US policy wise : Visa, Free Trade and WTO

What is America COMPETES Act?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : America COMPETES Act

Mains level : US Visa policies and its impact for Indians

The US has unveiled the Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022 that proposes to open up new vistas for talented individuals from across the world with a new start-up visa.

What is the COMPETES Act?

  • The bill provides $52 billion to encourage more semiconductor production in the US, and $45 billion for grants and loans to improve supply chain resilience and manufacturing, among other programs.
  • It also includes funding to address social and economic inequality, climate change, and immigration.
  • For instance, it provides an exemption for STEM PhDs from the green card cap and creates a new green card for entrepreneurs.
  • The bill also authorizes $600 million a year to construct manufacturing facilities to make the US less reliant on solar components made in Xinjiang, China.

Key provisions in the Act

  • The Act amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to create a new classification of “W” non-immigrants for entrepreneurs with an ownership interest in a start-up entity.
  • It seeks to establish procedures for foreign nationals with an ownership interest in a start-up entity to self-petition for lawful permanent resident status as an immigrant entrepreneur.
  • The bill exempts from the numerical limits on immigrant visas certain foreign nationals (and the spouses and children of such aliens) who have earned a doctoral degree in STEM.

Implications for Indians

  • It would mean more opportunities in the US for Indian talent, and for skilled workers.
  • Every year, the US administration issues 85,000 H-1B work permits.
  • Every year, Indians and Indian companies corner a lion’s share of the H-1B work permits issued that year.
  • With this new category, Indian professionals will likely have a better shot at opportunities that the Act is likely to provide.


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