Intellectual Property, the Immigration Backlog, and a Reverse Brain-Drain: America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Part III


America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Part III

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Given the substantial role of skilled foreign-born residents in the United States, and the huge backlog in granting visas to employment-based principals, the potential exists for a reverse brain-drain of skilled workers who contribute to U.S. global competitiveness.

This paper is the third in a series of studies focusing on immigrants' contributions to the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. Earlier research revealed a dramatic increase in the contributions of foreign nationals to U.S. intellectual property over an eight-year period. In this paper, we offer a more refined measure of this change and seek to explain this increase with an analysis of the immigrant-visa backlog for skilled workers. The key finding from this research is that the number of skilled workers waiting for visas is significantly larger than the number that can be admitted to the United States. This imbalance creates the potential for a sizable reverse brain-drain from the United States to the skilled worker's home countries.