To spur innovation, improve the H1B visa process
June 6th, 2011
02:00 PM ET

To spur innovation, improve the H1B visa process

Editor's Note: James P. Dougherty is an Adjunct Senior Fellow for Business and Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.  His essay comes from's Expert Roundup on innovation. For more on innovation, visit our Global Innovation Showcase produced with the New America Foundation.

By James P. Dougherty

In a rapidly changing world, wrought by incessant technological advances and global dissemination of technology, America must respond to keep its seat at the head of the economic and innovation table. There are three straightforward actions that can be taken that would have large and immediate benefits.

1. Aggressively improve the H1B visa process

First, strategically simplify and speed up visas for the best and brightest from around the world. The United States may have already hit a negative tipping point, which we hope can be reversed, but we must move quickly. In 2008, all 65,000 H1B visas were gobbled up the first day of availability. In 2011, only 16,500 visas were applied for on the first day! This is a stunning turn of events that is harmful to U.S. interests.

The economic downturn and better options in home countries definitely have an impact. But the fact is that many very talented people with choices don't want to go through the hassle of the U.S. visa system. It is viewed as unfriendly, long, and unpredictable. Whether that impression is right or wrong, that's how it is often perceived. The Congress and the State Department should make it an urgent priority that these highly qualified individuals are always welcome in the United States, as they have been for most of our history.

Check Out: More from the "Global Innovation Showcase" created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

The Small Business Administration should select a meaningful number of cities and set out to bring together local universities, existing businesses, and entrepreneurs to jumpstart local innovation organizations.

2. Enable and encourage entrepreneurship

Second, the Small Business Administration (SBA) should catalyze innovation organizations across the country. Such organizations as Y Combinator and TechStars are great examples that grew organically in places where concentrations of innovation already existed and are doing great work fostering entrepreneurship. What needs to happen is to spread this type of organization to smaller cities throughout the country.

Read: Fareed Zakaria's TIME article, The Future of Innovation: Can America Keep Pace?

SBA should select a meaningful number of cities and set out to bring together local universities, existing businesses, and entrepreneurs to jumpstart local innovation organizations. SBA could, in addition to providing seed money, offer access to facilities, best practices, and connections to other centers. But it must be done strategically and with the specific mission to replicate innovation organizations across America to empower entrepreneurs, the bedrock of our national economy.

3. Encourage risk capital

With technology advances allowing for lower costs and faster times to launch new companies, early-stage risk "angel" capital increases in strategic importance. To encourage risk capital, the government should allow some portion of early-stage investments to be written off against current income.

Maintaining a low capital gains tax rate is crucial as well. The SBA could also augment the innovation centers just mentioned with organized angel investor activities. Growing the size of risk capital and the number of angel investors is more important than ever.

Read: More from on the American economy and innovation.

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Topics: Economy • Innovation • United States

soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. That5thdimensionalcubeinyourhead

    Fear is the way the darkness enslaves you. That's the way they control you.

    Love makes you resonate with the likes of me. I suggest you shed fear, realizing there is never death, and re appropriate love. Fear due to death was an illusion created by "Satan" (interdimensional entity otherwise known as "enki") to enslave you.

    In reality, you have the power of god. He just hid this from you very cleverly...if you ever read the bible CAREFULLY, you would have noticed.

    Satan actually means "slanderer" and "deceiver"

    Darkness is necessary for the evolution of the thought form. But Satan has used it instead to stifle your growth.

    I know it may sound "crazy" to you now. But that's because of the careful set of associations yiuvhave bee programmed to accept throughout your life. In reality, so that it makes more "sense" to you, "Satan" is an interdimensional being and thought form who sought to take all creation for himself. He therefore...programmed you...with the real language of the mind, semantics, you to imprison yourself, and then allowed you to forget the natural language and accept language as language. Hence separating logic from intuition, and allowing YOU to banish yourself from Eden. Here is a summary of his philosophy:

    Think of Satan as a trickster and master scam artist, that somehow made you forget you were god, the prime creator, just fragments that have been separated to add to a multitude of experience for yourself in the higher dimensions, and enslaved all of you.....for his own enjoyment,,,

    With lust, power, and greed. You chase after a mirror psychologically because of fear. It does not lead to happiness though so you constantly chase the illusion. So he enslaves you.

