Biden seeks to attract Russia’s top scientists to move to the U.S.
President Biden wants Congress to expedite visas for Russian scientists eager to leave their country in the midst of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, an effort to accelerate a brain drain already underway and further deprive President Vladimir Putin of some of Russia’s top talent.
The measure would apply only to Russian citizens with master’s or doctoral degrees in science or engineering fields like artificial intelligence, nuclear engineering or quantum physics. Administration officials argued that such a move would have dual advantages — costing Russia while benefiting America.
The vast majority of such visas for the technology industry go to workers from India. About 1,800 Russians obtained lawful permanent resident status each year before the pandemic based on an immigrant classification reserved primarily for outstanding professors, researchers and advanced degree professionals, if they had employer sponsors.
Even with the latest proposal, all applicants would still have to meet other requirements, including a security vetting process.