Washington: Arguing in favour of increasing H-1B visas that are highly popular among Indian professionals, a leading American daily has said the US should not let foreign talent wither away to other countries.

The Boston Globe in an editorial asked the Congress to increase the H-1B visas, contending that the US has every economic incentive to keep recent graduates and welcome new immigrants that companies, especially those in tech and innovation, want here.

"The government has received 42,000 requests so far, a number that far outpaces last year and makes it likely that the entire year's quota of 65,000 applicants will be filled by June. Congress should quickly increase the quota," it said.

Noting that US universities are a major advantage in the global race for science, technology, and engineering expertise, yet immigrants are too often educated here but then forced to leave, the Globe said.

"When that happens, the United States is deprived of future companies like Intel, eBay, and Google, all of which counted immigrants among their founders.

"And if talented foreigners don't stay here, they will go to countries like Australia or Canada that has policies in place that supports their ingenuity," it said.

"High-skilled immigrants constitute 67 percent of those countries immigrant pool in 2011; they constitute just 13 percent in ours," the daily newspaper argued.

There are other challenges to the H-1B process, including the fact it sets quotas per country regardless of its size and that it may be being utilised to circumvent other visa programmes, it said.

There is also an opportunity to limit the category of "skilled" workers, which now defines fashion models on par with those in computing, it added.

"Regardless, the United States must not close its doors to immigrants who may want to contribute to our entrepreneurial spirit. Expanding the H-1B programme is an important first step," said The Boston Globe.


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