Silicon Valley Immigrants Included in Talent Exodus

California's "best and brightest" immigrants are leaving the Golden State in search of greener pastures back home. USA Today reports on highly-skilled immigrants foregoing their American dreams to pursue careers back home. The article highlights Indian and Chinese workers who come to the U.S. to earn Bachelor's or Master's degrees from U.S. Universities, obtain H-1B visas to use their talents working for U.S. employers, begin the arduous green-card process, yet return home before the multi-year green-card process is complete. The article raises the often cited concerns that the U.S. may lose its competitive edge in science, technology and other fields as some of its smartest take their U.S. acquired knowledge and experience back to their home country.

The reasons cited for leaving include immigration delays, better job opportunities, and family ties. It's no surprise that immigration delays send the brightest immigrants back home. The queue for Indian and Chinese green card applicants can be as long as four to eight years, or even longer. During that time, an applicant will not be able to advance or work in a different job. Not being able to advance provides at least one basis to return home seeking better job opportunities. Returning immigrants often face great opportunities with their U.S. degree, and their experience of working for a U.S. company.

USA Today cites Duke University's Vivek Wadhwa, who studies reverse immigration. Wadhwa projects that in the next five years, 100,000 U.S. immigrants will go back to India and 100,000 to China, countries that have had rapid economic growth. Instead of inventing, creating, and working so that Silicon Valley companies can better compete globally for us, this U.S. educated talent pool will be competing against us

H-1B Visas / by Michelle Gee