Summary of President Biden’s AI Executive Order15 Nov 2023
On October 30, 2023, U.S. President Joseph Biden issued a wide ranging executive order on artificial intelligence (AI) which, in part, calls for the expansion of immigration opportunities for highly skilled foreign nationals with expertise in AI or other critical and emerging technologies to study, live, and work in the United States. We are providing a brief summary of the executive order’s immigration related provisions for the benefit of MurthyDotCom readers.
Easing the Immigration Process for AI Experts
The executive order directs relevant U.S. agencies to take steps to ease the immigration process for a foreign national with AI-related expertise. These steps include improving processing times of visa petitions and applications, ensuring timely availability of a sufficient volume of visa appointments, and enhancing the ability for an AI expert to adjust status from nonimmigrant status to lawful permanent resident status.
Improving Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs
The executive order also suggests the consideration of certain improvements for various immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. Considerations for nonimmigrant programs include:
- Establishing new criteria for the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Exchange Visitor Skills List as it relates to the J-1 exchange visitor program’s two-year foreign residence requirement
- Modernizing the H1B program to enhance its integrity and usage
- Clarifying and modernizing the O1A visa program for an individual with extraordinary ability or achievement in the AI arena
- Using the international entrepreneur program to ease the immigration path for an AI start up founder
More details on this program are available in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, USCIS Restores Parole Program for International Entrepreneurs (26.May.2021).
Considerations for certain immigrant visa programs include modernizing the EB1A, extraordinary ability, and EB2 national interest waiver processes for foreign AI talent. The executive order also calls for updating the Schedule A list of occupations to account for AI and other STEM-related occupations, thereby allowing an individual in a qualifying occupation to bypass the PERM Labor Certification process.
Expansion of Domestic Visa Renewal Programs
The executive order calls for consideration of a new domestic visa renewal program for an individual with AI expertise that will help minimize interruption of work in the United States. An additional consideration includes expanding the current domestic visa renewal program available to certain nonimmigrant categories to include academic J-1 research scholars and F-1 students in STEM fields.
Education and Outreach
The executive order directs increased efforts in education and international outreach by the United States for foreign AI talent. Such efforts include the establishment of a program to identify foreign AI experts at universities, research institutions, and in the private sector and to educate such individuals about options for performing research or working in the United States on a potentially expedited basis. Informational resources and comprehensive guides for AI experts are to be published on AI.gov.
More Initiatives Possibly to Come
In addition to the specific directives described above, the executive order directs the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to use all available authority to support and attract foreign AI experts who wish to work, study, or conduct research in the United States. With time, this directive can lead to additional programs and initiatives to ease the immigration process for foreign AI experts.
President Biden’s executive order is an acknowledgment that foreign AI talent is critical for U.S. competitiveness in AI and other critical emerging technologies. Successful implementation of the executive order’s directives would allow more highly talented individuals to immigrate to the “land of opportunity.”
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