Biden wants Congress to speed up Russian visas

Biden wants Congress to speed up Russian visas

President Biden wants Congress to speed up the process of visas for Russian scientists eager to leave their country in the midst of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, an effort to speed up a brain drain already underway and deprive President Vladimir V. Putin of some of Russia's top talent.

An administration proposal sent to Capitol Hill as part of a larger package requesting $33 billion in spending on war would suspend the requirement that scientists applying for H 1 - B visas have a sponsoring employer for four years, eliminating one of the biggest obstacles for many who want to come to the United States.

The measure would apply only to Russian citizens with master's or doctoral degrees in science or engineering fields like artificial intelligence, nuclear engineering or quantum physics. The move would have dual advantages, according to administration officials, costing Russia while benefiting America.

The technology industry's vast majority of visas are given to workers from India. About 1,800 Russians obtained permanent resident status each year before the epidemic based on an immigrant classification reserved for outstanding professors, researchers, and advanced degree professionals, if they had employer sponsors.