Biden Administration Issues Executive Order Addressing High-Skilled Immigration

Last Updated on November 7, 2023

On Oct. 30, 2023, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence, with the goal of attracting more high-skilled foreign talent to the U.S. for related jobs. 


The executive order intends to attract more high-skilled foreign talent to the U.S. for employment in artificial intelligence (AI) and other critical and emerging technologies. The executive order instructs immigration agencies to take the necessary steps to make it easier for skilled foreign talent to come to the U.S. for employment in those areas.  

Specifically, Biden’s executive order instructs agencies to streamline visa processing for non-U.S. citizens coming to the U.S. for work, study, or to conduct research in AI or other critical and emerging technologies. Immigration agencies are also asked to prioritize visa appointments for individuals with expertise in AI and other technologies. Agencies are also instructed to establish a program to draw top AI talent into the U.S., to the extent permitted by law and current appropriations. Immigration agencies are also tasked with reviewing and initiating policy changes to certain immigration pathways for experts in AI and emerging technologies, including but not limited to the EB-1 and EB-2 visas and the O-1 visa 

Along with the measures above, the executive order asks immigration agencies to consider some additional changes, including creating new regulations on the Exchange Visitor Sills Lists for the two-year foreign residence requirement for some J-1 nonimmigrants. Agencies are also asked to consider implementing a domestic visa renewal program for qualified applicants in AI and other critical and emerging technologies and expand the current domestic visa renewal program to include F-1 students in STEM programs and J-1 research scholars. Agencies are also asked to consider updating the “Schedule A” list of occupations by publishing a request for information (RFI) to get public input on AI and other STEM-related occupations. The executive order also asks them to consider establishing rules to facilitate the process for noncitizens to change their status to lawful permanent residents. Lastly, agencies are asked to consider updating the 2009 Revised Exchange Visitor Skills List.  

Looking Ahead  

Some work in President Biden’s executive order is already underway, while other changes could take months or years to implement. Updates will be provided as available.  

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Envoy is pleased to provide you with this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Anne Walsh and Joy Ang, Partners, at Corporate Immigration Partners, P.C., a U.S. law firm who provides services through the Envoy Platform (the “U.S. Law Firm”).    

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