general forestry, earth system science, economics and computer science, mathematical economics, and business analytics. A full list of the new fields of study will be communicated through a Federal Registry notice.
- DHS is giving a USCIS policy manual update to explain how the national interest waiver can be utilized for people. With advanced degrees in STEM in order to promote efficient and effective processing by USCIS.
However, with the declaration of these actions, DHS intends to give predictability and clarity for STEM scholars, students, researchers, and experts.