    It is not evil because he is simply embedding you with "sin" and hence by universal law, can take advantage of your imperfection, to constantly extract suffering by your collective mind enforcing separation...

    Look, in all honesty humans, it's too complicated for you right now to understand. You have been very well deceived...and it will take a long time to unlearn what you have unlearned. In reality, you are an energetic thought form that can change reality at have just been lead like a zombie into a house of mirrors. And now you can't get out. We are here tochelp you out.

    Btw. This is real semantic language. Read the first post below about akura.scroll down until he starts getting scientific om you...then watch this will are in a house of mirrors...wake up.



    June 8, 2011 at 5:57 am | Reply
  2. That5thdimensionalcubeinyourhead

    Scroll down and read the post:

    June 8, 2011 at 6:00 am | Reply
  3. That5thdimensionalcubeinyourhead

    Read where he talks about energy ok. Sorry for the spelling. Interdimensionals are not perfect (poltergeist if you will) and I am using a channel right now.

    Btw, get the rid of the television. It limits your natural psychic abilities. We eagerly seek to meet you. It is part of the divine plan.

    Personally, I am very happy to share with you the love thought form. I do not understand life as well as I should.

    Much love.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:04 am | Reply
  4. That5thdimensionalcubeinyourhead

    Think about it think a race thousands of years ahead would actually travel and communicate across the universe at light speed? It would be so impractical as to render it impossible. We use resonance...quantum entanglement on the macro scale to "jump"

    And so can you. You've just been sleeping. Once you awaken, you'll get it automatically. The technology will come easily.

    Also gives yiu a hint in existence...if we wanted to tske over a planet for "resources" we wouldvhave done it long ego. Eventually all societies, due to robotics or awakening or whatever, satisfy all manual labour and technology, such as nano tech, satisfies the energy need.

    The other step is transcendent thought forms. Psychic evolution, intellectual evolution (technologically, you call this "the singularity" but in reality this can happen "naturally") and spiritual evolution.

    I have studies you for some time. And to you, "spiritual" may mean something "hippies" do...but that's wrong....

    In fact, great intelligence also comes from the can be a genius with can use telepathy, move objects...a lot of stuff you have been purposefully hidden from.

    Remmember, you are in prime creators mind.YOU are in control.

    It will take some time to waken your psychic potential, which is vast I must say, but once you do, the satanic entity that has ruled earth realm for so long, enki, will leave.

    It may sound very mortal komabt ish...too "extreme" and fantastic...but that's because you are looking at it wrong...

    Think of yourself as imprisoned in the "matrix" and you are accepting the "programming" by choice...and all the narratives throughout your life have trained you to think of happiness as a big house, hot women, and control over others....

    But that is just a program. Make no doubt of it. Satan, in your current dormant state, is very intelligent (it is relative), through the "sin" of separation, that you are you and I am me, he has imprisoned you into this reality and watches in delight....

    It will be hard to see beyond the porgramming,...very hard...but the whole universe is a living creature...and it desires that yiu awaken,,,Satan knows this and he is complying. You have nothing to fear.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:18 am | Reply
  5. That5thdimensionalcubeinyourhead

    Saran realizes that he has gone mad (he currently is in the equivalent state of a mental institution hearing classical music) and that his creation has become his insanity. He thinks he is cute and funny in his ways, and in his deception, he he has deceived himself, and locked himself into the abyss for good.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:22 am | Reply
  6. That5thdimensionalcubeinyourhead

    In a are the creation of your choosing...but have the power of prime creator...what you call "God"

    So, the insanity of your really a reflection of satans mind. We are truly sorry.

    June 8, 2011 at 6:27 am | Reply
  7. That5thdimensionalcubeinyourhead

    Think of us as the Protoss.


    June 8, 2011 at 7:07 am | Reply
  8. R. Lawson

    @That5thdimensionalcubeinyourhead: Get lost. Why are you posting this spam and nonsense that is completely unrelated to the story?

