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Google to the US government: Update these immigration rules on Green Cards and hiring | – Times of India



Google has called on the US government to modernise its immigration policies, particularly the Schedule A list, to attract and retain top artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity talent from abroad. In a letter to the Department of Labor, the tech giant warned that the current policies could lead to a loss of valuable talent in these critical sectors.

Schedule A list outdated, Google says

Google’s letter specifically targeted the Schedule A list, which identifies occupations with insufficient American workers.The company argued that the list, last updated in 2005, needs to be broadened to include AI and cybersecurity-related fields and should be updated more frequently to reflect changing labour needs.
The company wrote that the department “originally intended Schedule A to be a tool for responding to labour shortages,” continuing, “Since it has not been updated in 20 years, Schedule A does not reflect current labour shortages.”
Google also emphasised the growing demand for AI talent within the company, stating, “We project that our need for AI Engineer roles, including Software Engineer, Research Engineer, and Research Scientist roles, will increase significantly in the coming years.”
The tech giant further stressed the importance of addressing the talent shortage, adding, “AI advancements offer incredible promise, but the lack of skilled professionals threatens to hinder their full potential.”
The search giant also highlighted the lengthy process of obtaining permanent labour certification (PERM) and the need for a more efficient system to attract and retain top talent. Google suggested that the government consider multiple data sources, including public feedback, to ensure the Schedule A list remains current and transparent.
Karan Bhatia, head of government affairs and public policy at Google, emphasised the global shortage of AI talent and the need for the US to adapt its immigration policies accordingly. “There’s wide recognition that there is a global shortage of talent in AI, but the fact remains that the US is one of the harder places to bring talent from abroad, and we risk losing out on some of the most highly sought-after people in the world,” Bhatia told The Verge.

Fierce competition for AI talent

The call for immigration reform comes amid fierce competition among tech companies to attract AI talent. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly been sending personal emails to AI researchers at Google’s DeepMind and offering jobs without interviews. Wages for AI specialists have soared, with some companies allegedly paying researchers up to $10 million.
Earlier, in a leaked email, Google CEO Sundar Pichai expressed his anxiety about losing key talent to rivals, especially Apple. Google is reported to have lost over a dozen of its AI staff to Apple. The US’s strict immigration policies have exacerbated this concern, making it difficult for companies to attract and retain AI talent abroad.
President Joe Biden’s executive order on AI mandates federal agencies to help increase AI talent in the country. However, Google’s letter suggests that more needs to be done to ensure the US remains competitive in the global race for AI dominance.

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