SelectUSA Takeaways: The Critical Role of Employment-Based Immigration in Driving Investments into the U.S.

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As the SelectUSA Conference wraps up in Washington DC, here are some key takeaways from USILAW on the importance of employment-based immigration in strengthening the U.S. economy and attracting global investments as the largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).

Key Insights:

Talent Acquisition & Innovation:

      • The U.S. attracts top global talent through employment-based immigration, fostering innovation and driving technological advancements. Immigrant inventors contributed to nearly 40% of the patents filed in the U.S. over the last decade (Stanford Business School).

      • “Immigrants have started more than half (319 of 582, or 55%) of America’s startup companies valued at $1 billion or more. Moreover, nearly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. billion-dollar companies (unicorns) were founded or co-founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Almost 80% of America’s unicorn companies (privately-held, billion-dollar companies) have an immigrant founder or an immigrant in a key leadership role, such as CEO or vice president of engineering” (Forbes).

    Economic Growth:

        • Immigrant-led businesses generate significant economic activity. In 2019, immigrant entrepreneurs contributed over $1.3 trillion in total sales and $405.5 billion in tax revenue to the U.S. economy (Axios).

        • Employment-based immigration fills critical skill gaps, ensuring U.S. companies remain competitive globally. Studies show that the foreign-born STEM workforce contributed $367 billion to $409 billion in labor value-added, 1.7 to 1.9 percent of U.S. GDP in 2019 (IDA.ORG).

      Job Creation:

          • Far from taking jobs away, immigrants are job creators. The rate of founding businesses is 80 percent higher among the non-U.S.-born than among the U.S.-born (Kellogg Insight).

          • Industries heavily reliant on immigrant labor, such as technology, healthcare, and engineering, continue to thrive, with foreign-born workers playing indispensable roles.

        Global Competitiveness:

            • In an increasingly interconnected world, the U.S. must maintain its reputation as a land of opportunity. Simplifying and streamlining immigration policies will attract more investors, ensuring the U.S. remains a top destination for global talent.

            • Competitor nations are enhancing their immigration frameworks to attract talent. The U.S. must adapt to not only retain but also attract the best minds worldwide.

          Foreign Direct Investment:

              • FDI plays a crucial role in the U.S. economy, with foreign-owned companies employing over 8 million U.S. workers (Bureau of Economic Analysis, Employment-based immigration complements FDI by ensuring these companies have access to the skilled workforce they need to thrive.

              • Investors look for stability and predictability. Robust employment-based immigration policies create an attractive environment for FDI, reducing uncertainty and fostering long-term investment commitments.

              • The synergy between FDI and employment-based immigration leads to the development of cutting-edge industries, bolstering America’s position as a leader in global innovation.

            As we look towards the future, it’s essential for our country to compete in the global landscape with a strong employment-based immigration program. This not only strengthens the U.S. workforce but also propels the nation towards greater innovation, economic stability, and global leadership. 

            USILAW is one of the largest women-owned immigration law firms providing Global Mobility Solutions with a concentration on United States immigration law. USILAW has a well-earned reputation for industry-leading success rates for global companies. Our team of dedicated professionals believes in the virtue of immigration and brings in-depth expertise to clients’ global mobility programs.

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