Study shows more foreigners than US citizens applying for US patents
04 July 2012
For concise and recent immigration information watch our news.A new study has revealed that foreign students and researchers file 76 percent of patents at America's top universities.
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The group used data from 10 universities producing the most patents in 2011 and found that a majority of them were from foreign students. Patents granted to universities accounted for less than two percent of the 244,341 patents granted in 2010. The majority of patents are granted to corporations and government organisations.
"Under current immigration law, when many of these student inventors graduate, they are unable to get a visa that would allow them to stay in the US and potentially help create jobs," the group said in a statement. "The study also found that 99 percent of the patents by these foreign-born inventors were in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while the US is projected to face a shortfall of 230,000 qualified advanced-degree STEM workers by 2018."
These foreign inventors were also leading innovation in "cutting-edge fields like semiconductor device manufacturing (87 percent), information technology (84 percent), pulse or digital communications (83 percent), pharmaceutical drugs or drug compounds (79 percent), and optics (77 percent)."
However, "more than half of all patents (54 percent) were awarded to the group of foreign inventors most likely to face visa hurdles: students, postdoctoral fellows, or staff researchers."
Furthermore, the group urges Congress and the president to develop a "bipartisan solution" that ensures "top international graduates" have an easier path to a green card as well as to "raise or remove H-1B caps."
US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that as of June 11, 2012, the cap of 65,000 popular H-1B visa petitions has been met for fiscal year (FY) 2013. In addition, the 20,000 petition cap for the advanced degree H-1B visa was met on June 7, 2012.
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