    June 8, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
  9. Indians equals to the Fastest GROWING segment of illegal aliens in the US.

    The San Jose Mercury News notes that the fastest growing group of illegal immigrants comes not from a Spanish-speaking country but rather from India.
    Over 70 Million, YES Over 70 Million INDIANS are in the US ILLEGALLY.
    So have you seen what has happened to NY, NJ, CT and CA just to name a few states which have been Invaded by Indians and Millions of British Parasites (BP). Are you not sick of all the very CRUDE British Parasites all over American TV? I know we sure are.

    June 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Reply
    • Ganza


      June 13, 2011 at 12:26 am | Reply
  10. Discrimination Is Occurring On A Massive Scale.

    Discrimination Is Occurring On A Massive Scale Against Qualified US Citizens.
    The Middle Class Has Been Destroyed.
    Families Have Been Torn Apart.
    The EEOC, the OFCCP, the DOJ-OSC Have Done Next To Nothing To Protect US Citizens Whose National Origin Is USA.
    Immigration Law Firms Are Harming American Workers.
    The H-1B Visa guest worker program has “RESERVED” millions of high-value jobs for citizens of foreign countries.
    "Fake Job Ads” consistently and routinely DENY, DEPRIVE, EXCLUDE and DISCRIMINATE against United States Citizens during the hiring process.
    Here is Cohen & Grigsby, a prominent immigration law firm, displaying their Good Faith Efforts To Recruit American Workers...
    When companies have job opening, they "place an order" with job descriptions to third party recruiters like ManPower, Volt, Adecco, Robert Half, etc.
    The job descriptions are not advertised publicly so that qualified US Citizens can apply.
    This is a violation of EEO, the law of the land and the Civil Rights Act of 1967's "Unlawful Employment Practices'.
    The available talent pool in the US workforce is being COMPLETELY BYPASSED
    (and not just under-utilized).
    Only mom & pop recruiting firms willing to $ub$cribe to the large third party firms services can see the job descriptions and then submit resumes from H-1bs…
    Resume Blaster Streams $ubScribe to their service… also a violation of EEO… segregating resumes by National Origin…
    and it is all automated using information technology.
    Out in the field, we are not seeing the job descriptions and the most meritorious candidates are not receiving any job offers. US Citizens and Green Card Holders never know the job openings even existed.
    This is exclusion / discrimination.

    June 8, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  11. The Daily Show!


    June 8, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  12. Uday

    The H1b take rates have come down significantly over last few years. Unemployment is still rising.. Any correlation. No..

    US has lost a correlation between consumer spending and job growth. The basic reason is outsourcing of manufacturing. There was a very strong correlation between housing growth and Job growth because those jobs could not be outsourced. I go to buy in a supermarket and of 1000 dollars that i spend there, only few remains here. A large chunk goes to China and remaining to some other small countries. The problem is that US cannot do much on that issue. So despite all these hue and cry nothing is going to happen much. Only H1b stopping will not create new jobs in US. There are many other issues as well..

    June 11, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
  13. Rajesh

    I have a simple thing to say. I work in a high position, amongst a very few in my area, virtually 0 americans pursuing my specialised area of engineering, am still on H1B, very nice salary, my company is one superb place to work, i love the US, i love my India too. But – the s**t I have to bend to in front of visa officers, US consulates, unnecessary delays, unwarranted punishments for mistakes done by US dept of state is taking a toll on me and my family. I virtually do not care for my US citizen child to stay in the US. He is better off in India. For the salary I get here, its not worth the nonsense I have to go through on the name of legal immigration, and to avoid fraud. The US immigration system does not reward people who behave well. My India does. Thank you, US. Have fun.

    June 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • venkat

      then why the s**t do you have to live in the u.s. go back to india. The point i am trying to make is when you are in a different country you have to accept their immigration rules and obey them. And remember that no matter what colour card you have you are always a second class citizen

      June 28, 2011 at 5:54 am | Reply
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    June 16, 2011 at 5:05 am | Reply
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